One of the most successful flying-boats to serve extensively throughout World War II and the most numerous flying-boat in aviation history, the Consolidated Model 28, designed by Isaac Laddon, originated from a US Navy requirement of late 1933. The prototype XP3Y-1, developed from the PY-1/P2Y and flown for the first time on 28 March 1935, introduced some distinctive features. Most important was the parasol wing constructed on the basis of a cantilever wing requiring no supporting structures, although in fact two small-section struts were mounted between wing and hull on each side. This deletion of the multitudinous struts and bracing wires - seemingly inseparable from flying-boat design until then - offered an immediate improvement in performance. Another new feature was the introduction of stabilising floats which retracted in flight to form the wingtips. Initial trials of the prototype left little doubt that the Navy was about to acquire a significant aircraft. PBY-1 began to enter squadron service in 1937 and by mid-1938 14 squadrons were operational.
Initial export aircraft went to Russia, where the type was built subsequently in large numbers under the designation GST. The RAF acquired a single example for evaluation in 1939 and almost immediately ordered a batch of 50, the first of many to serve with Coastal Command. The name Catalina (adopted first by the RAF) was used later by the USN for the various versions which entered service. The type was also to serve with the RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF and the air arm of the Dutch East Indies. Production as a pure flying-boat ended with the PBY-4, for the last of these was converted to an amphibian with retractable tricycle-type landing gear, under the designation XPBY-5A. Subsequent aircraft had this as standard. Used widely throughout World War II, many amphibious Catalinas remained in service for air-sea rescue for some years after the end of the war.
| ENGINE||2 x P+W "Twin Wasp", 880kW|
| Take-off weight||14700-16066 kg||32408 - 35420 lb|
| Empty weight||9485 kg||20911 lb|
| Wingspan||30.5 m||100 ft 1 in|
| Length||19.5 m||64 ft 0 in|
| Height||18.3 m||60 ft 0 in|
| Wing area||130.0 m2||1399.31 sq ft|
| Max. speed||275 km/h||171 mph|
| Cruise speed||250 km/h||155 mph|
| Ceiling||4500 m||14750 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||4100 km||2548 miles|
| ARMAMENT||5 machine-guns, 1800kg of bombs|
|A three-view drawing (856 x 848)|
|Klaatu83, klaatu83=lycos.com, 18.02.2013|
This was not the fastest or most glamorous airplane of World War II, but undoubtedly one of the most important. While other flying boats were built in dozens, or perhaps hundreds, Catalinas were built in THOUSANDS. More Catalinas were built than any other flying boat in history. They served all over the world in the Air Forces of many nations, in every sort of climactic condition, and in a wide variety of roles.
|Tom Vroom, tvroom007=charter.net, 02.12.2012|
My Dad, CMDR. Jacques Vroom flew left seat on these in the south pacific during WWII. I lost him in May of 2009 but would love to hear from anyone who may remember him. He retired in Brunswick Maine 1961. Thank you for your time.
|Ken Pratt, Wkenpratt=sbcglobal.net, 28.11.2012|
I am trying to locate an old friend to say hello and catch up.
His name is Vern Schille and his name comes up on this site when it's Googled.
Can you help me in my search.
I am a retired Aviation insurance broker and insured the old ' Canso' for my clients many years ago.
|Jon Wagner, derlogi=yahoo.com, 06.12.2011|
My mom put together Plexiglass side-blisters for PBYs at a small Consolidated sub-assembly plant, (a Willys car dealership before the war) in Anaheim, CA in 1942-3
|Jon Wagner, derlogi=yahoo.com, 06.12.2011|
"Does anyone know the diameter dimension of a PBY-5 wing strut?"
Answer as I recall:
Don't know the exact size but they were ovoid or tear- drop in shape, approx. 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" maybe 10' in length, made of seamless thin wall, approx. 1/8"-3/16" thick,chrome-moly alloy steel tubing. Many aircraft surplus stores in the LA area sold them.
They were popular as main frame rails with SoCal Hot-Rodders; some early dragsters and dry lakes machines liked them due to rigidity, strength, light weight and low price.
|Dave Pinella, dpinella=cinci.rr.com, 15.11.2011|
I guess the OA-10 is a bit different judging by the pictures. I volunteer at the National Museum of the USAF. On our OA-10, on the very front there is a corrigated covering/opening, maybe measuring 12 inches by 8 inches, maybe a bit bigger. I'm trying to figure out what this is. Can anybody shed some light on this? Thanks!!
|Art Deco, 28.10.2011|
The Naval Aircraft Factory built a modified and improved PBY which became the PBN-1. The changes were incorporated in the Consolidated-Vultee PBY-6A.
|GEOFFREY BLACKMAN, GBLACKMAN=SAN.RER.COM, 28.10.2011|
WHO BUILT THE PBY6A
|Geoffrey Blackman, gblackman=san.rr.com, 26.10.2011|
The last PBY was Pby5 I flew the 5 for the first 2 years of WW2 in the pacific. you left this out of the description the Pby5A came out later
|Jon Wagner, d, 23.09.2011|
My mom made plexiglass blisters for the PBY at a small sub assembly plant in Anaheim,CA during WW II
|Ken Berner, Mcqber=bellsouth.net, 26.07.2011|
My father and his Navy scouting squadron VP-5F, flew the PBY-3, which they picked up new at the Consolidated plant in San Diego in 1938. The squadron was based at Coco Solo N.A.S., Panama Canal Zone. I have photographs and a film of his plane (5-P-1) and a complete squadron photo.
|Reed Evans, reedbarb=tpg.com.au, 15.07.2011|
This is the first plane I ever flew in. I was in the RNZAF in 1953 and had the chance to go for a flight in one. We flew out over the sea and dropped a dye marker in and proceeded to use it for target practice. I was intrigued by the way the recoil of the guns pushed the tail around.
|Ben Beekman, bbeekman=optonline.net, 26.02.2011|
While working for Grumman Aerospace in the 1960's-1990's period my Section Chief was Tom Hine, formerly a PBY Black Cat pilot (Lt.) during WW2. There's a book in my local library written especially about these planes (titled "The Black Cats") that includes Tom's picture taken during an air evacuation of Australian troops from somewhere in New Guinea, showing him during the evacuation with his PBY. A super-great guy, Tom was in charge of the group at Grumman that designed cockpit displays and controls for the A-6, F-111, EA-6B, E-2, etc. He retired during the 1980's and returned to his home state of Connecticut. I've never witnessed such a wonderful retirement party as the one his many friends at Grumman gave for him. Held at a local restaurant near the plant, the place was just packed with people who came to honor him. We were all sad to see him go.
Does anyone out there remember Tom from those days?
|Bob wehrli, rwehrli=hotmail.com, 26.02.2011|
I flew pBY-5A aircraft for three and one half years during WWII. Early Navy service was in the South Atlantic, against German subs. Later in the war we did two tours in the central pacific against Japan.
It is difficult to exaggerate about the capabilities and performance of those planes. From countless 15-18 hour flights without even a whisper of trouble from either engine; from repeated near surface full-stall landings in angry open sea, many blind at night; from bullet holes without without a structure failure; from steep attack or evasion dives and pullouts hard enough to warp a wing and jam the wing float mechanism. A great plane!
|Lance Revell, Seadog1090=yahoo.com, 13.02.2011|
The Forestry Service in Tallahassee, Fl had a Catalina as a 'water bomber' up til sometime in the seventies, when a hurricane deposited a Cessna atop it at our airport. Both were written off as losses.
|Joe Klein, jklein1928=sbcglobal.net, 18.01.2011|
This and the Lockheed P-38 were my favorite airplanes from the time I was a kid. However, I had to settle for working on such products as the F-111 and F-16 as an adult.
You all have a great site here. Thank you!!
|Duane Kniebes, kniebesd=localnet.com, 24.11.2010|
The Air Force version of the PBY was known as the OA-10A. While as the base aerial photographer at Keesler Field in 1945 I had a chance to take photographs from the open waist blister of the aircraft. It's a great photo platform. I also took a series of photos from a PT boat of a water landing that went awry. The plane hit something in the water and slowly sunk. The three-man crew climbed out of the cockpit, walked out along the wing and stepped onto our boat. Another PT boat lassoed the tail (the only thing sticking out of the water) and towed it back to shore. I still have the series of photos that I took.
|Richard Joyce, w6vqc=verizon.net, 06.11.2010|
According to the 1941 Erection & Maintenance manual the height of the Model 28 from bottom of the hull to the top of the tail is 18' 10 5/8", Lengith is 63' 10 7/16", wing span is 104' 0"
|George Ritter, geocar_1=beyondbb.com, 29.10.2010|
I was told by an older ex-USN pilot that the Catalina was the first military aircraft to use fuel tanks in the wings, hence the large wing roots on the leading edges, and generally thick wings, therefore, leading to that concept in most military aircraft wings, thereafter. Another fact was that the flight engineer rode in the large wing root attaching the wings. Any comments on the matter.
|Rod Brooking, rodbrooking=hotmail.com, 27.10.2010|
Merlin Wagner asked about the oil capacity. There are 2 tanks, one mounted close behind each engine. Each tank has a capacity of 55 US gal/45.8 Imp Gal/208 litres.
Also Howard Rumrey said "It was the PBY that found the fleet at Midway and sank the Bismark." The latter reference is not accurate. A Catalina certainly spotted the Bismark on one of its Atlantic searches but it was disabled by a Swordfish torpedo bomber from HMS Ark Royal and finished off by other British battleships.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?