No. 12058. Martin 404 (N241AG c/n 14166) Aerojet General
Photographed at Sacramento, California, USA, by W.T. Larkins

Martin 404

09/30/2013. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "On June 20,1947, Martin flew the prototype of its 303 pressurized development of the Model 202; a 304 cargo version was projected at the same time. Neither went into production, being shelved two years later to make way for the Martin 404, which was essentially a pressurized 202A with a longer fuselage and higher operating weights. For marketing reasons the model 404 was also known as 4-O-4 or Four-O-Four.

The launching orders received from Eastern (35) and TWA (30) were later increased to 60 and 41 respectively, accounting for all except two of the entire 404 production run. The other two were built as RM-1s for the US Coast Guard. A converted Martin 202, first flown on October 21, 1950, served as prototype for the 404. Service entry followed in October 1951 with TWA and in January 1952 with Eastern.

Aircraft from both airlines were subsequently re-sold to other operators and established a sound reputation for safety and reliability. By 1971, when about 40 were still in service, the largest fleets were those of Piedmont and Southern. Three years later the latter still had 14, but by the late 1970s the surviving 404s had moved on again to work for smaller operators such as Florida Air Lines or in the business world as corporate transports.

The pictured 404 was delivered to Trans World Airlines on July 23, 1952, registered as N40431. On August 4, 1959, it was sold to California Airmotive, who sold it to Aerojet General on November 6, 1959. Aerojet General registered the aircraft as N541AG and later reregistered it to N241AG. On September 4, 1968, the aircraft was sold to Piedmont and given the registration N40440, which it kept while being acquired by the consecutive owners US Aircraft Sales, Farancis Y. Sogi, Charlotte, CEC and Atlantic Southeast. The latter withdrew the aircraft from service and stored it at Sebring, Florida in 1974. Last owner was Air Agency who bought the aircraft in 1977 and broke it up in March 1978."

Created September 30, 2013