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.
Top Speed: 185 mph
Gross weight: 22,078lb