PBY Catalina

Without a doubt one of the more versatile combat aircraft employed by any nation during World War II, Consolidated's Catalina was first flown as early as 1935, yet would remain in US service for years after the war. The type was procured as a replacement for Consolidated's own P2Y.


PBY-2: .50-caliber machine guns in waist positions; able to carry 1,000lb stores underwing.

PBY-3: R-1830-66 engines rated at 1,000hp.

PBY-4: Waist gunner positions replaced by large blisters.

PBY-5: R-1930-92 engines.

PBY-5A: First amphibian version.

PBY-5B / Catalina Mk.IA: Flying boat version for the RAF.

Catalina Mk.IVA: With British ASV Mk.II radar set.

PBV-1A: Canadian-built; to USAAF as OA-10s.

PB2B-1/Catalina Mk.IVB: Boeing-built aircraft for Commonwealth units.

PBN-1 Nomad: Thoroughly redesigned variant built by the Naval Aircraft Factory, with a completely revised hull, better electrical system, more fuel, and a taller tail. Virtually all transferred to the USSR.

PBY-6A/OA-10B: Consolidated-built Nomad. 

PBY Catalina walkaround

PBY Catalina walkaround engine

PBY Catalina gun blister


Catalina Bibliography:

Photo: In-flight shot of PBY NC18997 of American Export Airlines. Popular Aviation July 1939 p.13 

Photo: PBY NC777 Guba II. Popular Aviation July 1939  p.26

Photo: PBYs of VP-12 on the ramp. Flying March 1941 p.41 

Marsh W. Miller, Jr.  "Ferry Hop"  Story of a trans-Pacific deployment by VP-26 Catalinas.  Flying May 1941

"Friend or Foe?" Catalina vs Dornier Do 24 Flight December 18, 1941

A nice color photo of a PBY-5 being washed down. Flying January 1942  p.49

"Their Characteristics - Catalina" Basic recognition 3-view. Flight October 1, 1942 p.6

"Australia's Inland Flying Boat Base" Flight October 12, 1944. Includes several photos of Catalinas undergoing maintenance.

Photo: USCG PBY being fitted with an underwing lifeboat. Flying March 1953 p.92-93

Photo: Japanese MSDF PBY-6A Flight 9 November 1956 p.754

Photo: Last RCAF Canso  Air Pictorial September 1962  p.301

Color profiles, including Danish and USN PBY-6As, USAF OA-10, RNZAF PB2B-1, and an RAAF PBY-5. Air International September 1982  p.142

Roy Nesbit "Arctic Venture" Aeroplane Monthly May 1986. RAF 210 Squadron Arctic operations with the Catalina.

"Catalina Catastrophe" Aeroplane July 1986  p.386.  Accident involving PBY-5A C-FOWE

Capt. L.R. Ambrose "Qantas Cat Ops, Pt.3" Aeroplane Monthly January 1987.  Photos include G-AGKS Spica Star, G-AGIE Antares Star, G-AGFM Altair Star, and G-AGFL Vega Star.

Photo: "Gander's Cat"  Canso C-FCRP.  FlyPast April 1998  p.15

"Greenpeace 'Cat" Flies In"  FlyPast November 1998  p.6   PBY-5A BuNo 48423/N423RS

Photo: PBY-6As (ex NAS Adak) 63994/N9574C, 64033/N9969C  Warbirds International Jan/Feb 2000 p.56