Consolidated PBY Catalina production in Canada

Canada developed a very sizable aircraft industry during the Second World War, and one of the aircraft it produced in large numbers was the Consolidated Catalina. Between then Boeing of Canada and Canadian Vickers produced 721 Catalinas, many of which served in Canada as the Canso, with the RAF as the Catalina IVB or with the USAAF as the OA-10.

Consolidated Production for Canada

The first PBYs to serve with the RCAF were actually produced by Consolidated between August and November 1941. These thirty six aircraft were designated as the Catalina IIA by the RAF and the Canso in Canada.

Boeing Canada

Canso A – July 42-July 43

The first Catalinas produced by Boeing Canada were 55 PBY-5As assembled from parts provided by Consolidated at San Diego. In Canadian service they were known as Canso As. They were delivered between July 1942 and July 1943.

PB2B-1 – July 43-October 44

The PB2B-1 was delivered between July 1943 and October 1944, and was a licence-built version of the PBY-5. Of the 240 aircraft produced, 194 went to the RAF as the Catalina IVB, 34 to New Zealand, 7 to the RAAF and 5 to the US Navy.

PB2B-2 – September 44-March 45

The PB2B-2 was the most advancing version of the Catalina flying boat, and was essentially a PBY-6A Catalina, with the eyeball nose turret, radome above the cockpit and taller tale, but without the wheels of the PBY-5A or 6A. It was delivered between September 1944 and March 1945,

The sources disagree on the total number of PB2B-2s produced, but the most credible figures suggest that 67 aircraft were produced, most for the RAF where they became the Catalina VI. Of these aircraft 47 were then given to the RAAF.

Other sources suggest that 59 went to the RAF and 50 to the USN, giving a total of 109, or that 50 were built, all going to the RAF, alongside 17 aircraft identical to the PBY-5.

Using the most likely figures Boeing Canada thus produced 362 Catalinas and Cansos.

Canadian Vickers

Canadian Vickers produced 359 aircraft equivalent to the PBY-5A, alongside a large number of wing sections and hulls for Consolidated’s factory at New Orleans.

Canso A – April 43-October 43

129 of these aircraft were delivered to the RCAF between April 1943 and October 1943, where they served under the designation Canso A.

OA-10A – Dec 43-May 45

The remaining 230 aircraft were delivered between December 1943 and May 1945, and were used by the USAAF, where they received the designation OA-10A-VI (Observation aircraft, Amphibious, tenth type, Vickers). The US Navy gave them the designation PBV-1A, but eventually received no aircraft.  

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 August 2008), Consolidated PBY Catalina production in Canada,

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