The Consolidated PBY Catalina is a flying boat and amphibious aircraft that was produced in the 1930s and 1940s, this one registered 433915 is based at Duxford.
A rare treat for casual visitors and families out for a look at the smaller aircraft at Tollerton, this impressive vintage aircraft took off and carried out a circuit before leaving the area.
The aircraft are still in use to water-bomb large fires.
PBY Catalina World War 2 Flying Boat
The PBY 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 disrupt enemy supply lines. With a mind to a potential conflict in the Pacific Ocean, where troops would require resupply over great distances, the U.S. 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, in effect having the entire ocean available.
During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escort, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport.
The type operated in nearly all operational theatres of World War II. The Catalina served with distinction and played a prominent and invaluable role in the war against the Japanese.