Are you an aviation enthusiast looking to buy a Vintage Warbird? Do you wish to own a piece of aviation history? Looking for information on where you can get your hands on one of the few remaining PBY Catalina for sale? Here is a basic Buyer’s Guide.
The Consolidated PBY Catalina was so designated because it was a Patrol Bomber. The “Y” is the manufacturer’s code, which in this case stands for Consolidated Aircraft. This is the designation code used by the US Navy. Patrol Bombers produced by other companies were designated as PBV or PB2B, PBN etc. The Canadian Air Force called them Canso, the USAF used the designation OA-10. Regardless of the name or the designation, the basic premise of the aircraft remained the same. Speaking specifically of the PBY, there are 7 variants in all; the first one being the PBY-1 in 1936 and the last being the PBY-6A from 1945. While there aren’t many available to choose from, if you are looking to buy a PBY, settle for either a PBY-5A or a PBY-6A.
Why would the US Navy have a designation code for a patrol bomber? It is because the PBY was a flying boat and an amphibious aircraft; the most popular multi-role aircraft of WWII. PBYs were used for Patrol Bombing, Convoying, Search and Rescue, Reconnaissance, Anti-sub operations and Cargo transport. PVYs, originally made in the 1930s, were still in use in the 1980s as waterbombers in aerial fire-fighting missions.
PBY Catalina for Sale
As we said earlier, there are very few PBY Catalinas that survive and of these less than 30 are airworthy. However if you simply must fly in a PBY Catalina, one option that you can pursue is to join a flying club and purchase a flying share. For example you can join the Catalina society in UK and for an investment of $ 25000 or so, own a 1/20 share in the Catalina company. Then for about $200 per month or so you can become involved with the running of a Catalina, as also fly for free to airshows and events where the Catalina is displayed. To fly the Catalina, members are charged ‘at cost’ flying fess of around $900 per hour. Members can also organize annual member tours where a group of members take the Catalina out on a route of their choice for a week.
Again, if you simply must own a PBY Catalina, here is a handy list of airworthy PBY Catalinas and their location from where you can obtain information on pricing and other legal and documentation requirements.
|Designation||Factory Serial||Displayed Identity||Current location|
|PBY-5A||02459||16-218″ (MLD)||Stichting Neptune Association, Lelystad, Netherlands PH-PBY|
|PBY-5A||34027||N9505C||Comanche Air Inc, Ephrata, Washington|
|PBY-5A||46522||46522||Erickson Group Ltd / Tillamook Air Museum, Tillamook, Oregon N2172N|
|PBY-6A||46644||VH-EAX||Qantas Founders Outback Museum, Longreach Airport, Queensland, Australia|
|PBY-6A||46679||A24-362″ (RAAF)||HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society), Albion Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia VH-PBZ|
|PBY-5A||48294||N9521C||Training Services Inc TA, Virginia Beach, Virginia; displayed at Military Aviation Museum|
|PBY-5A||48375||N96UC||Weeks Air Museum Inc, Tamiami, Florida|
|PBY-5A||48423||JV928″||Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc, North Weald Airfield, UK N423RS|
|PBY-5A||48426||48426||Carmacks Commercial Corp, Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, California N31235|
|PBY-6A||64041||N85U||Flying Fireman Inc, Spanaway, Washington|
|Information Courtesy Wikipedia|
If you really are determined to buy a PBY Catalina for sale for yourself, the above list is your best chance of finding one that is air-worthy. Otherwise you could buy a time share to fly a Catalina as already discussed elsewhere in this article. Regardless of the option you choose, you can make your dream of flying a Catalina come true! Good luck!