The Consolidated PBY-2 was the second production version of the Catalina flying boat, and was very similar to the PBY-1. Fifty PBY-2s were ordered on 25 July 1936 (before the delivery of the first PBY-1s). The new aircraft were delivered between June 1937 and January 1938
The main change on the PBY-2 was the design of the tail assembly. The PBY-1 had two piece horizontal stabilizers, with a V-section cut out in the centre to allow the rudder to move from side to side. In contrast the PBY-2 had solid horizontal stabilizers with inset elevators, while a slot was cut out of the rudder to allow it to move.
The PBY-2 was otherwise very similar to the PBY-1. All fifty PBY-2s were armed with two .50in machine guns in the waist positions. Like the PBY-1 it also carried a .30in machine gun in the nose turret and another in the rear “tunnel” position. Twelve of the fifty were given Curtiss Electric propellers, while the remaining 38 used the normal Hamilton Standard versions.
The PBY-2 entered service with VP-11 at San Diego in October 1937. After all fifty aircraft had been delivered VP-11 was joined by VP-2 at Coco Solo, VP-10 at Pearl Harbor, VP-7 and VP-17 as operators of the PBY-2. VP-10 flew its aircraft from the US mainland to Hawaii on 19 January 1938, covering 2,553 miles in 20 hours, 30 minutes. The PBY-2 remained in front line service until 21 May 1942, when the last aircraft was transferred to a training role. The type remained in use at the training units until 30 April 1945.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64
Length: 63ft 6in
Gross Weight: 21,780lb or 22,490lb
Maximum Speed: 176 mph at 8,000ft
Ceiling: 20,900ft or 21,100ft