PBY-5 Catalina

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Rank IV USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Tu-1 Pack
This page is about the American bomber PBY-5 Catalina. For other versions, see PBY-5 (Family).
PBY-5 Catalina
pby-5.png
GarageImage PBY-5 Catalina.jpg
PBY-5 Catalina
Research:4 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:2 100 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The PBY-5 Catalina was one of the most widely produced and used seaplanes in WWII, with a lifetime so extended, that some can be found today being used for civilian applications. Before the start of WWII, many critics said that the era of the seaplane had ended, because of their low speed. However the Catalina managed to grab the attention of the United States thanks to its amazing range, durability, and very large payload, meaning that it could be equipped to do several missions in a single run. The Catalina was largely used in the Atlantic and in the Pacific region, it was also exported to several Allied nations, including the Soviet Union, in which it gained an excellent reputation. It was mostly used for reconnaissance, however it was also used to hunt German U-Boats in the Atlantic, many times flying alongside convoy groups.

It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. The PBY-5 Catalina is a capable bomber thanks to its very large payload, however it is a very large target, so it can be easily shot down by fighters without much trouble. The payload of the Catalina is one of the bests for its rank, being capable of carpet bombing large areas of ground battles or destroy entire ships in naval battles, of course it can also destroy several bases in air battles. One torpedo is often enough to sink pretty much anything in the game except carriers that require two. The flight performance of the Catalina leaves a lot to be desired, it is slow to accelerate and has a slow top speed, making it an even easier target for fighters and AA. It has a decent defensive armament, with the sides being covered by 12.7 mm HMGs and the rest by 7.62 mm, this can be enough to deal with a single biplane, but it will not hold against groups of two or three enemies at once.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 2 135 m288 km/h
Turn time28 s
Max altitude4 480 m
Engine2 х Pratt & Whitney R1830-92
TypeRadial
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight16 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 260 252 4480 29.0 29.8 2.3 2.3 535
Upgraded 320 288 27.1 28.0 9.2 4.8

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X X X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
405 450 - - - ~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 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

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB225 → 284 Sl icon.png
RB317 → 401 Sl icon.png
SB559 → 707 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications4 440 Rp icon.png
2 700 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost300 Ge icon.png
Crew training600 Sl icon.png
Experts2 100 Sl icon.png
Aces45 Ge icon.png
Research Aces110 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
20 / 40 / 80 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
220 Rp icon.png
Cost:
135 Sl icon.png
55 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
220 Rp icon.png
Cost:
135 Sl icon.png
55 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
120 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
280 Rp icon.png
Cost:
170 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
280 Rp icon.png
Cost:
170 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
360 Rp icon.png
Cost:
220 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
120 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
360 Rp icon.png
Cost:
220 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg30_turret_belt_pack
Research:
220 Rp icon.png
Cost:
135 Sl icon.png
55 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon torpedo.png
LTC-5
Research:
220 Rp icon.png
Cost:
135 Sl icon.png
55 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
bmg30_turret_new_gun
Research:
200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
120 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
MBC-5
Research:
200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
120 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon torpedo.png
Improved torpedo
Research:
200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
120 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_turret_belt_pack
Research:
280 Rp icon.png
Cost:
170 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air naval mine.png
Mk 13 Mod 0
Research:
280 Rp icon.png
Cost:
170 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods turret gun.png
bmg50_turret_new_gun
Research:
360 Rp icon.png
Cost:
220 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
LBC-5
Research:
360 Rp icon.png
Cost:
220 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Suspended armament

The PBY-5 Catalina 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
  • Without load
  • 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 PBY-5 Catalina 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

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

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

Pros and cons

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

History

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.


Archive of the 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.


Media

Skins
Images
Videos

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


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