The SeaMaster had a reconnaissance range of 2083 miles. It could have played a big role in reconnaissance missions as it could also hold a massive high-altitude reconnaissance camera weighing 4,000 lbs and 27 M120 cameras. However, its main use wasn’t for reconnaissance alone.
It could hold 30,000 lbs of payload but would massively decrease the operational range of the plane from 2,000 miles down to 751. Still, it could carry a large number of mines enough to pollute the surrounding water and make it harder for submarines and other ships to navigate because of it.
Perfect Nuclear Delivery System
What really sets this apart from other flying boats is its ability to carry nuclear bombs. Indeed, it was envisioned as a strategic nuclear weapon delivery system. It could carry two MK91 bombs and another MK28 bomb, totaling 8,800lbs of nuclear bombs per bomber. On paper, it was close to being the perfect nuclear delivery system at that time.
Innovative Bomb Bay
This flying boat had an innovative bomb bay too. It could rotate on its fore or aft axis which in turn would expose the racks of explosives, letting it rain from above. The bombs and mines could even be released at 600 miles per hour, spelling doom to anyone that’s in its range.
Faster Than B-52
The fact that it could reach speeds of up to Mach 0.9 is impressive. Its maximum speed is 686 mph and its cruise speed was around 535 mph. A strategic nuclear bomber that fast at that time would have been received very well by the military.