|This page is about the American bomber PBY-5 Catalina. For other versions, see PBY-5 (Family).|
The PBY-5 Catalina is a rank I American bomber with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB) and 2.0 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
The plane is overall good but, when using it in air arcade or custom, it was easy to get shot down even with the AI gunners on the side protecting you. When bombing with it, you will get 16 100 lb (pounds) bombs. The first module unlock is the 100 lb bombs. Beyond that, you can research torpedoes weighing 2216 lbs and are very effective against long boats and ships in general. One torpedo is often enough to sink pretty much anything in the game save AI carriers which require two. Also there are two more unlockable bomb loadouts. In order to get the 1000 lb bomb, you need to get the improved torpedo, and once your done with that you can research it, with the 1000 lb bomb you can destroy 3 tanks at once, possibly even more if it lands in the center of a cluster of enemy tanks. You can also attach 500 lb bombs but they are only limited to four bombs, same with the 1000 lb bombs. The PBY-5 is easy to get shot down or burnt down because it is slow, and most fighter planes could take it down easily, so just stay at high altitude. Overall, it is hard to bomb without getting shot from AAA's or other planes but a fairly decent starter bomber.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 220||< 220||< 230||> 312|
|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
Modifications and economy
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)
- 4 x Type A Mark I mines
- 2 x 1,927 lb Mk.13-1 torpedoes
- 2 x 1,927 lb Mk.13-1 Case torpedoes
The PBY-5 Catalina is defended by:
- 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning 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. It's also a huge target. 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 torpedoes and has defensive gunners on all sides. The two side gunners have .50 cal machine guns, making it more than capable of destroying enemy aircraft that stay within their range.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Good payload
- Good rear defensive armament with a high coverage angle
- Can capture points (in Naval)
- Very bad at climbing
- Slow top speed
- No wheels for landing on hard surfaces (hydroplane only)
Produced from the 1930's to the 1940's by Consolidated Aircraft, the PBY-5 was one of the most widely produced (a total of 3,282 were built) and used seaplanes of World War II. During its service lifetime, it was found and operated in every branch of the United States Armed Forces.
Before the start of the war many aviation critics and engineers considered the flying boat obsolete due to its slow speed, its max being 189, but despite this its two big selling points were its amazing range about 2,990 miles (4811.939 kilometres) and durability. Earlier versions of the Catalina were true flying boats and could only land on water. Pilots needing to ground their plane in emergencies could land on water and beach the aircraft. To prevent this unnecessary damage, Consolidated designed and first flew the PBY-5a in 1939 with a retractable landing gear mounted directly between the 2 support beams underneath the wings. With this new ability to land on land it allowed the Catalina to become ERS or Emergency Rescue Squadrons with the role of airlifting stranded bomber crews such as those from a downed B-29-A-BN.
After the war, peacetime Catalina's were converted to civilian use whether it be casual flying or emergency duties such as firefighting. It lives on in game the same as it did in battle, being very slow but carrying a great number of armaments which represents its many roles it played in World War II and at its Battle Rating able to take a great number of hits before finally getting shot down.
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.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- [Wikipedia] Consolidated PBY Catalina
- [Naval History and Heritage Command National Museum of the U.S. Navy] PBY-5 and PBY-5A "Catalina"
- [Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum] Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina
|Consolidated Aircraft Corporation|
|Bombers||PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina|
|Export||▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▂PBY-5A Catalina · ␗PB4Y-2 · ▄PB4Y-2|
|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 · B-26B|
|Heavy||B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN|
|Hydroplanes||OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-1 "Mariner" · PBM-3 "Mariner"|