Consolidated XP3Y-1 Photo Gallery 1
One of the most recognized aircraft in the world, the Consolidated PBY Catalina not only served in the U.S. Navy, but also with the air arms of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands and the Soviet Union. The PBY was involved in almost every major operation in World War II, and figured significantly in defeating the U-boat menace in the Atlantic. The XP3Y-1 was the prototype, and the production patrol boat version was named "PBY Catalina"
XP3Y-1: PBY Catalina Flying Boat Prototype
In response to an October 1933 order from the Navy for a military patrol flying boat with an operational range of 3,000 miles and a cruise speed of 100 mph, Consolidated Aircraft designed an all metal plane with a number of unique features, including a parasol-mounted wing incorporating internal bracing to reduce the need for external struts, and retractable stabilizing floats that folded upward to become wingtips in flight. The overall effect was an aerodynamically clean aircraft far superior to previous flying boat designs.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-58 engines of 825 horsepower each, the aircraft, with a crew of seven to ten, was armed with three 0.30-in. machine guns, and could carry 2,000 lb. of bombs. Designated the XP3Y-1, the aircraft made its first flight on 15 March 1935. Early trials proved quite successful and the Navy ordered 60 of the aircraft in June 1935.