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Consolidated PBY/PBV-1A Catalina Patrol Bomber

Consolidated PBY/PBV-1A Catalina Patrol Bomber

American military leaders recognized the emerging competition for dominance in the Pacific during the early 1930s by the Empire of Japan. A competition to build a long range patrol flying-boat was initiated by the U.S. Navy, and Consolidated Aircraft won the contract. The PBY features a “parasol” wing mounted on a pylon over the fuselage and twin waist blisters at the rear of the aircraft to enhance observation for air-sea rescues and submarine detection. The fuselage is part boat, with a stepped “hull”.

The “Cat” saw duty in the Atlantic and the Pacific attacking Axis submarines, and as a patrol bomber early in the war. As a search-and-rescue aircraft, the Catalina was unsurpassed. Following the sinking of the USS Indianapolis a Catalina served as a rescue boat, protecting the sailors from shark attacks until help arrived. When there was no more room in the fuselage, sailors were tied to the wings; 56 sailors were rescued.



The Pikes Peak Regional Airshow supports three museums in Colorado Springs—The Ft. Carson 4th Infantry Museum, The Peterson Air and Space Museum and The National Museum of WWII Aviation. These unique institutions are dedicated to the education of future generations through the preservation of our nation’s military heritage.