PBY-5 Catalina

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PBY-5 Catalina
General characteristics
6 peopleCrew
15.6 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
4 480 mCeiling
2 х Pratt & Whitney R1830-92Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
405 km/hStructural
450 km/hGear
Defensive armament
12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun2 х Turret
478 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm Browning machine gunTurret
500 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm Browning machine gunTurret
1 000 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
16 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombSetup 1
4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombSetup 2
4 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombSetup 3
2 x Mk.13 torpedo (2216 lbs)Setup 4
2 x Mk.13/44 torpedo (2216 lbs)Setup 5
5 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
6 300 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1 300 / 1 644/860 / 1 087/610 / 771Repair
1 800 Sl icon.pngCrew training
6 300 Sl icon.pngExperts
80 Ge icon.pngAces
106 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
260 % Sl icon.png170 % Sl icon.png70 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American bomber PBY-5 Catalina. For other versions, see PBY-5 (Family).


GarageImage PBY-5 Catalina.jpg

The PBY-5 Catalina is a rank I American bomber with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/SB) and 1.7 (RB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
260 252 4 480 29.0 29.8 2.3 2.3 535
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
320 288 4 480 27.1 28.0 9.2 4.8 535


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
520 ~2 ~2
Optimal velocities
< 220 < 220 < 230 > 312
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,886 m 1,050 hp 1,491 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 9.5 mm steel pilot seats
  • 6.35 mm steel behind tail gunner
  • 6.35 mm and 4.7 mm steel plates inside the structural pylon
  • Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
  • 2 self-sealing fuel tanks in the wings


Suspended armament

The PBY-5 Catalina can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 16 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (1,600 lb total)
  • 4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (4,000 lb total)
  • 2 x Mk.13 torpedoes
  • 2 x Mk.13/44 torpedoes

Defensive armament

The PBY-5 Catalina is defended by:

  • 1 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine gun, 2 x beam turrets (478 rpg)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, nose turret (1,000 rpg)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, ventral turret (500 rpg)

Usage in battles

Although technically a medium bomber, the PBY-5's strategies are much like that of heavy bombers in higher tiers such as the B-17. It is best to fly high, as flying low will make you an easy target for fighters and AA. The best tactic for fending off enemy fighters is to use the rudders to direct one of the side gunners towards the attacking plane. It is also smart to use the guns manually in this situation, as the AI is often very inaccurate and will refuse to fire beyond a certain distance. In the worst case scenarios, a dive can be used to greatly increase the plane's speed to get to attack a ground target before a pursuing enemy fighter shoots it down.

The plane is quite unmanageable, and its wings are very weak, being able to snap just by turning just a little too tight at higher speeds in a Realistic Battle. Its lack of landing gear means that extra caution should be taken when landing, as it must land on its belly to rearm in a Realistic Battle.

Although the PBY-5 Catalina is slow and clunky, it offers a heavy payload that is sure to be a game changer if used properly. One of the bomber's biggest cons is its lack of landing gear, although it can still belly land onto airstrips. It also has a very good defensive armament for its tier, which can occasionally be a saviour against an enemy fighter.

The armament on the PBY-5 Catalina is what makes up for its clunky movement. The plane is capable of carrying a heavy payload of bombs or torpedos and has defensive gunners on all sides. The two side gunners have .50 calibre machine guns,making it more than capable of destroying enemy aircraft that stay within their range.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Turret 7 mm MBC-5
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs (turret) LTC-5
III Wings repair Engine Turret 12 mm Improved torpedo
IV Engine injection Cover New 12 mm MGs (turret) LBC-5

Pros and cons


  • Good payload
  • Good rear defensive armament with a high coverage angle
  • Durable
  • Can capture points (in Naval)


  • Very bad at climbing
  • Slow top speed
  • No wheels for landing on hard surfaces (hydroplane only)


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

In-game description

There were two firms competing for the naval patrol bomber supply contract: Consolidated and Douglas. Although both prototypes met the U. S. Navy demands, on June 29, 1935 the contract was awarded to Consolidated due to lower production costs (the firm projected the cost of one aircraft to be $90,000, while their colleagues from Douglas quoted $110,000).

Manufacturing orders for PBY-2 and PBY-3 were concluded before the delivery of the first production aircraft from the previous series (accordingly, PBY-1 and PBY-2). However, when the order for 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 PBY-5 was commissioned, development of the next series of hydroplanes set to replace PBY was already underway).

That's exactly what would have happened if the Germans hadn't attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, thus greatly increasing the demand for patrol aircraft. Great Britain immediately ordered 106 units of PBY-5 (dubbed Catalina I), while the USA ordered 200 units of PBY-5 (which were later officially named Catalina as well). Other countries to place orders for PBY-5 included Australia, Canada, Holland and France.

The main difference between the PBY-5 and its predecessors included a higher-powered Pratt & Whitney R-1830-82 engine (operating at 1200 hp), a redesigned tail unit, and waist gun blisters instead of flat windows.

The PBY was used as a bomber and torpedo carrier, and was often utilized in night operations, as well as on patrol, rescue and transportation missions.

PBY Catalina was the most massive of the hydroplanes. Out of 3300 planes spanning all modifications, more than 100 are operational to this day, redesigned for civil purposes.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Consolidated Aircraft Corporation
Bombers  PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5a Catalina · B-24D-25-CO · PB4Y-2
Export  ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▂PBY-5a Catalina · ␗PB4Y-2 · ▄PB4Y-2

USA bombers
Dive  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1c · SB2C-4
Torpedo  TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5a Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
Medium  B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Heavy  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
Other  PBM-3 "Mariner"