Martin Model 162A "Tadpole Clipper"

Throughout the early 1930s, the Martin Company competed fiercely for new Navy patrol aircraft contracts with the Consolidated Aircraft Company. However, in 1933 Martin abandoned military aircraft for the better prospects of the more lucrative Pan American Airways "China Clipper" contracts that resulted in the remarkable Martin Model 130 flying-boat. Demand for increased passenger capacity soon led to Pan Am's selection of the superior Boeing 314. This forced Martin's flying-boat design team to return grudgingly to maritime patrol aircraft projects. In 1936, their work culminated in a design for the fast four-engined Model 160 patrol bomber.

In 1987, a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers, many of whom were former Martin employees, began an exhaustive restoration of the 162A. After more than 10,000 man-hours of labor, the 162 was ready for display while on loan to the Museum of Industry in Baltimore, not far from where the "Tadpole Clipper" had been built and flown. Portions of the rear fuselage undersurface were left uncovered to illustrate some of the modifications made in the 162A's hull during the course of its testing.