The Consolidated PBY Catalina

Development














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Development and Specifications Page 2

Associated reading

 
 
 
...To start at the begining
 
The PBY was the most successful aircraft of its kind; no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s. Even today, over seventy years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as an airtanker in aerial firefighting operations all over the world.

The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It could be equipped with depth charges, bombs, torpedoes, and .50 Browning machineguns and was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. PBYs served with every branch of the US military and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. In the United States Army Air Forces and later in the USAF their designation was the OA-10, while Canadian-built PBYs were known as Cansos.

In World War II, PBYs were used as anti-submarine warfare aircraft, patrol bombers, convoy escorts, search and rescue aircraft, and transports.

In the acronym PBY, "PB" stands for "Patrol Bomber", and "Y" is the code for "Consolidated Aircraft", as designated in the 1922 United States Navy aircraft designation system.

The PBY was originally designed to be a patrol bomber, an aircraft with a long operational range intended to locate and attack enemy transport ships at sea in order to compromise enemy supply lines. With a mind to a potential conflict in the Pacific Ocean, where troops would require resupply over great distances, the U.S. Navy in the 1930s invested millions of dollars in developing long-range flying boats for this purpose. Flying boats had the advantage of not requiring runways to take off and land, in effect having the entire ocean available as its runway. Several different flying boats were adopted by the Navy, but the PBY was the most widely used and produced.

Although slow and ungainly, PBYs distinguished themselves in World War II as exceptionally reliable. Allied armed forces used them successfully in a wide variety of roles that the aircraft was never intended for. They are remembered by many veterans of the war for their role in rescuing downed airmen, in which they saved the lives of thousands of aircrew shot down over the Pacific Ocean. PBY airmen called their aircraft the "cat" on combat missions and "Dumbo" in air-sea rescue service.

 
 
Manufacturers:
The Consolidated Aircraft Corp., San Diego, California, USA
(In 1941, became The Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corp.)
(In 1943, named changed to Convair Aircraft Corp.)
Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Boeing Aircraft of Canada Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
(In 1944, became Canadair Ltd.)
 
Model: Model 28
 
Designations: PBY; A-10, OA-10, PBN, PBV, PB2B, PB3Y, P3Y
 
 
Names: 

Cat; Mad Cat (When outfitted with Magnetic Anomaly Detection Gear); Black Cat (Night Variant); Pig Boat; P-Boat; Y-Boat (Dutch Navy nickname);Canso/Canso A (Canadian designation); Nomad (Initial "PBN-1" designation of the PBY-6A); Mop (NATO designation for Soviet Lend-Lease PBYs).

First official flight: (XP3Y-1) 15/03/1935
 
Factory production period: 1934 - 1945
 
Primary service period: 1936 - 1948
 
Last official Military flight: (PBY-6A) 03/01/1957

na002383.jpg

 
Variants
XP3Y-1
Prototype Model 28 flying boat later re-designated XBPY-1, one built (USN Bureau No. 9459). Later fitted with a 48-foot diameter ring to sweep magnetic mines. A 550-HP Ranger engine drove a generator to produce a magnetic field.
 
XBPY-1
Prototype version of the Model 28 for the United States Navy, a re-engined XP3Y-1 with two 900hp R-1830-64 engines, one built.
 
PBY-1 (Model 28-1)
Initial production variant with two 900hp R-1830-64 engines, 60 built.
 
PBY-2 (Model 28-2)
Equipment changes and improved performance, 50 built.
 
PBY-3 (Model 28-3)
Powered by two 1000hp R-1830-66 engines, 66 built.
 
PBY-4 (Model 28-4)
Powered by two 1050hp R-1830-72 engines, 33 built (including one initial as a XBPY-4 which later became the XBPY-5A).
 
PBY-5 (Model 28-5)
Either two 1200hp R-1830-82 or -92 engines and provision for extra fuel tanks, 683 built (plus one built at New Orleans), some aircraft to the RAF as the Catalina IVA and one to the United States Coast Guard. The PBY-5 was also built in the Soviet Union as the GST.
 
XPBY-5
One PBY-4 converted into an amphibian and first flown in November 1939.
 
PBY-5A (Model 28-5A)
Amphibious version of the PBY-5 with two 1200hp R-1830-92 engines, first batch (of 124) had one 0.3in bow gun the remainder had two bow guns. 803 built including diversions to the United States Army Air Corps, the RAF (as the Catalina IIIA) and one to the United States Coast Guard.
 
PBY-6A
Amphibious version with two 1200hp R-1830-92 engines and a taller fin and rudder. Radar scanner fitted above cockpit and two 0.5 in nose guns. 175 built including 21 transferred to the Soviet Navy.
 
PBY-6AG
One PBY-6A used by the United States Coast Guard as a staff transport.
 
PB2B-1
Boeing Canada built version of the PBY-5, 165 built most supplied to the RAF and RNZAF as the Catalina IVB.
 
PB2B-2
Boeing Canada built version of the PBY-5 but having a taller fin of the PBN-1, 67 built most supplied to the RAF as the Catalina VI.
 
PBN-1
Naval Aircraft Factory built version of the PBY-5 with major modification including a 2ft bow extension, re-designed wingtip floats and tail surfaces and a revised electrical system. 155 built for delivery to the RAF as the Catalina V although 138 were loaned to the Soviet Navy.
 
PBV-1A
Canadian Vickers built version of the PBY-5A, 380 built including 150 to the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Canso-A and the rest to the USAAF as the OA-10A.
 
OA-10
PBY-5A transferred to the United States Army Air Corps, 58 aircraft survivors re-designated A-10 in 1948.
 
OA-10A
Canadian Vickers built version of the PBV-1, survivors re-designated A-10A in 1948. Three additional aircraft from Navy in 1949 as A-10As.
 
OA-10B
Former PBY-6As transferred to the USAAC, 75 aircraft re-designated A-10B in 1948.
 
Catalina I
Direct purchase aircraft for the Royal Air Force, same as the PBY-5 with six 0.303in guns (one in bow, four in beam blisters and one aft of the hull step) and powered by two 1200hp R-1830-S1C3-G engines, 109 built.
 
Catalina IA
Operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Canso, 14 built.
 
Catalina IB
Lend-lease PBY-5Bs for the RAF, 225 aircraft built.
 
Catalina II
Equipment changes, six built.
 
Catalina IIA
Vickers-Canada built Catalina II for the RAF, 50 built.
 
Catalina IIIA
Former US Navy PBY-5As used by the RAF on the North Atlantic Ferry Service, 12 aircraft.
 
Catalina IVA
Lend-lease PBY-5s for the RAF, 93 aircraft.
 
Catalina IVB
Lend-lease PB2B-1s for the RAF, some to the Royal Australian Air Force.
 
Catalina VI
Lend-lease PB2B-2s for the RAF, some to the RAAF.
 
GST
Soviet built version of the PBY-5.

 
 
 
Steward-Davis Inc.
Steward-Davis Inc. was founded in 1946 by Herb Steward and Stanley Davis at Compton
Airport, California. They were one of many such innovative companies to come to life in the
post-WW2 era specializing in aircraft conversions and aeronautical developments.

CONSOLIDATED PBY-5A CATALINA

SUPER CATALINA
Modifications: Standard Catalina with 1,900hp Wright Cyclone R-2600 engine upgrade,
larger squared tail, faired over nose, prop-spinners, wheel hub covers,
air-stairs, under-wing dinghies. PBY-6A conversions retained their original
tails and weren't modified to the squared-tip design.

N-number

Serial number

Remarks

N19Q

BuNo.34030

-

N2763A

BuNo.21232

Super Catalina prototype?

N2886D

BuNo.64034

PBY-6A.

N2887D

BuNo.64098

PBY-6A.

N31235

BuNo.48426

-

N4760C

BuNo.33993

-

N4936V

BuNo.48343

-

N5584V

BuNo.46482

-

N6453C

BuNo.64041

PBY-6A.

N9505C

BuNo.34027

-

C-FJMS

BuNo.48287

Converted by Timmins Aviation, Canada.

C-FMIR

BuNo.46633

Converted by Timmins Aviation, Canada as Super Canso S/C 1000.

C-FNJD

(RCAF) 11060

Converted by Fairy Canada Ltd.

N6108

(RCAF) 9793

S-D owned and flyable, sold not converted.

N5586V

BuNo.46575

S-D owned, not converted, derelict '66.

N5587V

BuNo.46591

S-D owned, not converted, derelict '67.

N5589V

BuNo.48371

S-D owned, not converted, derelict '67.

N5592V

BuNo.48402

S-D owned, not converted, derelict.

N68623

BuNo.48281

S-D owned, not converted, derelict '68.

N5595V

BuNo.46629

at S-D, not converted, derelict '67.

N74821

BuNo.48334

at S-D, not converted, derelict '63.

n/a

BuNo.48407

at S-D, not converted, derelict '67.

n/a

unidentified

at S-D, not converted, derelict '67.