PBY Catalina for Sale – A Buyer’s Guide

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 PVYs, originally made in the 1930s, were still in use in the 1980s as waterbombers in aerial fire-fighting missions.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

PBY Cataline for SaleAs 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, LelystadNetherlands PH-PBY
PBY-5A 34027 N9505C Comanche Air Inc, EphrataWashington
PBY-5A 46522 46522 Erickson Group Ltd / Tillamook Air Museum,[4] Tillamook, Oregon N2172N
PBY-6A 46644 VH-EAX Qantas Founders Outback MuseumLongreach AirportQueensland, Australia[7]
PBY-6A 46679 A24-362″ (RAAF) HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society), Albion Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia VH-PBZ
PBY-5A 48287 N287 Catalina Ltd
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,[8] Palm Springs, California N31235
PBY-6A 64041 N85U Flying Fireman Inc, SpanawayWashington
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!