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Martin Mars JRM 1-2 pilots seat Warren McArthur AN stamped


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I had posted this looking for information on a seat I just bought. I wish to thank the members of this forum for digging deep and pushing for the truth in this matter. Thanks to them I now know what aircraft this came from. I wanted to bundle everything under one heading so anyone else who may come across a seat like this will not have to reinvent the wheel researching information. I was surprised how little information exists. Thanks guys!, well done!

 

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The seat came in today. The seller broke it down for shipping. Upon inspection I found corrosion on the inside seat rails. This was a flown seat. Everything towards the bottom has some type of corrosion on it, mostly the nuts and bolts. My guess is salt water corrosion. The seat surprised me in its construction. This has to be pre or early war. The metal is machined in a detail not seen on WW2 seats. The aluminum is of the highest quality and the workmanship top notch. I took pictures of the parts to have a record of what was used to make it. I noticed were two parts meet the area is black. This was done for a reason, but I don't know why.

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These are the struts seen on the lower back of the frame. These are not stamped, they are machined.

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I haven't figured out what these are yet, but they are well made. They may have something to do with the arm rest.

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This is the seat rail. Note the corrosion between the rails. Also note none of this is stamped metal. It's all machined. The forth photo down shows one of two HT stamps I found. These are the only stamps on this. On the last photo you can't see it, but marks from an awl can be seen used to center the holes.

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The seat pan is very well made from high grade aluminum. The bottom has the McArthur stamp along with the AN stamp. I have never seen this before.

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I took my box of seat parts to the Planes of Fame in Chino Ca. and talked to Steve Hinton who runs the back of the house. His take on the corrosion on the seat rails was that it was more likely caused by a form of electrolysis. In short the seat rails may not have been heat treated properly and or combined with the salty air and another type of metal the seat rail sat on along with the negative ground of the electrical system caused the corrosion...good to know. He suggested two things to do. 1) Have someone machine new seat rails or 2) Leave it as is, The metal is thick and it will never be in a flyer why go all the way on it. I'm going with #2. He so also gave me people to talk to about what to do with the other metal parts. Steve was working on projects in the back and took the time to look at what I had because he had never seen this type seat before. All the black areas look like they were painted on at the factory to stop the type of electrolysis that corroded the seat rails.

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The Smithsonian was good enough to send me this information. It confirms that the Warren McArthur company did indeed make the pilots seat. It was called a Mod. 262.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found a period photo of the seat that looks like it was taken in Navy service. This shows a modified headrest different than the proto type seat and it shows details of the armrest. The seats look like they were painted. The head rest looks like it could be removed and the head pad may have been removable.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The seat I have can not be the JRM seat. I was contacted by a Warren McArthur Company historian and he asserted this seat was misidentified. As proof he sent me these photo's. The plans clearly state seat model 262 and the photo's are indeed of that seat.

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  • 2 months later...

P59A

Read these posts with interest.  Ive got a restoration mystery as well.  Im trying to nail down the pedigree for the WM seats installed on stearman biplanes at the end of wwII.  Is there any way you can put me in touch with the historian you mentioned?

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Warren McArthur for the most part made seats for the Navy. The one well known seat they made was the P-51D seat. That seat alone was mounted in all sorts of aircraft. The mounts could be on posts with springs or in a frame that was made by other company's. The first two pics are the P-51D seat and the next two are the rear seat of a AT-6. Note that seat is wood. Most trainers had non strategic metal used in the construction. I note these two seats because both were made by North American Aviation. One is wood and the other metal. The P-51D seat will fit into the AT-6 seat frame. Except for the P-51D seat Warren  seats are known for not having any welds. Everything is made to fit together. It seems they had an idea and constructed their seats around that idea. They all save the P-51D seat have a look to them. If you have read the history of Warren McArthur you saw they made high end aluminum tables and chairs in the 30's. In 1938 they started making military aircraft seats and post war airliner aircraft seats. Post or PM what you have. This is my P-51D seat, post war this seat was installed in all sorts of aircraft due to its comfort and strength. The last pics are other Warren seats. Look at how they made them then decide if this is what you have.

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Just thought I'd bring this up (though you might already know); until a few years ago, Coulson Aviation up in British Columbia, operated two Martin JRM Mars aircraft as fire-fighting tankers.  These were/are massive aircraft....and the two remaining examples are still in Coulson's inventory...but they're retired from fire fighting.  One may end up at the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola.  I've attached a photo that nicely shows the seating in their "Philippine Mars".  Looks to me like your seat parts might indeed be from a Mars after all....

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I know it looks like it , but if you scroll up you will see the actual seat that was flown and it is different from my seat and the ones in your photo. The guy who sent me that photo went to look at those Mars seats in person and they are not the original seats that came with that bird. If you look at my seat the frame construction is not the same as the seats in your photo or in the photo provided to me.

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Ahh, didn't know that Coulson may have swapped out the seats.  Didn't study all your pics  super close but to me certain of your seat components are very close or the same as some of the components in the Philippine Mars seats.   Checked out pics of seats in the Catalina, Coronado and Mariner.  Yours doesn't look like any of those.  Guess the origin of your seat might be something other than a Navy product...since McArthur produced mainly for them but not solely for them.  Good luck with figuring it out.

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Right now I have Boeing and the Navy museum people looking at the Navy XPBB-1. The guy who sent the Mars seat photo said my seat is a match for that plane, but their is something like 8 variations of that seat with minor detail changes. He is not sure what variation I have or what seat variation was used in the XPBB-1. McArthur used the same basic format for the Navy Pilots seats in different configurations. The one seat they made that was widely used was the P-51D seat. They only made the seat and it was put together for different configurations. Post war McArthur continued to make aviation seats until they closed.

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This is better detail of what I have. The seat sits way forward of the supports.

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