Consolidated PB2Y Coronado

The PB2Y Coronado is a large flying boat patrol bomber designed by Consolidated Aircraft, and used by the US Navy during World War II in bombing, antisubmarine, and transport roles. Obsolete by the end of the war, Coronados were quickly taken out of service. Only one known example remains, at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

PB2Y Coronado
PB2Y Coronado in flight
An early PB2Y-2 in flight.
Role Maritime patrol bomber
Manufacturer Consolidated Aircraft
First flight 17 December 1937
Status Retired
Primary users United States Navy
Royal Air Force
Number built 217

Design and development

After deliveries of the PBY Catalina, also a Consolidated aircraft, began in 1935, the United States Navy began planning for the next generation of patrol bombers. Orders for two prototypes, the XPB2Y-1 and the Sikorsky XPBS-1, were placed in 1936; the prototype Coronado first flew in December 1937.[1]

After trials with the XPB2Y-1 prototype revealed some stability issues, the design was finalized as the PB2Y-2, with a large cantilever wing, twin tail with very marked dihedral, and four Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engines. The two inner engines were fitted with four-bladed reversible pitch propellers; the outer engines had standard three-bladed feathering props.[2] Like the PBY Catalina before it, the PB2Y's wingtip floats retracted to reduce drag and increase range, with the floats' buoyant hulls acting as the wingtips when retracted. The price of the PB2Y-2 was US$300,000, or approximately three times that of the PBY Catalina.[3]

Development continued throughout the war. The PB2Y-3, featuring self-sealing fuel tanks and additional armor, entered service just after the attack on Pearl Harbor and formed most of the early-war Coronado fleet. The prototype XPB2Y-4 was powered by four Wright R-2600 radials and offered improved performance, but the increases were not enough to justify a full fleet update. However, most PB2Y-3 models were converted to the PB2Y-5 standard, with the R-1830 engines replaced with single-stage R-1830-92 models. As most existing PB2Y-3s were used as transports, flying low to avoid combat, removing the excess weight of unneeded superchargers allowed an increased payload without harming low-altitude performance.[4]

Operational history

RAF Darell's Island
Coronados and Catalinas at RAF Darrell's Island, Bermuda.

Coronados served in combat in the Pacific with the United States Navy, in both bombing and antisubmarine roles. PB2Y-5 Coronados carried out four bombing raids on Wake Island between 30 January and 9 February 1944.[3] However, most served as transport and hospital aircraft. The British Royal Air Force Coastal Command had hoped to use the Coronado as a maritime patrol bomber, as it already used the PBY Catalina. However, the range of the Coronado (1,070 miles) compared poorly with the Catalina (2,520 mi), and the Short Sunderland (1,780 mi). Consequently, the Coronados supplied to the RAF under Lend-Lease were outfitted purely as transports, serving with RAF Transport Command. The 10 aircraft were used for transatlantic flights, staging through the RAF base at Darrell's Island, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico, though the aircraft were used to deliver vital cargo and equipment in a transportation network that stretched down both sides of the Atlantic, from Newfoundland, to Brazil, and to Nigeria, and other parts of Africa. After the war ended five of the RAF aircraft were scrapped, one was already lost in collision with a Martin PBM Mariner and the last four were scuttled off the coast of Bermuda in 1946.[5]

Coronados served as a major component in the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) during World War II in the Pacific theater. Most had originally been acquired as combat patrol aircraft, but the limitations noted above quickly relegated them to transport service in the American naval air fleet also. By the end of World War II, the Coronado was outmoded as both a bomber and a transport, and virtually all of them were quickly scrapped by the summer of 1946, being melted down to aluminum ingots and sold as metal scrap,[6] or used as targets for fighter gunnery practice.[3]

Variants

Consolidated XPB2Y-1 1938
The XPB2Y-1 prototype with a single tail in 1938.
Coronado I
RAF Designation for PB2Y-3
XPB2Y-1
Prototype with four 1,050 hp (780 kW) Pratt & Whitney XR-1830-72 Twin Wasps, engines, one built.
PB2Y-2
Evaluation variant with four 1,020 hp (760 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-78 Twin Wasp engines, modified hull and six 0.5 in (13 mm) guns, six built.
XPB2Y-3
One PB2Y-2 converted as prototype for PB2Y-3.
PB2Y-3
Production variant with four 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-88 Twin Wasp engines and eight 0.5 in (13 mm) guns, 210 built.
PB2Y-3B
Lend-lease designation for Royal Air Force aircraft.
PB2Y-3R
PB2Y-3s converted by Rohr Aircraft Corp as freighters with faired-over turrets, side loading hatch, and seating for 44 passengers, 31 built.
XPB2Y-4
One PB2Y-2 re-engined with four 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) Wright R-2600 Cyclone 14 engines.
XPB2Y-5
The XP2BY-3 converted as PB2Y-5 prototype.
PB2Y-5
PB2Y-3s converted with four 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp engines, increased fuel capacity and provision for RATOG (rocket assisted take-off gear).
PB2Y-5R
PB2Y-5s converted as unarmed transports, some fitted for medical evacuation role.

Operators

 United Kingdom
 United States

Surviving aircraft

Specifications (PB2Y-5)

Orthographically projected diagram of the PB2Y-5 Coronado.

Data from Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II[2]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

In popular culture

Victor Bergeron created a PB2Y cocktail for his Tiki bars (Trader Vic's) in honor of World War II airmen.[8]

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References

Notes

  1. ^ Andrews 1989, pp. 22–23.
  2. ^ a b Bridgeman 1946, pp. 218–219.
  3. ^ a b c Burney 2015, pp. 82–87.
  4. ^ Pruitt, James Robert (April 2015). "PB2Y Coronado Flying Boat Archaeology and Site Formation Studies Tanapag Lagoon, Saipan" (PDF). CORE. pp. 62–70. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  5. ^ March 2000, p. 63.
  6. ^ Naval Aviation News & September 1946, p. 9.
  7. ^ "PB2Y Coronado." National Naval Aviation Museum. Retrieved: 6 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Trader Vic's". Life. 17 (10). September 4, 1944.

Bibliography

  • Andrews, Hal. ""PB2Y Coronado." Naval Aviation News, Vol. 72, Issue no. 1, November–December 1989. ISSN 0028-1417.
  • Bridgeman, Leonard. “The Consolidated Vultee Model 29 Coronado.” Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0.
  • Burney, Allan. Flying Boats of World War 2 (The Aeroplane & Flight Magazine Aviation Archive Series). London: Key Publishing Ltd., 2015. ISBN 978-1-909786-110.
  • Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War, Volume Five: Flying Boats. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1962 (Fifth impression 1972). ISBN 0-356-01449-5.
  • Hoffman, Richard Capt. USN (ret.). Consolidated PB2Y Coronado (Naval Fighters 85). Simi Valley, California, USA: Ginter Books, 2009. ISBN 978-0-942612-85-1.
  • March, Daniel J. British Warplanes of World War II. Rochester, Kent, UK: Grange Books Plc., 2000. ISBN 1-84013-391-0.
  • Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to American Aircraft of World War II. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., 1982 (republished 1996 by the Chancellor Press, reprinted 2002). ISBN 1-85152-706-0.

External links

Bill Thompson (racing driver)

William Bethel Thompson (born 28 December 1906) was an Australian racing driver. From Summer Hill, Sydney, he was active in motor sport from 1928 to 1936. His competition cars included various Bugattis, a Riley Brooklands and an MG K3. Although his career was not taken to the international level, he met with considerable successful in Australia, winning the Australian Grand Prix three times.

Thompson died as a result of an aircraft accident on 12 February 1945 in the Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean. At the time of the accident Thompson was serving in the Royal Australian Air Force and was travelling as an unauthorised passenger in a Consolidated PB2Y Coronado of the United States Navy.

Blohm

Blohm is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Hans Blohm C.M. (born 1927), photographer and author

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Robert Blohm (born 1948), American and Canadian investment banker, economist and statistician, professor in China's Central University of Finance and Economics

Tom Blohm (1920–2000), Norwegian football player

Consolidated Aircraft

The Consolidated Aircraft Corporation was founded in 1923 by Reuben H. Fleet in Buffalo, New York, the result of the Gallaudet Aircraft Company's liquidation and Fleet's purchase of designs from the Dayton-Wright Company as the subsidiary was being closed by its parent corporation, General Motors. Consolidated became famous, during the 1920s and 1930s, for its line of flying boats. The most successful of the Consolidated patrol boats was the PBY Catalina, which was produced throughout World War II and used extensively by the Allies. Equally famous was the B-24 Liberator, a heavy bomber which, like the Catalina, saw action in both the Pacific and European theaters.

In 1943, Consolidated merged with Vultee Aircraft to form Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft, later known as Convair.

Kawanishi H8K

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The Kawanishi H8K was a large, four-engine aircraft designed for long range and extended endurance on patrols or bombing missions typically flown alone over the ocean. The prototype first flew in January 1941 and H8K1s made their first combat sortie in March 1942. The robust H8K2 "Emily" flying boat was also fitted with powerful defensive armament, which Allied pilots had substantial respect for wherever this aircraft was encountered in the Pacific theater. The H8K was called by aircraft historian René Francillon "the most outstanding water-based combat aircraft of the Second World War."

List of United States bomber aircraft

This is a list of United States bomber aircraft

List of aircraft of the United Kingdom in World War II

Here is a list of aircraft used by the British Royal Air Force, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, Army Air Corps and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) during the Second World War.

List of aircraft of the United States during World War II

A list of USAAF, USN, USCG, and USMC aircraft of the World War II time period.

List of maritime patrol aircraft

The following is a list of maritime patrol aircraft, which are sometimes referred to as Maritime reconnaissance, coastal reconnaissance or patrol bombers depending on the service and the time period, and are characterized by their use in controlling sea lanes.

List of torpedo bombers

This is a list of torpedo bomber aircraft, designed or adapted to carry a primary weapon load of one or more aerial torpedoes in an anti-shipping role. It does not include types equipped for the more general anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role.

Martin PBM Mariner

The Martin PBM Mariner was an American patrol bomber flying boat of World War II and the early Cold War era. It was designed to complement the Consolidated PBY Catalina and PB2Y Coronado in service. A total of 1,366 were built, with the first example flying on 18 February 1939 and the type entering service in September 1940.

National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum, formerly known as the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Naval Aviation Museum, is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

Naval Air Transport Service

The Naval Air Transport Service or NATS, was a branch of the United States Navy from 1941 to 1948. At its height during World War II, NATS's totaled four wings of 18 squadrons that operated 540 aircraft with 26,000 personnel assigned.

Short Shetland

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Thomas F. Connolly

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USS Grand Forks (PG-119/PF-11), a Tacoma-class patrol frigate, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Grand Forks, North Dakota.

VH-1 (Rescue Squadron)

VH-1 (Rescue Squadron 1) was one of six dedicated (VH) Rescue Squadrons of the U.S. Navy during WWII. A more comprehensive write-up on the VH squadrons can be found in the history of Rescue Squadron 3 (VH-3), which was the US Navy's most active VH squadron. VH-1 made 19 direct rescues via open sea landings. It also assisted in the rescue of (at least) another 119 air crewman by locating them and directing surface vessels to effect the rescue. VH-1 was established on 1 February 1944 and disestablished in April 1946. The squadron employed the Consolidated PB2Y Coronado and the Martin PBM Mariner during its operations.

Consolidated aircraft
Manufacturer designation
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USN/USMC patrol aircraft designations 1923–1962
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