Consolidated PBY Catalina

1st Flight 1935

Military Users-Argentine Naval Aviation, Royal Australian Air Force, Brazilian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Air Force, Chilean Air Force, Republic of China Air Force, Colombian Air Force, Cuban Navy, Royal Danish Air Force, Air Force of the Dominican Republic, Ecuadorian Armed Forces, Icelandic Coast Guard, Israeli Air Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Mexican Armed Forces, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Dutch Naval Aviation Service, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Nicaraguan Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Paraguayan Air Force, Peruvian Armed Forces, Armed Forces of the Philippines, South African Air Force,  Spanish Air Force, Swedish Air Force, Soviet Naval Aviation, Royal Air Force, United States Navy, United States Army Air Forces, Uruguayan Air Force.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

The Consolidated PBY Catalina is a flying boat and amphibious aircraft that was produced in the 1930s and 1940s.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

In Canadian service it was known as the Canso.

It was one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Catalinas served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces and in the air forces and navies of many other nations.

The last military PBYs served until the 1980s. As of 2014, nearly 80 years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as a water bomber (or air tanker) in aerial firefighting operations in some parts of the world. None remain in military service.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

The PBY was the most numerous aircraft of its kind, with around 3,300 aircraft built.

During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escort, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

The type operated in nearly all operational theatres of World War II.

The Catalina served with distinction and played a prominent and invaluable role in the war against the Japanese.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

These patrol planes shared with land based patrol bombers the combat roles while the very long range Consolidated LB-30 and the Consolidated Coronado were pressed into service to increase the all important logistic strategic air lift capability in the vast Pacific theater.

The pairings allowed the Catalina to take on the role of eyes of the fleets at longer ranges than the float plane scouts.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Several different flying boats were adopted by the Navy, but the PBY was the most widely used and produced.

Although slow and ungainly, Catalinas distinguished themselves in World War II.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Allied forces used them successfully in a wide variety of roles for which the aircraft was never intended.

PBYs are remembered for their rescue role, in which they saved the lives of thousands of aircrew downed over water.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Catalina airmen called their aircraft the “Cat” on combat missions and “Dumbo” in air-sea rescue service.

Consolidated PBY Catalina


Crew: 10 (pilot, co-pilot, bow turret gunner, flight engineer, radio operator, navigator, radar operator, two waist gunners and ventral gunner)

Length: 63 ft 10.875 in (19.47863 m)

Wingspan: 104 ft (32 m)

Height: 21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Wing area: 1,400 sq ft (130 m2)

Aspect ratio: 7.73

Empty weight: 20,910 lb (9,485 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 35,420 lb (16,066 kg)

Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0309

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Drag area: 43.26 ft2 (4.02 m2)

Power plant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,200 hp (890 kW) each

Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propellers

Consolidated PBY Catalina


Maximum speed: 196 mph (315 km/h, 170 kn)

Cruise speed: 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn)

Range: 2,520 mi (4,060 km, 2,190 nmi)

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Service ceiling: 15,800 ft (4,800 m)

Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s)

Lift-to-drag: 11.9

Wing loading: 25.3 lb/sq ft (124 kg/m2)

Consolidated PBY Catalina


3x .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine guns (two in nose turret, one in ventral hatch at tail)

2x .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns (one in each waist blister)

4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of bombs or depth charges; torpedo racks were also available.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

The PBY was also built at-

Boeing Canada (PB2B)
Canadian Vickers (PBV)
Naval Aircraft Factory (PBN)
Soviet Gidrosamolet Transportnii factory at Taganrog (GST)

Consolidated PBY Catalina


Consolidated PBY Catalina-David Legg

Flying Catalinas-Andrew Hendrie

PBY Catalina in detail and scale-Bert Kinzey



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