Parks Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Discovery in the St. Lawrence

Details about Aircraft PBY-5A Catalina/OA-10

The aircraft in Longue-Pointe was a PBY-5A, manufactured by the Consolidated Aircraft Company of San Diego, California, for the United States Navy in September 1942.

The aircraft had been requested in early 1942 to support the establishment of a chain of airfields in Northern Canada, Greenland and Iceland, through which aircraft and supplies would flow to the United Kingdom from the eastern United States. This aircraft was used to ferry men and equipment to the airfield at Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec, where surveying and ground clearing had recently commenced.

The PBY-5A, best known by its adopted name, PBY Catalina, was an amphibious, two-engined, high-wing flying boat. Ubiquitous in Allied theatres of operation during the Second World War, the aircraft is recognizable by its large wing, below which the fuselage is suspended on a central, faired pylon and supported by a pair of slender struts on the port and starboard sides. Two large observation windows are characteristic of the aircraft.

A line drawing and basic specifications of the aircraft, taken from PBY: The Catalina Flying Boat by Roscoe Creed follows.

Technical Specifications
A line drawing of the aircraft, taken from PBY: The Catalina Flying Boat by Roscoe Creed
Roscoe Creed

PBY-5A “Catalina”
Wingspan: 104 feet (31.7 meters)
Length: 63 feet 10 inches (19.5 meters)
Height: 20 feet 2 inches (6.1 meters)
Wing Area: 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2)
Gross Weight: 34,000 pounds (15,422 kg)
Power Plant: R-1830-92
Horsepower: 1,200 hp
Maximum Speed: 180 miles per hour (290 km/h)
Cruising speed: 117 miles per hour (188 km/h)
Ceiling: 15,000 feet (4572 meters)
Range: 2,550 miles (4100 km)