×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Consolidated PBY Catalina


Long-Range Maritime Patrol Flying Boat


United States | 1936



"The Consolidated PBY Catalina was one of the more important flying boats for the Allies during World War 2."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Maritime aircraft play an understated - yet hugely important - role during World War 2 where their long range capabilities were put to good use. Flying boats came to pass as a peacetime development, the earliest forms appearing prior to World War 1 (1914-1918) and this allowed their use as military platforms during the war proper. Their continued evolution, with appropriate tactics and doctrine soon fleshed out, led to ever-more impressive designs soon taking shape - particularly those designs emerging from Britain and the United States. With the arrival of the Second World War, the role of the flying boat was broadened considerably and now included overwater patrolling, reconnaissance, Search and Rescue (SAR), submarine hunting, and anti-shipping service carrying varied ordnance such as bombs, torpedoes and mines.

The PBY Catalina series became one of the more important of the American flying boats to see service in World War 2. The aircraft was designed, developed, and produced under the Consolidated Aircraft Company brand label in the United States and soon appeared as local, licensed products in other countries. Its reach also benefited through the Lend-Lease initiative which ensured the aircraft was stocked in foreign inventories during the war.

At its core, the PBY Catalina was a high-winged, twin-engined aircraft, classified as a flying boat for its boat-like/aircraft-like qualities allowingit to land on water or a prepared runway. The Catalina was crewed by seven to nine personnel that included pilots, engineers, bombardiers, and machine gunners - the total crew complement varied by variant. In prototype form, the PBY first flew on March 28, 1935 and beat out a competing Douglas Aircraft product in competition. Production models were accepted as "PBY-1" in October of 1936 (with the USN).

The wartime period would see a variety of engines fitted, revision of the defensive and offensive armament, and ever-expanding roles for the aircraft line. Tricycle landing gear tests on late PBY-4s would yield the truly amphibious PBY-5 and PBY-5A series models. Production of the PBY series would be undertaken by Consolidated in the United States, Canadian Vickers and Boeing of Canada in Canada (620 examples), and state factories in the Soviet Union (24 examples) under the Lend-Lease Act. In all, 3,305 PBY Catalina-based systems would be produced with 2,661 coming from American factories alone. The Soviets designated their Catalinas as "GST" (PBY-5) while Britain used the "Catalina Mk" identifier from marks I to VI.

The flying boats would go on to serve a critical role int he war particularly as the war was fought over such varied terrain types including long stretches of ocean and sea. Catalinas were in service until 1979 before being retired by the Brazilian Navy. French Catalinas were in operational service in Indochina for a time. Other operators included Australia, Chile, and Taiwan.

Many went on to have post-war careers in both military and civilian service. Still others soldiered on as fire-fighting platforms.

The PBY-5A featured a crew of ten. Its power came from 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 "Twin Wasp" radial piston engines outputting at 1,200 horsepower each. The engines were fitted along the wing leading edges which allowed for clearance against the punishing salty sea air. Performance included a maximum speed of 195 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 125 mph, a range out to 2,520 miles, a service ceiling of 15,800 feet, and a rate-of-climb of 1,000 feet per minute. Standard armament were 3 x 0.30 caliber machine guns (two fitted at the nose and the third at a ventral tail position) and 2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns (one at each beam position). Bomb load was up to 4,000 lb of stores - conventional drop bombs, torpedoes, or depth charges being typical.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
[ Tap Anywhere to Close ]
Image container
[ Tap Anywhere to Close ]
Cockpit
While traditional jobs involve workstations, office desks, or cubicles, aircraft provide operators with their own unique, ever-changing view of the world below.
Cockpit image
[ Click to Enlarge ]
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Long-Range Maritime Patrol Flying Boat.
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 14-cylinder "Twin Wasp" air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,200 horsepower each.
Propulsion
179 mph
288 kph | 156 kts
Max Speed
14,698 ft
4,480 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
2,545 miles
4,095 km | 2,211 nm
Operational Range
526 ft/min
160 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Long-Range Maritime Patrol Flying Boat.
10
(MANNED)
Crew
63.8 ft
19.45 m
O/A Length
104.0 ft
(31.70 m)
O/A Width
20.2 ft
(6.15 m)
O/A Height
20,911 lb
(9,485 kg)
Empty Weight
35,422 lb
(16,067 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Consolidated PBY Catalina Long-Range Maritime Patrol Flying Boat .
STANDARD:
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in bow turret
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in fuselage blisters (one each side).
1 x 7.62mm machine gun in ventral tunnel section.

OPTIONAL:
Bombload of up to 4,000lb that includes 2 x torpedoes, bombs, depth charges or anti-ship mines.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Consolidated PBY Catalina family line.
PBY Catalina - Base Series Name
Model 28 - Base Prototype Model Designation
XP3Y-1 - Prototype Model Designation
PBY-1 - Initial Production Model featuring improved and more powerful R-1830-64 900hp engines; 60 produced.
PBY-2 - Modified United States Navy Model of which 50 were produced.
PBY-3 - Fitted with R-1830-66 1,000hp engines of which 66 were produced.
PBY-4 - Integrated the recognizable fuselage "blister" gun positions; name "Catalina" is utilized for the series; fitted with R-1830-72 1,050hp radial engines of which 33 produced.
PBY-5 - R-1830-82 or R-1830-92 radial engines capable of 1,200hp; export version for UK, Dutch East Indies, Australia and Canada; Tricycle landing gear testing implemented and integrated to final PBY-5 production models making the system completely amphibious; general improvements throughout.
PBY-5A - Full Amphibious Variant of which 761 were produced.
PBY-5B - Improved Amphibious Model
Mk I - RAF Coastal Command Designation of the PBY-5 model series.
Canso - Canadian designation of the PBY-5 model series as produced by Canadian Vickers and Boeing of Canada.
PBN-1 "Nomad" - Naval Aircraft Factory production model with taller fin and rudder systems; model supplied to the USSR; aerodynamic and hydrodynamic improvements to airframe.
PBY-6A - "Amphibians" with search radar installed.
OA-10B - United States Air Force Designation of the PBY-6A Catalina amphibians.
GST - Model Designation of PBY series as produced by the USSR; unknown production numbers.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Consolidated PBY Catalina. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 3,305 Units

Contractor(s): Consolidated; Boeing - USA / GST - Soviet Union / Royal Aircraft - UK / Canadian Vickers - Canada
National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of Chile National flag of China National flag of Colombia National flag of Cuba National flag of Denmark National flag of the Dominican Republic National flag of Ecuador National flag of France National flag of Iceland National flag of Israel National flag of modern Japan National flag of Mexico National flag of the Netherlands National flag of New Zealand National flag of Norway National flag of Peru National flag of the Philippines National flag of South Africa National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sweden National flag of Taiwan National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States National flag of Uruguay

[ Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China (Taiwan); Colombia; Cuba; Denmark; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; France; Iceland; Israel; Japan (post-WW2); Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Philippines; South Africa; Sweden; Soviet Union; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (179mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
3305
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
3 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
4 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
5 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
6 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
7 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
8 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
9 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
10 / 10
Image of the Consolidated PBY Catalina
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE
MARITIME / NAVY
COMMERCIAL AVIATION
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Consolidated PBY Catalina Long-Range Maritime Patrol Flying Boat appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)