Consolidated PBY Catalina
|PUBLISHED (THIS EDITION):||December 2001|
|INSIDE:||16 pages colour plus 380 b/w photographs|
Designed for the peacetime United States Navy in the mid-1930s, the Catalina was beginning to face obsolescence by the end of that decade.
However, the advent of WWII brought rejuvenation for the type in the form of design enhancements and huge orders that led to mass production in several locations. PBYs served with distinction around every part of the globe and with many Allied air arms.
However, there is a substantial part of the Catalina story that has in the past received only brief mention in other works and that is its operation in peacetime. It was the addition of an undercarriage in particular, and the resultant amphibious capability that this bestowed on the Catalina, that led to a huge increase in the type's flexibility and ensured that its wartime service was to be only part of the overall story. Even so, it is doubtful that its designers could have envisaged that examples of the Catalina would still be flying in the 21st century! The aim of this book is to look in detail at this other, important part of Catalina history and, in so doing, the story is brought right up to date with a survey of the large number of airframes that still survive and which in some cases are still airworthy.
This book is a labour of love, thoroughly researched and well-structured. Legg has divided it into manageable sections, from the pre-war PBY in civilian use to post-war operations in every part of the globe. Many operators may only have had a single example of the Catalina and worked it for a few months, but they have been tracked down and listed. . . Fully illustrated in black and white with a colour section, the PBY Story is readable and highly recommended for anyone with an interest in a design that dates from the 1930s but still looks good today. - WINGSPAN David Legg is well known as a Cat enthusiast through his editorship of The Catalina News for the Catalina society and this passion is evident throughout the book - a splendid tribute to a flying-boat built in greater numbers than any other. Aeroplane