Sunday, April 23, 2006


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Cruisin'" in a "Catalina"!

Oh, I long for the "days of past" when the skies were full of the sights and sounds of aircraft such as these. In the area I live in, when a "Metro" or "Caravan" goes by, no one even raises their gaze skyward. When old Curtiss C-46 GIBX comes throttling by, all productivity for a radius of 5 miles ceases, and eyes are focused upwards. I love the Catalina, parasol-wing, struts, uneven lines, and blisters. Ever notice how the ugly aircraft are the most beautiful ones? (a truthful contradiction) Anyways, crank the sound, enjoy the sights and sounds of a flying boat and a proud WWII vet. The "Cat" saved countless lives.

VIDEO - "Cruisin'" in a "Catalina"!

LINK - The Catalina Group Of New Zealand


In World War II, PBYs were used as anti-submarine warfare aircraft, patrol bombers, convoy escorts, search and rescue aircraft, and transports. The Catalina can be considered the most successful aircraft of its kind, as no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military Catalinas were not retired from service until the 1980s. Even today, over seventy years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as an airtanker in aerial firefighting operations all over the world.

The Catalina was originally designed to be a patrol bomber, an aircraft with a long operational range intended to locate and attack enemy transport ships at sea in order to compromise enemy supply lines. With a mind to a potential conflict in the Pacific Ocean, where troops would require resupply over great distances, the US Navy in the 1930s invested millions of dollars in developing long-range flying boats for this purpose. Flying boats had the advantage of not requiring runways to take off and land, in effect having the entire ocean available as its runway. Several different flying boats were adopted by the Navy, but the PBY Catalina was the most widely used and produced.

Although slow and ungainly, Catalinas distinguished themselves in World War II as exceptionally reliable aircraft. Allied armed forces used them successfully in a wide variety of roles that the aircraft was never intended for. They are remembered most by veterans of the war for their role as rescuing aircraft, where they saved the lives of thousands of aircrewmen shot down over the Pacific Ocean.

What a fantastic "piece of iron"! Posted by Picasa

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