PBM ✪ Mariner
The PBM Mariner was arguably the best flying boat in World War II. Built in fairly large numbers, the Mariner was in many ways superior to its contemporaries - . It had a more modern design and better flight characteristics. Nevertheless, “Mariner” did not gain the fame of “Catalina”, remaining as if in the shadow of its famous competitor.
By the way, the modern Soviet flying boat Be-12 in many respects repeats the glider of its pre-war American "brother". Designed by order of the US Navy as a bomber, anti-submarine and rescue aircraft, it was structurally a twin-engine flying boat with a large cantilever gull wing.
Mariner's predecessor, the XPBM-1 took off on February 18, 1939. Its power plant consisted of two Wright R-2600-6 Cyclone engines with a capacity of 1600 hp each. (1193 kW). They were housed in large engine nacelles that included bomb bays. The bomb load placed in them consisted of conventional and depth charges with a total mass of up to 907 kg. Small arms consisted of five 12.7-mm and one 7.62-mm machine guns in the bow, upper and stern turrets and medium firing points. The underwing floats were retractable. By April 1941, 20 copies were assembled with one XPBM-2 , having an increased fuel supply and a device for launching from a catapult.
PBM-3 had Wright R-2600-12 engines with 1700 hp each. (1268 kW) in elongated nacelles with bomb bays (in the diagram, the open doors of the bomb bays are shown with a dotted line), which could hold 4 conventional (or depth) bombs of 227 kg each. Large non-retractable floats were located under the wing. On November 1, 1940, an order was issued for 379 vehicles, but the first 50 PBM-3R vehicles were produced unarmed, had a reinforced cargo compartment floor, a cargo hatch and the ability to carry 20 passengers.
PBM-3C armed, 274 vehicles were produced.
PBM-3D , had R-2600-22 Wright engines with a capacity of 1900 hp each. (1417 kW) with four-blade propellers, had enhanced armoring of the cockpit and additional armament from a pair of 12.7 machine guns in the bow, upper and aft turrets and medium firing points and in each of the medium firing positions. The bomb load was increased to eight 227, 454 or 726 kg conventional or eight depth charges. Bomb load options could include four mines or two torpedoes, which in later versions could be hung under the wing. The fuel tanks are protected with the possibility of installing additional fuel tanks in the engine nacelles.
Both of the latter options could be equipped with a radar, with an antenna located at the top in the fairing behind the cockpit. Radar indicators were located at the pilot and navigator-bombardier (see photo).
PBM-3S , 1944, about 156 aircraft, a special anti-submarine version (Submarine) was released with an increased fuel reserve to increase the search radius, had Wright R-2600-12 engines. During the execution of the weight reduction program, some of the armor plates were removed, the nose and upper turrets were also removed, the armament was limited to 12.7-mm machine guns.
PBM-4 , a series of 180 vehicles with R-3350-8 engines was ordered in 1941, but not produced.
PBM-5 , had R-2800-34 Wright engines with a capacity of 2100 hp. (1566 kW), armament - eight 12.7 mm machine guns. Order dated January 3, 1944, serial production from August 1944. Aircraft with APS-15 radar were designated PBM-5E , others with special anti-submarine warfare equipment were designated PBM-5S .
The aircraft had JATO rocket booster attachments. Its crew consisted of nine people: two pilots, two navigator-bombers, two radio operators, a radar operator and two gunners. During long flights, it was increased to 12 people, adding a shift radar operator and two more shooters. The composition of the onboard equipment was very wide, for example, on the PBM-5S2 modification, in addition to the AN / APS-15 radar, there was an AN / ARR-31 sonar buoy signal receiver, an L-11 searchlight, an AN / ASQ magnetic anomaly detector -1, etc.
A total of 631 aircraft were built.
PBM-5A , before 1949, 36 vehicles were built for sea rescue operations.
PBM-5B , 27 aircraft from August 1943 were delivered to Great Britain under the designation "Mariner" GR. Mk.I, however, the British did not enjoy popularity, preferring to operate the proven Catalin, it seems, did not want to bother mastering a small series of new aircraft.