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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Consolidated PBY Catalina

(Variants / Other Names: See History below.)

(Photo source unknown. Please contact us if you deserve credit.)

History: From its introduction to U.S. Naval service in 1936, through its continued international military use into the 1970's, to the recent retirement of the last civilian fire-bomber, the Consolidated PBY Catalina has served a distinguished career as one of the most rugged and versatile aircraft in U.S. history. It was created in response to the U.S. Navy's 1933 request for a prototype to replace the Consolidated P2Y and the Martin P3M with a new patrol-bomber flying boat with extended range and greater load capacity.

The Catalina was created under the guidance of the brilliant aero-engineer Isaac Macklin Laddon. The new design introduced internal wing bracing, which greatly reduced the need for drag-producing struts and bracing wires. A significant improvement over its predecessors, it had a range of 2,545 miles, and a maximum take-off weight of 35,420 lbs. In 1939 the Navy considered discontinuing its use in favor of proposed replacements. The Catalina remained in production, however, because of massive orders placed by Britain, Canada, Australia, France, and the Netherlands. These countries desperately needed reliable patrol planes in their eleventh-hour preparations for WW II. Far from replacing the PBY, the Navy placed its largest single order since WW I for an aircraft.

Over the years, numerous improvements were made to the design, and many variants were produced under license by several different companies. An amphibious version, the PBY-5A, was developed in 1939, through the addition of a retractable tricycle undercarriage. The PBY-6A featured hydrodynamic improvements designed by the Naval Aircraft Factory. The Soviet Union produced a license-built version for their Navy called the GST and powered by Mikulin M-62 radial engines. Boeing Aircraft of Canada built the PB2B-1 and PB2B-2 ("Canso"), and a derivative of the PBY-5A called the PBV-1A was built by Canadian Vickers. In US Army Air Force service, the aircraft was known as the OA-10A (PBY-5A) and OA-10B (PBY-6A). The Royal Air Force's Coastal Command flew Catalinas under the designations Catalina Mk I/II/III/IV. The Naval Aircraft Factory built a similar-looking version called the PBN-1 Nomad that can rightly be called a different aircraft, so extensive were the changes.

A total of approximately 4000 Catalinas and variants were built between 1936 and 1945. Because of their worldwide popularity, there was scarcely a maritime battle in WW II in which they were not involved. The PBY had its vulnerabilities: it was slow, with a maximum speed of 179 mph, and with no crew armor or self-sealing tanks, it was highly vulnerable to anti-aircraft attack. However it was these weaknesses, coincident with the development of effective radar, and Japanese reliance on night transport, which led to the development of the "Black Cat Squadrons." These crews performed nighttime search and attack missions in their black-painted PBYs. The tactics were spectacularly successful and seriously disrupted the flow of supplies and personnel to Japanese island bases. The Catalinas also proved effective in search and rescue missions, code-named "Dumbo." Small detachments (normally of three PBYs) routinely orbited on stand-by near targeted combat areas. One detachment based in the Solomon islands rescued 161 airmen between January 1 and August 15, 1943, and successes increased steadily as equipment and tactics improved. After WWII, the PBY continued its search and rescue service in many Central and South American countries, as well as in Denmark, until the 1970's.

The Catalina has also proved useful in civilian service: in scheduled passenger flights in Alaska and the Caribbean, in geophysical survey, and mostly, in fire-bombing for the U.S. Forest Service until the retirement of the last PBY in the early 1980s. Through its long and varied service, the Consolidated PBY Catalina and its numerous variants have earned their reputation as a workhorse of naval aviation.

NIcknames: 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); Mop (NATO designation for Soviet Lend-Lease PBYs).

Specifications (PBY-5A):
        Engines: Two 1,200-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp radial piston engines
        Weight: Empty 20,910 lbs., Max Takeoff 35,420 lbs.
        Wing Span: 104ft. 0in.
        Length: 63ft. 10.5in.
        Height: 20ft. 2in.
            Maximum Speed: 179 mph
            Long-Range Cruising Speed: 117 mph
            Ceiling: 14,700 ft.
            Range: 2,545 miles
            Five 7.62-mm (0.3-inch) machine guns
            Up to 4,000 pounds of bombs or depth charges

Number Built: ~4,000

Number Still Airworthy: ~30

PBY Catalina Pilot Report by J.B. Stokely.

Canso (PBY-5A) Catalina Close-up Photos
Classic Wings
magazine: "Kiwi Catalina" article
"Four Days in a Cat" -- Article by Chuck Ellsworth
HARS Black Cat (PBY-6A)
Lake Superior Detachment 101 Catalina restoration
Marc Commandeur's PBY Catalina Pages
Neptune Association, Netherlands
Norsk Luftartsmuseum PBY-5A Catalina
PBY Catalinas for Sale
PBY-5A Catalina N287
PBY Catalina Foundation
PBYFlightTraining.com -- PBY training and ferry services
PBY Memorial Foundation
Super Catalina Restoration



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All text and photos Copyright 2016 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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