Consolidated PBY-3 Catalina Flying Boat

The Consolidated PBY-3 differed from the previous version of the Catalina in having more powerful 900hp R-1830-66 Twin Wasp engines in place of the 850hp engines used on the PBY-2. An order for 66 PBY-3s was placed in November 1936, only four months after the order had been placed for the PBY-2.

The new engine was responsible for the main change to the appearance of the PBY-3. The engines used on the earlier models had their air intake underneath the engine, but the R-1830-66 had a down-draft carburettor, so the air intakes had to be on top of the nacelles.

By the time all 66 aircraft had been delivered the PBY-3 was used to equip VP-7 and VP-9 at San Diego, VP-4 and VP-18 at Pearl Harbor, VP-5 at Coco Solo, VP-16 at Seattle as well as VP-9 and VP-32. Most of these squadrons were part of larger Patrol Wings, and on 1 July 1939 the squadrons were given new numbers based on the wings.

PatWing 2 was based on Hawaii, and so the Japanese attack fell on squadrons VP-21 and VP-22. Between them these squadrons lost nine PBY-3s during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The PBY-3 remained a front line aircraft until March 1943, at which point the last operational examples were moved to training establishments, where they remained in use until 31 May 1945.

Engine: R-1830-66
Power: 900hp
Top Speed: 185 mph
Ceiling: 23,100ft
Gross weight: 22,078lb

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 (27 August 2008), Consolidated PBY-3 Catalina Flying Boat , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_PBY-3_catalina.html

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