PBY-5 Catalina

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PBY-5 Catalina
General characteristics
6 peopleCrew
8.5 tEmpty weight
15.6 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
4 480 mCeiling
sec32.4/32.4/28.0Turn Time
174 km/hStalling speed
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 gunTurret
500 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun2 х Turret
400 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm Browning machine gunTurret
1 000 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
16 х 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombSetup 1
4 х 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombSetup 2
4 х 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombSetup 3
2 х Mk.13 torpedo (2216 lbs)Setup 4
2 х Mk.13/44 torpedo (2216 lbs)Setup 5
5 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
6 300 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1 130 / 1 429/660 / 834/620 / 784Repair
1 800 Sl icon.pngCrew training
6 300 Sl icon.pngExperts
80 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.06 Rp icon.pngReward for battle
This page is about the American bomber PBY-5 Catalina. For other uses, 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).

General info

Flight Performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
261 252 4 480 29.3 29.8 2.3 2.3 535
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
 ?  ? 4 480  ??.?  ??.?  ??.?  ??.? 535


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
405 450 N/A ~1 ~1
Optimal velocities
< 220 < 220 < 230 > 200
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,886 m 2,100 hp 2,982 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 is able to be equipped with:

  • 16 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs
  • 4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs
  • 4 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs
  • 2 x 2,216 lb Mk.13 torpedoes
  • 2 x 2,216 lb Mk.13/44 torpedoes

Defensive armament

The PBY-5 Catalina is defended with:

  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, nose turret (1,000 rpg)
  • 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, 2 x beam turret (400 rpg = 800 total)
  • 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, ventral turret (500 rpg)

Usage in the 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 gunners all have .50 calibre machine guns, with the exception of the front gunner, 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
Has automatic pitch
Controllable Controllable Separate Not controllable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Turret 7.62 mm belts MBC-5
II Compressor Airframe New 7.62 mm MGs (turret) LTC-5
III Wings Repair Engine Turret 12.7 mm belts Improved torpedo
IV Engine Injection Cover New 12.7 mm MGs (turret) LBC-5

Pros and cons


  • Good payload
  • Good rear defensive armament with a high coverage angle
  • Durable


  • Very bad at climbing
  • Slow top speed
  • No wheels for land 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 big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.

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."


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

Read also


Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

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

USA bombers
Dive  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 Dauntless · SB2C-1c Helldiver · SB2C-4 Helldiver
Torpedo  TBD-1 Devastator · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5a Catalina · TBF-1C Avenger · BTD-1 Destroyer
Medium  B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D Harpoon · B-25J-1 Mitchell · B-25J-20 Mitchell · A-26C-45 Invader · A-26C-45DT
Heavy  B-17E Flying Fortress · B-17E Flying Fortress /Late · B-17G-60-VE Flying Fortress · PB4Y-2 Privateer · B-24D-25-CO Liberator · B-29A-BN Superfortress
Other  PBM-3 "Mariner"