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Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina

Walter Colvin

Showlow, United States

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Artist's Description

3d Fine art render of PBY-5A Catalina. Post work done with Photoshop.

From its introduction to U.S. Naval Service in the mid-1930s through its international military use in the 1970s and to the retirement of the last civilian fire-bomber in the late 1990s, the Consolidated PBY Catalina has served a distinguished career as one of the most rugged and vestal aircraft in U.S History.
About 3,300 PBYs were produced as some are still flying today in various capacities such as flying geological surveys, transports, flying outdoor adventures into virgin wilderness area for hunting and fishing and until just recently in fighting wildfires.
The origin of the PBY started in 1933 when the U.S. Navy began a program to replace the Consolidated P2Y and the Martin P3M with a new patrol-bomber flying boat capable of extended range and with a greater load capacity.
The U.S. Navy contracted Consolidated and Douglas to build competiting prototypes. These prototypes were designated the XP3Y-1 and the XP3YD-1 respectivley but only one prototype of the Douglas design was built. Consolidated’s XP3Y-1, however, was destined to become the most extensively built flying boat in aviation history.

Aircraft Specifications
Engines: 2× Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW each) each
Height: 20 ft 2 in (6.15 m)
Length: 63 ft 10 in (19.46 m)
Wing Span: 104 ft 0 in (31.70 m)
Wing area: 1,400 ft² (130 m²)
Range: 2,520 mi (4,030 km)
Service Ceiling: 15,800 ft (4,000 m)
Max Speed: 196 mph (314 km/h)
Cruise speed: 125 mph (201 km/h)
Max Take Off Weight: 35,420 lb (16,066 kg)
Standard Empty Weight: 20,910 lb (9,485 kg)
Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
Wing loading: 25.3 lb/ft² (123.6 kg/m²)
Floats lowering max speed: 130 Knots
VNE (velocity never exceed): 173 Knots
VLO (velocitygear operation): 139 Knots
VLE (max gearextended speed): 122 Knots
VS (stalling speed): 63.5 knots
VMCA (min single-engine control): 85 Knots
VX (best angle-of-climb): 65 Knots
VY (best rate-of-climb): 90 Knots (2 Knots per 1000 feet)


  • 3× .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine guns (two in nose turret, one in ventral hatch at tail)
  • 2× .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

Artwork Comments

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