Design, Development & Operational HistoryEdit
There were two firms competing for the naval patrol bomber supply contract: Consolidated and Douglas. Although both prototypes met the US Navy's demands, on Just 29th, 1935, the contract was awarded to Consolidated due to lower production costs. (Consolidated projected the cost to be $90,000, while their colleagues from Douglas quoted $20,000 more).
Manufacturing orders for PBY-2 and PBY-3 were concluded before the delivery of the first production aircraft from the previous series (PBY-1 and PBY-2, accordingly). However, when the order for the PBY-4 was signed toward the end of 1937, which consisted of just 33 boat planes (this was the smallest of the PBY series), by the time production began, the model was already considered outdated and likely to be the last of the series. When the PBY-5 was commissioned, the development of the next series of hydroplanes intended to replace the PBY was already underway. That's exactly what would've happened had the Germans not attacked Poland on Sept. 1st, 1939. This attack greatly increased the demand for patrol aircraft. Great Britain immediately ordered 106 units of PBY-5 (given the name Catalina I), while England ordered 200 units of PBY-5 (Which were officially dubbed Catalina as well). Other countries to place orders included Australia, Canada, Holland, and France.
Tips from pilotsEdit
- This aircraft operates best at higher altitudes. If you go lower than 2000 ft then you will die, because you are not a bullet magnet. you will always manage to shoot down an attacking fighter before your wing gets sheared off.
- Be careful of AAA fire even when at high altitudes. If you continue in a straight line over enemy territory then they can and will shoot your wings off given the time.
- The Catalina can actually take enough punishment to buy the time to go down to 500 ft and bomb some tanks.