May 292011

 As built, the Martin B-51 had a pretty unusual layout. But Martin designers couldn’t leave well enough alone… they designed a flying boat version which required some substantial changes to the layout. Most importantly, the underslung engines were relocated to the upper side of the fuselage.

To aid in water landings & takeoffs, the landing gear was either deleted or replaced with hydroskis or “hydro-sleds.” The version shown here used a more or less conventional flying boat hull, with no landing gear at all.

 Posted by at 6:45 pm
  • Pat Flannery

    That drawing shows that aerodynamically the B-51 and Martin Matador cruise missiles are fairly closely related.
    It makes a lot more layout sense in this version than the land-based one with the fuselage side mounted engines, which looked like some former Ju-287 engineers snuck onto the project.
    This actually looks like a pretty decent jet seaplane design, although the wings look small enough that takeoff and landing speeds are going to be very high. In fact, I have my doubt’s that it’s even going to get off the water without a lot of JATO boost as it’s shown here.
    The XB-51 did use JATO during tests, so maybe that was the idea:

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