Consolidated PBY-1 Catalina Flying Boat

The PBY-1 was the first production version of the Consolidated Catalina, which would be produced in far larger numbers than any other flying boat (and possible in greater numbers than every other type of flying boat combined!).

The PBY-1 was essentially identical to the final version of the XP3Y-1, using the third of three rudder designs, which featured a rounded rear edge to the rudder in place of the straight edges used on the earlier designs.

Consolidated PBY-1 Catalina of VP-11
Consolidated PBY-1 Catalina of VP-11

The US Navy ordered sixty PBY-1s on 29 June 1935. Deliveries began in October 1936, and the first aircraft were given to patrol squadron VP-11 at San Diego. Next in line was VP-12, which became famous for flying its new aircraft direct from San Diego to Pearl Harbor on 27-28 January 1937, after a flight of 21 hours and 48 minutes.

The PBY-1 was armed with four machine guns, one in a nose turret, one in a tunnel position below the tail and one in each waist position, behind sliding windows. At first all four of these guns were .30in machine guns, but the waist guns were quickly replaced with .50in guns.

The PBY-1 was used in the patrol squadrons until 1941, when the survivors were transferred to training or utility squadrons, and the last PBY-1 was officially moved on 25 November 1941. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at least three were returned to operations to replace aircraft lost in the attack, but this was a short lived reprieve. Most of the surviving PBY-1s were then used as training aircraft throughout the war. The last example was removed from the Navy list of active aircraft on 31 January 1945. 

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64
Power: 850hp
Gross takeoff weight: 20,671lb
Top Speed: 183 mph
Ceiling: 23,600 feet
Payload: two 1,525lb or 2,000lb torpedoes
or four 325lb depth charges
or four 1,000lb bombs

US Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Pacific War, Louis B Dorny Osprey Combat Aircraft 62. This entry in the Combat Aircraft series looks at the varied uses of the Catalina in the Pacific theatre, where it served as successfully as a long range reconnaissance aircraft, a night bomber (the "Black Cat") and on air-sea rescue, or Dumbo duties. The text is well supported with first hand accounts, contemporary photographs and full colour illustrations. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 August 2008), Consolidated PBY-1 Catalina Flying Boat , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_PBY-1_catalina.html

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