Talk:Consolidated PBY Catalina

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Units flying PBY Catalinas[edit]

I'm going to remove this section because I don't think we can ever realistically fill it out. Cats saw service with over a dozen countries and every US branch of service. Please drop me a line or comment here if you disagree. Fernando Rizo T/C 22:59, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

For comparison the Liberator has a squadron listing. GraemeLeggett 10:12, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Pre-Featured Article Nomination To Do List[edit]

Fellow editors, please add to this section whatever you see fit to add, and strikethrough items when they are completed to your satisfaction. --Fernando Rizo T/C 04:23, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

  1. Re-write Production and distribution to the Allies section
  2. Finish fleshing out Roles in World War II section
  3. Finish fleshing out Employment in peacetime
  4. Reach concensus on inclusion of squadron lists
  5. Cite and footnote EVERYTHING
  6. Optimize layout so that whitespace is minimized while maintaining the article's photos
  7. Potentially swap order of 'roles' and 'distribution' sections - it makes more sense to describe the aircraft, then who used it, rather than the other way round.
  8. Discuss variants - OA-10 in particular
  9. Rearrange / add images, based on variant or time period being discussed

Potentially swap order of 'roles' and 'distribution' sections - it makes more sense to describe the aircraft, then who used it, rather than the other way round. -Agreed. Fernando Rizo T/C 21:40, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Oops. User: is me, BTW. Fernando Rizo T/C 03:15, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Additional picture if needed[edit] --Mkrefft (de)

Jacques Cousteau[edit]

The oceanographer Jacques Cousteau used a Catalina in his exploration work. It was called the Calypso, just as his research ship was. This definitely belongs in the article. Can someone add it? I actually built a plastic model of the Calypso aircraft when I was a kid.

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

maru (talk) contribs 00:19, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

The PBY in fiction[edit]

The episode The Long Patrol of Battlestar Galactica used the cockpit section of a PBY, from the base of the wing pylon forward to about halfway between the base of the windscreen and end of the nose, as the cockpit area of the cargo ship owned by the character named Robber.

Got any more cool or odd uses of all or part of a PBY?

Suggested addition to peacetime use[edit]

The Falkland Islands Dependencies Air Survey Expedition (1955-1957) used Canso aircraft in acquiring aerial photography of much of the Antarctic Peninsula north of approximately 68° South The flights did not extend far south of Adelaide Island on the west coast; they extended less far south on the east coast - don't have the exact coverage to hand at present. This aerial photography is of great use today in determining the extent to which glaciers have retreated in the last 50 years (see this Science article).The Catalinas were operated from the sheltered waters of Port Foster, Deception Island, and their long range made them admirably suited to the task. If a citation is required I can find one (e.g. this one about Falklands Islands stamps), but I am probably a sufficiently authoritative person - see my personal profile. If I don't see any objections in the next few days, I'll add it to the main text. --APRCooper 20:07, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Someone should probably expand the civil use section - the French Costeau connection mentioned above, the pioneering flights to isolated bits of the pacific by TEAL's ZK-AMP and the Australian "Frigate Bird' may be worth a mention, not to mention more on Fire bombing. Also the post war use by non-western countries - particularly latin america - hasn't really been covered. Unfortunately i'm not the expert either. Winstonwolfe 02:21, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I added a bit about how China Airlines was founded by 2 PBY Catalinas. -- Kschang77 01:52, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

In 1990 there was an ABC World Of discovery / BBC TV programme entitled "The Last African Flying Boat". It concerned Pierre Jaunet's Catalina Safari Company and their attempt to start a commercial operation flying most of the length of Africa. It foundered when it was discovered that the aircraft could only take off from, IIRC, Lake Victoria if no-one but the pilot was on board. Might be worth a mention. Mr Larrington (talk) 12:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Just noticed that this article has been moved from PBY Catalina with the reason that it was just the British name - this wasnt discussed first reference I have gives the official United States Navy name as PBY Catalina. MilborneOne (talk) 23:33, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

And even if originally bestowed by the British, was adopted by the USN. See these hits from the USN historical center.--Rlandmann (talk) 00:20, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
The British name was Consolidated Catalina Mk I (or Mk II, Mk III, etc.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 22 December 2010 (UTC)


I can't find anything about what the letters PBY means. I'm I just stupid or... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

"PB" stands for "Patrol Bomber", and "Y" is the code for "Consolidated AIrcraft". See 1922 United States Navy aircraft designation system for further explanation on how the system works. - BillCJ (talk) 18:44, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I came here to ask the same thing. As people are asking, maybe this information could be incorporated into the introductory paragraph of the article? Some readers might not think to look on the talk page. (talk) 07:52, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I've been bold and added it. (talk) 08:32, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

PBY Catalina Survivors[edit]

A new article of PBY Catalina Survivors is based on data extracted from a PDF file on the Catalina Society website, minus wrecks, partial airframes and no-hopers, with added corrections, references, links and other information. Note: In the main article PBY Catalina, I think we need some details of variants beyond the USN PBY- series, eg OA-10A, Canso, PB2B-1, etc. PeterWD (talk) 00:01, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I have added a variants section. MilborneOne (talk) 21:16, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

I just found this very short article, Boeing PB2B whilst going through some of the articles needing cleanup. I was confused at first until I saw the linked image. Too tired to do the merge process at the moment (should not be on here then!). If anyone wants to do it (or keep the article as it is) then please feel free. Nimbus (talk) 18:58, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Wow, what a mess! I've been bold and converted the page to redirect here. Nothing was directly cited, so I have merged anyhing as yet. - BillCJ (talk) 20:14, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Well done Bill, it is fair to say that there was not a lot to merge. Cheers Nimbus (talk) 14:35, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

New PBY found?[edit]

I just read an article on Yahoo! news - about an amphibious aircraft used in WWII was just discovered! Perhaps someone could start up a new section of this article about it? Perhaps a Wikinews article? Here is the link:Zul32 (talk) 20:42, 7 August 2009 (UTC);_ylt=AtD2b2qqUog4OXBktWMGEo50fNdF

Er... that's a dead link. So I don't know what you're talking about. But I did add a new section referencing the FARS project. Was that the same one you were talking about? Allthenamesarealreadytaken (talk) 06:13, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


I was a Flight Engineer on PBY Catalina and Canso aircraft in the Canadian Arctic and Sub Arctic regions for a few years during the 1950s. In those days, regular 'BUSH' pilots looked down their noses at anyone who operated with more than one engine. Nonetheless, we multi-engine crew had to live with and deal with all of the same problems as our single engine colleagues, albeit with substantially larger & heavier machines. At that time, our stories would be related back & forth over drinks at whatever watering hole we could find. After several thousand operational hours I had accumulated a store of real (but seemingly wild) experiences. In recent years I have tried to pass on some of these stories, only to be met with disbelief. I am now 75, my remaining time is problematic. A few years ago I posted one story in the “MEMORY ARCHIVE”. Perhaps readers of the Consolidated PBY archive might find this particular series of events of interest. You will find the story in the “MEMORY ARCHIVE” under ‘MAROONED IN THE ARCTIC’ or simply GOOGLE ‘Marooned in the Arctic’ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beethovin (talkcontribs) 03:03, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Design / engineering / maintenance cons?[edit]

Aside from the glitch mentioned for the prototype where the tail submerged during take-off, there's nothing about design deficits and critical evaluations of the craft's engineering. A relative was killed, along with his AAF crew, in a training flight crash just offshore from Oahu in 1946. Eyewitness accounts varied from "they hit a wave" to several who stated that the plane was on fire before it crashed. In that same week, another crashed along the coast of California and another in Japan. I only know that the Hawaiian model was an OA-10, not the identity of the other two planes. According to some folks I've been in contact with via the 'Net who have a great interest in the AAF, the PBY had a reputation for fires. This is, of course, anecdotal. I've read where the PBYs used for the AAF rescue squads were used craft sent over from the Navy. So, maintenance problems would be relevant, too. Be that as it may, surely there are some cons to all the pros presented in the article? Thanks for your time. Wordreader (talk) 16:47, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

PBY variant or "one off" Frankenstein?[edit]

While surfing Youtube I came across a vid of a 4-engine Catalina. Yes, 4 engines on a Cat. I'd never heard of such a thing and wondered if it was an experimental variant or else some sort of after-service mutation. The interior had been heavily modified as well, which leads me to suspect the mutant theory, but I thought I'd post about it here in case it was a legit variant not on the articles list. Here's a link to the vid, BTW, in case anyone wants to have a look at it. Exterior view w/ 4 engines is about 1:30 in. Keep'em flyin'! Sector001 (talk) 07:07, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

The answer to the question you seek you shall find here Flightsoffancy (talk) 00:00, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Unbelievable, yet believable (what a world)[edit]

Somebody buys a PBY for a world tour. Gets shot up by local tribe who mistakes them for enemy du jour. Oh dear, there's more. Has a link to the LIFE magazine article on Google books. (1960) Look for the x-ray of the "bullet-shaped object". Jets, battleships, troops! Why think everyone in the world is sane and graduated primary school? Shenme (talk) 04:12, 31 May 2015 (UTC)


The header here read "Consolidated PBY Catalina": I've separated out these names out, as (AFAIK) "Catalina" was the British name for these aircraft, while to the USN they were simply "PBY's". And the Canadian name, "Canso", wasn't mentioned at all. Also, if they were named by the RAF and RCAF after coastal towns, I'm presuming the name Catalina is from the town in Newfoundland; I don't know of any other town of that name that'd be a likely candidate. I trust that is OK with everyone. Xyl 54 (talk) 00:54, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Catalina was the British name, but the USN adopted the name in 1942. - BilCat (talk) 01:21, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
The USN only did so for public communications (press releases and such), as I recall. For its own use the Navy continued to simply call the aircraft the PBY, or nicknames based on that, since they had already spent years using it under that designation. Not that this matters for the purposes of the lead; the common name has become "PBY Catalina", and that's what we should follow. --Colin Douglas Howell (talk) 01:55, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough; I didn't want us to be foisting a British name onto an American aircraft if Americans called it something else. But if the name Catalina is has currency in the US also, then it's all good. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:05, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Xyl 54, I've retracted your claim about the origin of the Catalina name from the article. You should be more careful before assuming guesses like this are correct. The article itself has a cited claim at the end of its Development section that the Catalina name refers to Santa Catalina Island, and you can find this claim in a number of references. Catalina is a resort island off the coast of southern California and well known to its residents. Consolidated Aircraft was based in San Diego, not too far from Catalina, and the name was apparently suggested to the British by Consolidated's founder Reuben H. Fleet, who would have been familiar with the island. The British accepted it since it apparently conformed to exceptions they made in their naming standards for aircraft of foreign origin. I've found one interesting discussion of the naming issue here. (I haven't verified this, but I suspect Consolidated's PB2Y Coronado may be a similar case; Coronado is an island just off San Diego.) --Colin Douglas Howell (talk) 02:34, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
That's fair enough also; the connection with Catalina Island is verifiable, and the discussion is most illuminating (though the thread seemed a little iffy about Creed's source for this). I had always assumed (without really thinking about it) it was the island being referred to, until I found that neither the island nor the town on it were actually called that; and that there was a British example of the name(Newfoundland being more British than Canadian at the time). Still, Wansborough-White's comment about choosing names of districts in the US would rule that one out, I suppose. Anyway, thanks for digging that up. regards, Xyl 54 (talk) 23:15, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Wings of the Navy[edit]

1939 movie closing scene has what looks like 38 Catalinas in the air at the same time. 2001:56A:F414:D300:D8E:5EAD:355A:CB14 (talk) 22:19, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

If you have a ref then this would belong at Aircraft in fiction. - Ahunt (talk) 22:23, 12 January 2016 (UTC)


Came here while reading about the Battle of Midway to find information about use as a torpedo bomber... it does say that torpedo racks were available, but gives no reference at all to "bomber" being one of the intended roles, or deployed roles, other than in the context of being used to lay mines. According to Battle of Midway a PBY Catalina scored the only US air-launched torpedo hit of the engagement; also the first damaging strike of the engagement. So there is clearly important operational history in this role. Also, the PBY designation shows it was intended as a bomber. (talk) 05:38, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Consolidated PBY Catalina/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

wass assessed as A-class, but hasn't been through a review, so...B-class it is. - Trevor MacInnis (Contribs) 04:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 01:44, 1 January 2012 (UTC). Substituted at 12:12, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Consolidated PBY Catalina[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Consolidated PBY Catalina's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Klemen":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 15:59, 3 May 2016 (UTC)