Catalina Mk IIIa (Great Britain)

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A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
This page is about the British flying boat Catalina Mk IIIa (Great Britain). For other versions, see PBY-5 (Family).
▄Catalina Mk IIIa
GarageImage Catalina Mk IIIa (Great Britain).jpg
▄Catalina Mk IIIa
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The Consolidated PBY Catalina was a twin-engined, multirole flying boat which was employed primarily as a maritime patrol aircraft. A development of Consolidated's P2Y flying boat. One of the most important changes was the introduction two 1,000 hp Twin Wasp engines. The Catalina I entered service with Nos.209 and 240 Squadrons of RAF Coastal Command in 1941. A popular and capable aircraft, orders were also secured for Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. In the hands of Coastal Command crews, the Catalina proved to be an effective and much feared U-boat killer. The Catalina Mk IIIa was the British designation for the PBY-5A variant, powered by two 1,200 hp Twin Wasps and featuring retractable landing gear for amphibious operation. Much like the Catalina I, it proved to be an excellent patrol aircraft while still retaining a reasonably large payload of up to 4,000 lb.

It was initially introduced in Update 1.43 as the Catalina Mk IVa, however, it was changed to its current version in Update 1.57 "Battle March". The Catalina Mk IIIa can be easily identified, because, instead of the normal floats, this variant has access to a landing gear, extremely useful to land on the airfield. The Catalina is very large, and is also very slow, much like other bombers of its BR. Its defensive armament covers most of the aircraft, although an upgraded crew or a good manual aim will be necessary to survive attacks from other aircraft. However, with access to 4,000 lb of ordnance, with 2 x torpedoes, 4 x 1,000 lb bombs or 4 x Type A Mk.I naval mines, you can be a real threat to ground targets and specially early destroyers in naval battles.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 2 135 m282 km/h
Turn time30 s
Max altitude4 420 m
Engine2 х Pratt & Whitney R1830-92
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight16 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 259 249 4420 31.3 31.9 2.6 2.6 364
Upgraded 309 282 29.1 30.0 8.7 5.1


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
0 450 N/A N/A N/A ~3 ~3
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 220 < 220 < 230 > 312

Survivability and armour

Crew6 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear450 km/h
  • 9.5 mm Steel plate in the pilot's seat.
  • 4.7 mm and 6.35 mm Steel plates in the
  • 6.35 mm Steel plate in the tail in front of ventral gunner.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB212 Sl icon.png
RB1 570 Sl icon.png
SB1 551 Sl icon.png
Crew training1 400 Sl icon.png
Experts9 000 Sl icon.png
Aces80 Ge icon.png
Research Aces270 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 30 / 110 / 110 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 106 / 106 / 106 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Mods compressor.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods armor frame.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon torpedo.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon torpedo.png
Improved torpedo
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air naval mine.png
Mk 13 Mod 0
Mods turret gun.png
Mods pilon bomb.png


Suspended armament

The Catalina Mk IIIa (Great Britain) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5 6
Hardpoints PBY-5 Catalina.png
100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs 1 1 6* 6* 1 1
500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs 1 1* 1* 1
1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs 1 1* 1* 1
2,216 lb Mk.13-6 Case torpedoes 1 1
2,216 lb Mk.13-6 torpedoes 1 1
Type A Mark I mines 1 1* 1* 1
Maximum permissible loadout weight: 2,200 kg
Maximum permissible wing load: 1,100 kg
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 800 kg
* Marked ordnance on hardpoints 2/5 cannot be equipped in conjunction with 100 lb bombs on hardpoints 3/4 respectively
Default weapon presets
  • 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 2,216 lb Mk.13-6 torpedoes
  • 2 x 2,216 lb Mk.13-6 Case torpedoes

Defensive armament

The Catalina Mk IIIa (Great Britain) is defended by:

  • 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, 2 x beam turrets (478 rpg)
  • 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, nose turret (1,050 rpg = 2,100 total)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, ventral turret (500 rpg)

Usage in battles

The Catalina Mk IIIa is a slow, heavy aircraft with a fantastic bomb load for its BR. Its dual 12.7 mm machine guns on either side of the rear fuselage can tear apart early fighters which it will predominantly face. Though it does have a dead zone directly behind the tail, this can be fixed by applying gentle rudder movement from side to side so one of your 12.7 mm machine guns can open up. The single 7.62 mm Browning defending below the rear of the aircraft can inflict some damage if equipped with AP belts, but try to get the 12.7 mm on target as soon as possible. The four 1,000 lb bomb load is excellent at its BR, being able to destroy large targets such as destroyers, heavy tanks and bases. Torpedoes can also be equipped, but the Catalina is a big, slow target for a ships AA guns so it's preferable to drop bombs on them from above at a higher altitude. Wings can also be ripped off very easily above 315 km/h if sharp movements are made.

The gunners have fairly good protection with armour plating around their positions, and the Catalina can take an enormous amount of punishment - but she can't sustain flight on one engine. This means you should always be wary of engine damage and return to base if one of them is leaking oil or coolant, though thanks to the large wing area the Catalina can glide a surprisingly long way if both engines are knocked out of action. In RB, the Catalina is an easy target for enemy fighters with mouse aim so high altitude bombing is recommend, but in SB the Catalina excels at ground attack and is incredibly hard to take out when crewed by an experienced pilot. Avoid airfields and destroyers at all costs unless at high altitude however, the anti-aircraft can easily hit you with the slow cruising speed of only 250 km/h. Being very heavy, the Catalina can be hard to reduce altitude with without going too fast - so the landing gear can be extended and used as an airbrake! The speed at which it rips off is much higher than the speed that the Catalina can actually go.

Manual Engine Control

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

Pros and cons


  • Good bomb load
  • Very good defensive armament
  • Can land on both water and airfields
  • Incredibly durable
  • Landing gear can be used as airbrake


  • Slow cruising and top speed
  • Dead zone behind tail
  • Can easily rip off a wing at above 315km/h


Archive of the in-game description

The Consolidated PBY Catalina was a twin engine, multi-role flying boat which was employed primarily as a maritime patrol aircraft. A development of Consolidated's P2Y flying boat, the aircraft adopted the same parasol wing but in a far more streamlined design with less struts and bracing wires and retractable stabilizing floats. The prototype XP3Y-1 first flew on March 28th 1935 before carrying out a highly successful series of service trials with the US Navy. Impressed by its long range, the US Navy requested that Consolidated Aircraft make further modifications to increase the aircraft's offensive capability. The original 825 hp engines were increased to 900 hp Pratt and Whitney R-1830-64 engines and the vertical fin was modified. The improved aircraft, now designated the X-PBY-1, broke records by carrying out the furthest nonstop distance flight of 3,443 miles. The PBY entered service with the US Navy in October 1936.

By the time Britain's Royal Air Force had shown a serious interest in the aircraft, it had gone further improvements, not least of which was the installation of two 1,000 hp Twin Wasp engines. The British Air Ministry purchased a single aircraft for evaluation purposes in 1939, and ordered 50 shortly afterwards under the designation of Catalina I – a name which would later be adopted by the US Navy also. British and Commonwealth Catalinas differed from their American counterparts mainly by the replacement of American weapons with British ones. The Catalina I entered service with Nos.209 and 240 Squadrons of RAF Coastal Command in 1941. A popular and capable aircraft, orders were also secured for Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. In the hands of Coastal Command crews, the Catalina proved to be an effective and much feared U-boat killer.

The Catalina Mk IVa was the British designation for the PBY-5 variant; powered by two 1,200 hp Twin Wasps, this aircraft was capable of reaching speeds of up to 179 mph at 7,000 feet and had a range of over 2,500 miles. Armed with defensive machine guns in four positions, the Catalina Mk IV's main offensive capability lay with its 4,000 lb of bombs or depth charges. One of the most famous and effective maritime patrol aircraft of the entire war, the true testament to the Catalina lies in the fact that many are still in service with civilian agencies across the globe to this day.



See also

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.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

Consolidated Aircraft Corporation
Bombers  PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina
Export  ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▂PBY-5A Catalina · ▄PBY-5A Late · ␗PB4Y-2 · ▄PB4Y-2

Britain bombers
Torpedo  Swordfish Mk I · Swordfish Mk II · ▄Avenger Mk II
Dive  V-156-B1
Hydroplanes  ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V
Light  Blenheim Mk IV · Beaufort Mk VIII · ▄Hudson Mk V · Brigand B 1
Based on A20  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7
Hampden  Hampden Mk I · Hampden TB Mk I
Wellington  Wellington Mk Ic · Wellington Mk Ic/L · Wellington Mk III · Wellington Mk X
Halifax  Halifax B Mk IIIa
Stirling  Stirling B Mk I · Stirling B Mk III
Lancaster  Lancaster B Mk I · Lancaster B Mk III
Lincoln  Lincoln B Mk II
Shackleton  Shackleton MR.Mk.2

Britain premium aircraft
Fighters  Tuck's Gladiator Mk II · ▄Boomerang Mk I · ▄Boomerang Mk II · ▄D.520
  ▄Martlet Mk IV · ▄Corsair F Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II · ▄Thunderbolt Mk.1 · ▄Mustang Mk IA
  Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Prendergast's Spitfire FR Mk XIVe
  Typhoon Mk Ib · MB.5
Twin-engine fighters  Hornet Mk.I · Whirlwind P.9
Jet fighters  Attacker FB.2 · Hunter FGA.9 · Lightning F.53 · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II
Strike aircraft  ▄Wirraway · Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Wyvern S4
  Harrier GR.1 · Strikemaster Mk.88
Bombers  ▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Hudson Mk V · Swordfish Mk II