After an action-packed week here at The Hollow, we’re very happy to be back and posting! Mrs. Toad encountered an injury earlier this week, causing me to have to care for her and thus we haven’t been able to focus on the photography tasks much. We certainly hope everyone understands, and now we’re back… thanks for all your support and concern, folks, it really means so very much to us.
Today we’re going to take a look at something that I have been very much looking forward to sharing with everyone. Today we look at the Mars Water Bomber, currently owned by Coulson Flying Tankers. They have created an entire museum dedicated to these historic and iconic planes, and we had a chance to visit and take some photographs over the course of the summer.
Situated on Sproat Lake, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada sits the home of the current Mars Water Bomber fleet. I understand that two of the planes remain in active service and the entire fleet has been the source of world-wide attention for years. In 2007 one of the bombers made the voyage to California, to assist with the fire fighting needs. In the museum, there is a photo and mention of one of the planes making a flyover of Airforce 1 while the current president (I believe it was George Bush, but I could be wrong on that point) stood below watching the flyover.
Tours are now available at times, and on the day we visited we were too late to partake in them. It appeared to us that a boat ferried visitors to and from the parked bomber on the lake, allowing everyone a chance to get on-board an active plane and really take in some of the details.
Originally designed for war service, by the time the initial planes were completed the Navy had changed plans and accepted the 5 units originally built. Accidents beset some of the planes, including crashes, fires, typhoons and other events over the years, pruning the fleet down to what we believe are the final 2 units that are slated for active service. The entire in-depth history of the planes can be found on Wikipedia.
Sproat Lake itself is a magical place. A very large lake situated in the relative center of Vancouver Island, it is surrounded by our vast forests. This scene as presented created such a typical picture of island-living and I just love the colors and details that pop here.
The Philippine Mars is currently undergoing updates to make it safer and more in-line with modern safety features. We understand it’s slated to resume service in the near future. In this picture we get a stronger sense of the size and scale of this flying boat. It is amazing to consider that this unit can scoop up 30 tons of water in one 22 second scoop… and when this payload of water drops on an active fire, many have coined the term “a huge water blanket” to describe the effect.
Thanks for taking the time to visit us here today, we sincerely appreciate that. As always we encourage all our visitors to leave us comments as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.