World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
United States' flag United States' Army Air Corps aircraft marking

United States' Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
Nickname: Cat

Photos

  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk I flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk I flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk IB flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk II flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk II flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk IIIA flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk IVB flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina Mk IVB flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY 5 Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY 5 Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat

Design

Consolidated and Douglas were asked by the United States Navy to design a replacement for the Martin P3M and Consolidated P2Y. Douglas didn't finish their design in time so the Consolidated was selected.

The Catalina used a tricycle landing gear. The front wheel retracted into the hull and the other two moved up into wheel wells that were exposed.

Sometimes to assist in takeoffs, rockets were strapped on.

The hull of the Catalina was located in the center of the plane with floats near the tips of the wings, which when retracted would form the tips of the wings.

Crew

On some long missions the crew would have to man the Catalina for 20 hours.

Beam Position

The first models of the PBY Catalina had sliding hatches for the beam gunners. From the PBY-4 on these were replaced by transparent blisters.

Prototype

The XP3Y-1 prototype first flew on March 28, 1935. It had two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-58 (825 HP) engines. An order was placed for 60 on June 29, 1935.

The prototype Catalina flew from Coco Solo / Panama Canal to San Francisco, 3,300 miles / 3,500 miles / 5,633 km, non-stop in October 1935.

Production

The Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia produced the PBN-1 Nomad.

  • Consolidated XP3Y-1: 1
  • Consolidated PBY-1: 60
  • Consolidated PBY-2: 50
  • Consolidated PBY-3: 66
  • Consolidated PBY-4: 32
  • Consolidated PBY-5A: 761
    • Manufacturer: Consolidated Aircraft Corporation
  • Consolidated PBY-6A: 235
    • Production: ? - April 1945
  • PBN-1 Nomad: 156
    • Manufacturer: Naval Aircraft Factory
  • Total: 3,290
    • Manufacturer: Consolidated (2,398), Boeing Canada, Canadian Vickers, and the Naval Aircraft Factory (892)
    • Production: 1936 - April 1945
  • GST: 150 , 1,000
    • License built by the Soviet Union

Variants

  • Consolidated XP3Y-1: Prototype. Had two Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp (825 HP).
  • Consolidated PBY-1: First production model. Entered service in October 1936. Had Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64 engines.
  • Consolidated PBY-2: Went into service in 1937-1938.
  • Consolidated PBY-3: Went into service in 1937-1938.
  • Consolidated PBY-4: Went into service in 1938. Had Pratt & Whitney R-1830-72 (1,050 HP) radial engines. Blisters were added over the beam gunner positions.
  • Consolidated PBY-5, Catalina Mk I: Had new fin. Outfitted with the Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 radial engines. Appeared in 1940.
  • Consolidated PBY-5A: Amphibian version. First flown in November 1939. Were first delivered in December 1941.
  • Consolidated PBY-6A: Had a taller fin and rudder. In a fairing above the cockpit a search radar was installed. 48 delivered to Soviet Union.
  • PB2B-1: Built by Boeing Canada.
  • PB2B-2: Built by Boeing Canada.
  • PBN-1 Nomad: Built by Naval Aircraft Factory. Had improved hull and tip floats. 138 were sent to the Soviet Union.
  • OA-10: United States Air Force's air-sea rescue craft.
  • OB-10B: United States Air Force's version of the PBY-6A. 75 delivered.
  • Canso: Canadian constructed PBY.
  • GST: Soviet produced version. Had two Mikulin M-87 radial engines (900 HP). First appeared in 1940.

Usage

Catalinas were used by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Holland, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Soviet Union, and United States.

During the 1930s civilians used the PBYs for exploration in New Guinea and the Indian Ocean.

First Use

The PBY-1s were first assigned to the United States Navy VP-11F in October 1936.

By the end of 1941 there were 16 United States Navy squadrons outfitted with the PBY-5s and five with previous versions of the PBY.

112 PBY-6As were delivered to the United States Navy.

Foreign Orders

Once World War II started Australia, Britain, Canada, and Holland ordered Catalinas.

Bismarck

A Catalina spotted the Bismarck after it had eluded the Royal Navy.

Black Cats Squadron

During night actions against Japanese ships, the Black Cats not only dropped bombs and depth charges, but also empty beer bottles that made frightening whistles on their descent.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom ordered 685 PBY-4s and PBY-5s. Many of these were delivered to Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Soviet Union

In 1938 the Soviet Union purchased three PBY-3s along with a license to build them. They were operational until the 1950s.

The Soviet Union received 48 PBY-6As.

After World War II

The Catalina remained operational until the 1960s.

Specifications

  Consolidated PBY Catalina
Type Maritime patrol flying boat
Crew 7 - 9
Armament 5: 0.3" MG
OR 5: 0.5" MG
Bombs, depth charges, or mines 4,000 lb
1,814 kg
  Consolidated PBY-2 Catalina
Type Patrol bomber
Crew 7 - 9
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64
Cylinders Radial
HP 900 each
Dimensions  
Span 104'
31.69 m
Length 65' 10"
20.07 m
Height 18' 6"
5.64 m
Wing area 1,400 ft2
130 m2
Weight  
Empty 14,668 lb
6,653 kg
Loaded 28,400 lb
12,882 kg
Performance  
Speed at 8,000' / 2,438 m 178 mph
286 kph
Climb 830'/minute
253 m/minute
Service ceiling 20,800'
6,340 m
Range 2,110 miles
3,396 km
Armament 2: 12.7 mm MG
2: 7.62 mm MG
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina
Type Long range patrol
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp
2: Pratt & Whitney Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 104'
31.7 m
Length 63' 10", 65' 1"
19.46 m
Height 18' 6", 18' 10"
5.74 m
Weight  
Loaded 27,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 190 mph, 196 mph
315 kph
Cruising speed 117 mph
188 kph
Climb 690'/minute
210 m/minute
Service ceiling 18,100'
5,517 m
Range 3,100 miles, 4,000 miles
4,989 km
Armament  
Beam position 2: Browning MG
  Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina
Type Long-range maritime patrol bomber, Reconnaissance
Crew 7 - 9
Bomber / observer, pilots (2), radio operator, navigator, gunner / observer (2)
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp piston
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 104'
31.7 m
Length 63' 10", 63' 10.5"
19.45 m, 19.47 m
Height 20' 2"
6.15 m
Wing area 1,400 sq ft
130.06 sq m
Weight  
Empty 20,910 lb, 21,000 lb
9,485 kg
Loaded 35,420 lb
16,066 kg, 16,067 kg
Performance  
Speed at 6,500' / 2,135 m 175 mph, 179 mph
288 kph
Speed at 7,000' 175 mph
Climb to 10,000' / 3,050 m 19 minutes 18 seconds
Service ceiling 14,700', 18,100'
4,480 m
Range 2,350 miles, 3,045 miles
4,900 km
Armament 5: MG
Bow 2: 7.62 mm MG
Hull step, firing aft 7.62 mm MG
Beam position 2: 12.7 mm MG
Bombs or depth charges 4,000 lb
1,814 kg
Bombs 4,000 lb

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site