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Pioneer Air Lines Martin 2-0-2 Pacemaster

Model ID#:
Continental Airlines
Model Scale:


historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1952

SKU: Model-0191 Categories: ,

Additional Information:

The Martin 2-0-2 was a twin piston-engine fixed-wing airliner designed and built by the Glenn L. Martin Company and introduced in 1947. Glenn L. Martin, president of the company, determined that the Model 2-0-2 would be a replacement for the successful Douglas DC-3 and was also known as the “Martin Executive”. The first flight of the aircraft was in November of 1946 and full civilian certification was granted in August of 1947. The total production of the 2-0-2s and 2-0-2As was 47 aircraft. Although the aircraft was not pressurized it was still considered a long-range airliner. The Martin 2-0-2 was the first in a series larger aircraft to replace the Douglas DC-3 and compete against the Convair Model 240 series of planes.

TWA and Northwest, initial customers of the 2-0-2, eventually sold their aircraft to California Central and Pioneer Airlines. The airliner was eventually developed into the Martin 4-0-4, which was more successful model.

Pioneer Air Lines was established in 1939 under the name Essair Airways and based in Houston, Texas. The name was changed to Pioneer in 1946 and the carrier flew routes within the state of Texas. Service was expanded into New Mexico on May 1, 1948 with a route from Albuquerque to Dallas stopping at Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Tucumcari, and Clovis, New Mexico as well at Lubbock, Abilene, Mineral Wells, and Fort Worth, Texas. Pioneer had a U. S. air mail contract designated as mail route 64 and the carrier used 21-seat Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

In 1952, Pioneer introduced a larger and faster aircraft, the 36-seat Martin 2-0-2, known as the “Pacemaster”, but due to losses incurred from operating the larger planes, reverted back to DC-3’s in late 1953. The carrier tried to reintroduce some of the 2-0-2’s by late 1954 but as Pioneer was classified as a “local service” carrier by the U.S. government, it was not allowed to operate larger aircraft or would face losing their mail contract which was the primary source of income for airlines at that time. On April 1, 1955 Pioneer merged with Continental Airlines giving Continental the route authority from Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Clovis to Dallas.

Pioneer Air Lines began flying the Martin 2-0-2 in 1952 on their Albuquerque to Dallas route, making several stops and replacing the former DC-3’s. Two of the Pioneer Martin 2-0-2 aircraft to land in Albuquerque were identified as NC93014 and N93055.

A Pioneer Martin 2-0-2 is seen parked at the old Albuquerque Municipal Airport terminal.