PBY-5a Catalina (USSR)

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▂PBY-5a Catalina
General characteristics
6 peopleCrew
15.6 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
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
880 Ge icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1 690/1 770/700Repair
1 400 Sl icon.pngCrew training
9 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
80 Ge icon.pngAces
× (106 + 100 Talisman.png) % Rp icon.pngReward for battle


GarageImage PBY-5a Catalina (USSR).jpg

The PBY-5a Catalina is a premium Rank I Soviet medium bomber with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/RB) and 2.0 (SB). It was in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.

Although technically a medium bomber, the PBY-5's strategies are much like that of heavy bombers in higher tiers such as the Pe-8. 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 PBY-5a Catalina is slow and clunky, but it offers a heavy payload that is sure to be a game changer is used properly. It also has a very good defensive armament for its tier, which can occasionally be a savior against an enemy fighter.

The plane is quite unmaneuverable, 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. This version has landing gear, facilitating the task of landing significantly and enabling it to capture bases in Airfield Domination mode in Arcade Battles.

General info

Flight Performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
269 260 4,220 30.3 31.0 2.5 3.3 364
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,135 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
310 282 4,220 28.9 30.0 10.7 5.1 364


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
405 450  ??? ~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

  • No armour plating
  • No armour glazing
  • Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
  • More fuel tanks located in wings near fuselage


Suspended armament

Main articles: Bombs, Torpedoes

The PBY-5a Catalina (USSR) can be outfitted with:

  • 16 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (1,600 lbs total)
  • 4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (2,000 lbs total)
  • 4 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (4,000 lbs total)
  • 2 x 2,216 lb Mk 13 torpedoes (4,432 lbs total)
  • 2 x 2,216 lb Mk 13/44 torpedoes (4,432 lbs total)

Defensive armament

The PBY-5a Catalina (USSR) is defended by:

  • 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

Climb off to the side immediately, and attempt to avoid all contact with enemy aircraft for as long as possible. The large bomb load will allow you to take care of bases easily, but the fact that this is a flying boat will prevent you from defending yourself in all directions. Never forget this aspect of the Catalina: It's defenseless against attacks from below.

Specific enemies worth noting

Any vehicle with a 12.7 mm guns or higher, or anything with a largely tracer belt. The 50 cals can easily disable your very much exposed engines and control surfaces, and tracer belts quickly ignite the exposed fuel tanks.


Many enemies, due to your low rate of climb and slow speed, will engage you from above and infront. As the Catalina only has a weak gunner on the front, it is vital to engage them early if they approach from this direction. Scaring off enemies should be your main tactic if they approach you in any other direction, though using the rudder to twist your plane will allow you to use the rear gunners effectively against enemies behind you.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Not controllable Separate Not ontrollable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
  • As a premium vehicle, all modifications come unlocked when obtained.

Pros and cons


  • Multiple turrets allow for good coverage of the bomber in all directions but directly above and below
  • Massive bomb load for Tier I
  • Can carry torpedoes unlike most bombers in the Soviet Tree
  • Landing gear


  • Terrible roll rate
  • Slow
  • Cannot defend itself from attacks directed at it from above or below
  • Wings are extremely fragile


The PBY-5 flying boat and the PBY-5A amphibious aircraft, all-metal parasol monoplanes, were developed in the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation's design bureau under the direction of Isaac Laddon under the designation of Model 28. A prototype XP3Y-1 flying boat made its first flight on March 21, 1935. Full-scale production began in September 1936.

Full-scale production of the PBY-5В version began in 1939. This variant of the flying boat had a new tail assembly with a more angular rudder and 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp fourteen-cylinder, air-cooled engines. The plane's defensive armament was reinforced: The 7.62 mm Browning M2.3 machine guns in the aircraft's gun placements were replaced with large-calibre 12.7 mm Colt-Browning M2.5 machine guns with 800 rounds each. Transparent drop-shaped blisters were installed on each side of the boat instead of sliding hatches. The aircraft's equipment was also upgraded.

At the same time as the PBY-5, Consolidated Aircraft designers developed an amphibious variant with retractable tricycle landing gear. The main wheels were hydraulically raised and stored in open bays between struts connected to the wing. The XPBY-5A prototype made its first flight on November 22, 1939. The amphibious variant proved heavier than the PBY-5 flying boat, losing speed, ceiling height, and flight range, but these disadvantages were fully compensated for by the aircraft's increased combat capabilities.

Catalinas of various versions were in service with the USA and countries of the Anti-Hitler Coalition, including the USSR, where they were delivered as part of the Lend-Lease program.

The Soviets' naval aviation suffered a heavy crisis in the second half of the war. The enormous losses from the first years of the war went practically unremedied by any deliveries of new seaplanes from the aircraft industry. What the Soviet naval aviation industry could offer did not meet the standards of the time, either. Unable to provide their troops with domestically produced planes, the Soviet leaders had to ask for help from the Allies.

Catalinas were delivered to the USSR beginning in 1944. As part of the Soviet Naval Aviation force, these flying boats ran anti-submarine defence and long-distance reconnaissance missions and participated in rescue and landing operations. A total of 185 Catalinas of the PBN-1 and PBY-6A versions were delivered from the USA to the USSR. In addition, several PBY-5A amphibians were delivered to the Soviet Union: these aircraft were handed over to Soviet crews in 1944 at the Vancouver Island base.

The Catalinas that served with the Soviet Naval Aviation force were discarded from 1954 to 1957.


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.

USSR bombers
SB and Ar  SB 2M-100 · SB 2M-103 · SB 2M-103 MV-3 · SB 2M-103U · SB 2M-103U MV-3 · SB 2M-105 · Ar-2
Yer-2 (petrol)  Yer-2 (M-105) · Yer-2 (M-105) TAT-BT · Yer-2 (M-105R) TAT-BT · Yer-2 (M-105R) LU-MV-2B
Yer-2 (diesel)  Yer-2 (ACh-30B) Early · Yer-2 (ACh-30B) Late
Tu  Tu-2 · Tu-2S · Tu-2S-44 · Tu-2S-59 · Tu-4 · Tu-14T
Pe  Pe-2-1 Peshka  · Pe-2-31 Peshka · Pe-2-83 Peshka · Pe-2-110 Peshka · Pe-2-205 Peshka · Pe-2-359 Peshka · Pe-8
IL  DB-3B · IL-4 · IL-28 · IL-28Sh
  Po-2 · MBR-2-M-34 · TB-3M-17-32 · Yak-4 · Be-6
Lend-Lease  ▂PBY-5a Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I UTK-1 · ▂B-25J-30 Mitchell