PB2Y ✪ Coronado
Multipurpose Flying Boat
Very soon after the first takeoff of the XP3Y-1, the Catalina prototype, the US Navy began planning to develop a larger, heavier flying boat. The goal was to obtain a patrol flying boat with improved flight characteristics and a high combat load. Firms "Consolidated" and "Sikorsky" received contracts for the development and testing of prototypes. The Sikorsky XPBS-1 was ordered on June 29, 1935 and took off for the first time on August 13, 1937. Despite numerous innovations (for example, it was the first US military aircraft to have both a nose and a tail turret), the Consolidated XPB2Y -1, which took off on December 17, 1937, was deemed more suitable for production. At the time, the US Navy did not have the funds to immediately acquire any of these aircraft. Within 15 months the Consolidated company corrected the deficiencies revealed by preliminary flight tests.
The most serious problem was lateral instability, which the company tried to correct by placing two oval-shaped fins at the ends of the stabilizer. It was a step in the right direction, but stability was still far from desired, and as a result, a new tail unit was developed, first with rounded keel end washers and finally with end washers and rudders, like in the B-24 "Liberator".
Another problem related to the hydrodynamic characteristics of the hull of a flying boat. Fortunately, time has allowed Consolidated to redesign the hull. It became deeper than that of the prototype, and the nasal profile also changed.
Finally, on March 31, 1939, the US Navy ordered six aircraft, designated PB2Y-2 Coronado. Delivery to US Navy VP-13 Squadron began on December 31, 1940. They were impressive aircraft powered by four Pratt-Whitney R-1830-8 Twin Wasp radial engines with 1,200 hp each, mounted on a cantilever high wing. The design is all-metal, wing struts with floats were deployed so that in flight the floats became wingtips. The bomb bays were located at the root of the wing. Provided for the accommodation of a crew of nine people. These PB2Y-2s were used for military trials, culminating in the acquisition of the PB2Y-3 Coronado. Before that, one of the PB2Y-2s was converted into the XPB2Y-3 prototype, which was distinguished by the presence of R-1830-88 engines, enhanced armament, protected tanks and armor. In total, 210 machines of the PB2Y-3 modification were built, the last released aircraft was equipped with an ASV radar.
Ten aircraft, designated PB2Y-3B, were delivered to the RAF. They were based initially at Beaumaris and Anglesey and were assigned to Coastal Command. Their stay there was brief - from June 1944 they were used as cargo ships with the 231st Squadron of Transport Command.
Among the variants used in the USA and modified from PB2Y-3, there was a PB2Y-3R transport aircraft (31 built) with R-1830-92 engines. equipped with single-stage blowers. One XPB2Y-4 was equipped for experimental testing of Wright's R-2600 Cyclone engines; the PB2Y-5 variant had an increased fuel reserve and R-1830-92 engines. A number of PB2Y-5H ambulance aircraft were used in the Pacific theater of operations. The latter, instead of military equipment, had 25 stretchers for the wounded.