The Consolidated PBY '"Catalina" flying boat, during World War II, flew more hours on
combat patrols than any other American warplane. Initial
models produced in l937 were strictly seaplanes limited to waterborne takeoffs and landings with retractable outer wing
floats. If repairs were required on shore, beaching gear was floated out and attached to a buoyed aircraft to permit it be
towed up a ramp for necessary maintenance. In November l939, Consolidated flew the first of its amphibian designs that
incorporated retractable, tricycle landing gear to give them greater flexibility as a warplane.
In May l94l, a lend-lease PBY flown by a U.S. Navy pilot on duty as an instructor with the RAF, is credited with locating
the German pocket-battleship Bismarck to be sunk the following day by a British battleship/cruiser force. It was also a
PBY that made the only attack on a Japanese ship when it bombed a midget submarine on 7 December l94l, and later
spotted the Japanese invasion and carrier strike forces during the Battle of Midway in June l942. During World War II, the
"Catalinas" performed a variety of essential duties, including long-range scouting and antisubmarine patrols, convoy escorts,
SAR (search and rescue) and torpedo/bombing attack operations. It was in the latter functions that the PBY established its
greatest legacy by sinking more enemy shipping than any other single type of aircraft during World War II. One squadron
in particular (the Black Cats) with aircraft painted black for night operations only, were credited with sinking hundreds of
tons of enemy shipping. Over 4000 PBY's were built between 1935 and 1945.
The last of the Navy's PBY's were retired in l957. Many of the aircraft are still in active use today such as for forest fire
operations in which they land on lakes and scoop up water in special internal tanks to be dropped on hot spots.
Source and Link: Black Cat Squadron
Fully assembled, Handcrafted Model Airplane with
Removable Desk Stand.
(Scale: 1/64, Length: 13", Wing Span: 20")