Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 41

Millard and crew at Camp 'Kwitcherbelliakin', circa 1943
Taken in front of the snow-bound Quonset Huts. My
grandfather is on the far right. Photo: Millard Family.

began in 1933. The U.S. Navy contracted
three firms: Consolidated Aircraft; Glenn
L. Martin (later Martin Marietta, now part
of Lockheed Martin); and Douglas Aircraft
(later McDonnell Douglas, now part of
Boeing) to build prototype patrol bombers
with longer operating range than available
in the day.
Consolidated's entry was based on a
prototype developed by the company's
founder - the aptly-named Major Reuben
H. Fleet - as a multi-engined, long-range
'flying boat' plane, having the advantage
of not requiring a runway to operate. Alas,
Fleet's prototype lost the 1933 contest to
L. Martin, which underbid for a low initial
production run (nine aircraft in total).
Consolidated's losing prototype evolved
into a commercial seaplane named
'Commodore' - which became a kind of
A321 equivalent (in terms of missions
flown) used by prominent carriers such
as Pan American Airways for U.S. originating service into the Caribbean and
South America (unlike today's A321, every
Commodore passenger in the 1930s enjoyed
a business class-like flying experience).
Consolidated resubmitted PBY (then
called P3Y-1) in the U.S. Navy's second
contest for the patrol bomber in 1935;
this time beating Douglas Aircraft's 'flying
boat' (XP3D-1), primarily on lower perunit cost. Each P3Y-1 was projected to
cost $90,000, about $1.6 million in today's
dollars. PBY's relatively small inflationadjusted unit cost is striking considering
the program's success; by contrast, $1.6mm
is approximately the per-unit cost that
Lockheed Martin has pledged to remove
from F-35's unit cost about two years out,

Aerial shot of Iceland, taken from a PBY circa 1943
During 1942-43, Iceland was in the grips of its harshest
winter in 30 years. Photo: Naviar News.

in order to provide substantial savings
throughout the program's production run.
The U.S. Navy ordered 60 of the P3Y-1s,
with the first aircraft delivered in October
1936. Ultimately the Navy re-designated
it as 'PBY-1' to reflect the aircraft's capability to carry weaponry under its wings,
following enhancements (more powerful
engines, longer hull, and better operating performance). The 'P' in PBY stood
for Patrol, the 'B' for Bomber, and 'Y' for
Consolidated (Curtiss Aeroplane Company
had already taken 'C'). 'Catalina' came courtesy of the RAF, which used British coastal
towns to designate its aircraft; the U.S.
Navy adopted the name in 1942.

Specs/Performance
In terms of performance, PBY
Catalina  - nicknamed 'Cat' by the U.S.
Navy aviators - seemed at times closer
to 'Tortoise.' The aircraft was relatively
slow - with top speeds of about 125 mph
at cruising altitude  - and difficult to
maneuver, in terms of what was necessary for a 1940s combat pilot. They were
expected to dive quickly and drop payload
accurately and at extremely low altitude.
Depth charges that hit U-408 were dropped
at about 125 feet above the water.
During the dive executed by my grandfather in attacking U-408, PBY's speed topped
out at 180 mph - just under the aircraft's
maximum speed. Combined with its large
size  - its hull was 64 feet long with a
wingspan of 104 feet and weighed 21,000
lb OEW - PBY-5A made a fairly easy target
for the anti-aircraft gunfire which Germany
had enhanced following its multiple U-boat
losses in the North Atlantic. To counter

German submarine's mounted 37mm cannons, PBY-5As employed swivel-mounted
.30 caliber machine guns that would have
been appropriate in a 'Red Baron' WWI film.
On patrol missions, PBY-5As often flew
under 1,000 ft. altitude in order to spot
U-boats with the human eye (although
maximum altitude was about 15,000 ft.).
Weather provided an important element of
surprise; often PBY crews relied on cloud
cover and/or darkness to surprise U-boats.
U-boat captains often stayed on surface as
long as possible, choosing to engage Navy
aircraft in fighting until it could 'crash dive'
to a depth to avoid the lethality of PBY's
depth charges (the U.S. Navy ultimately
outfitted PBYs with Fidos, a primitive
'guided' bomb that honed in on the bubbling propeller of a submerging U-boat).

variants
PBY-5A flown by my grandfather was the
program's fifth derivative, which became
the most common version with some 800+
manufactured between 1941 and 1945 out
of 3,200+ PBYs built (U.S. and Allied versions, excluding Russia's). A PBY's exterior
has a distinct, less familiar look to modern
audiences, but many innovations were contained inside the aircraft:
*	 Parasol	Wings:	Think a bi-plane wing
with the lower wing removed. These were
necessitated by the lower engine power
and speeds of the day. Each wing had
long, lean struts mounted directly to the
fuselage via pylons, which kept engines
and propellers above water level during
aquatic landings.
*	 Integral	Fuel	Tanks:	Fairly new in the
late 1930s, these reduced the OEW as
Jetrader  *  Summer 2016 41



Jetrader - Summer 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jetrader - Summer 2016

A Message from the President
Calendar/News
O&A: Tom Doxey, Allegiant
More Used Parts Take to the Air, Recycled Through the Secondhand Market
Alliances - Made to be Broken
The Balancing Act - Record Profits and Uncertain Futures: Reflections from ISTAT Americas 2016
Growth in ISTAT Asia Continues
Securing the Future: A Profile on ISTAT Foundation Student Andre Fansi
Turkey: Drones Now and in the Future
Avation History
Aircraft Appraisals
ISTAT Foundation
Advertiser.com
Advertiser Index
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover1
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover2
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 3
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 4
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 5
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 6
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - A Message from the President
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 8
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 9
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Calendar/News
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 11
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - O&A: Tom Doxey, Allegiant
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 13
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - More Used Parts Take to the Air, Recycled Through the Secondhand Market
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 15
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 16
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 17
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Alliances - Made to be Broken
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 19
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - The Balancing Act - Record Profits and Uncertain Futures: Reflections from ISTAT Americas 2016
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 21
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 22
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 23
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 24
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 25
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 26
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Growth in ISTAT Asia Continues
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 28
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 29
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 30
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 31
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 32
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Securing the Future: A Profile on ISTAT Foundation Student Andre Fansi
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 34
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 35
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 36
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Turkey: Drones Now and in the Future
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 38
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 39
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Avation History
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 41
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 42
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 43
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 44
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Aircraft Appraisals
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 46
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 47
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - ISTAT Foundation
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 49
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 50
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 51
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 52
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Advertiser.com
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Advertiser Index
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover3
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover4
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