A Consolidated PB2Y-5 Coronado showing the mixture of darker non-specular
sea blue merging into pale grey-blue lower down.
Plans for the
development of a maritime patrol-bomber larger than the PBY Catalina
were drawn up by the US Navy very soon after the first flight of the
Catalina's XPBY-1 prototype. The aim was to procure a patrol
flying-boat with increased performance and better weapon load
capability. on 29 June 1935 Sikorsky received a contract for a single
prototype and on 27 July 196 Consolidated received a contract for a
competing prototype. Sikorsky's XPBS-1 flew for the first time on 13
August 1937, but despite introducing a number of new features it was
the Consolidated Model 29 which, when evaluated as the XPB2Y-1
following a first flight on 17 December 1937, was regarded as the more
suitable for production. As at that time the US Navy had no funds for
immediate procurement of any of these aircraft, Consolidated had almost
15 months in which to rectify the short-comings revealed by initial
Most serious of the
problems was lateral instability, which the company attempted to
rectify by the addition of two oval-shaped fins, mounted one each side
of the tailplane. This was a move in the right direction, but stability
was still far from satisfactory and was resolved finally by the design
of a new tail unit with "Zulu Shield" endplate fins and rudders similar
to those of the B-24 Liberator which was first introduced on the
PB2Y-3. The other problem concerned hydrodynamic performance of the
flying-boat's hull, fortunately, the delayed procurement allowed time
for redesign, the new hull being deeper than that of the prototype,
with a much changed nose profile.
Eventually, on 31 March
1939, the US Navy was able to order six of these aircraft under the
designation PB2Y-2 and the name Coronado, and delivery of these to US
Navy Squadron VP-13 began on 31 December 1940. They were impressive
aircraft, powered by four radial engines mounted on the high-set
cantilever wing. Construction was all-metal, and interesting features
included stabilising floats which retracted to form wingtips in flight,
and bomb bays formed in the deep-section wing. Accommodation was
provided for a crew of ten.
These PB2Y-2s were used
for service trials (lacking any armour or self-sealing fuel tanks),
leading to the procurement of the PB2Y-3 Coronado, following the
conversion of one of the PB2Y-2s as a prototype XPB2Y-3. They differed
by having increased armament and the provision of self-sealing tanks
and 2,000 lbs (907 kg) of protective armour, A total of 210 of this
version was built, late production aircraft being equipped with ASV Air
to Surface Vessel) radar. Ten of the aircraft, designated PB2Y-3B, were
supplied to the RAF and based initially at Beaumaris, Anglesey,
intended for service with Coastal Command. Their stay there was only
brief, for they were transferred to No. 231 Squadron of Transport
Command and Used from June 1944 to operate freight services.
Variants in US service,
converted from PB2Y-3s, included 31 PB2Y-3R transports, fitted with
single-stage supercharged R-1830-88 engines and capable of carrying 45
passengers or up to 16,000 lbs (7258 kg) of freight. One XPB2Y-4
converted by the experimental installation of Wright R-2600 Cyclone
engines, the PB2Y-5 modified from PB2Y-3s with increased fuel capacity
and 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder
radial engines which gave better performance under 10,000 ft (3050 m).
A number of PB2Y-5H casualty-evacuation aircraft which saw service in
the Pacific theatre accommodating 25 stretchers.
The PB2Y Coronado was
never widely used in the maritime reconnaissance role as preference
grew for used of land based aircraft such as the Consolidated PB4Y-1
Liberator which required no specialist training in water operations
while the Consolidated PBY Catalina remained unequalled for long
distance ocean reconnaissance. All PB2Y Coronado's were withdrawn from
service at the end of the war.
XPB2Y-1 Prototype - The
XPB2Y-1 prototype first flew on 17 December 1937. It was considered
more suitable for production and won out over Sikorsky's XPBS-1 entry.
At the time, the US Navy had no funds for immediate procurement, and it
would be 15 months more before orders were forthcoming. This was a
mixed blessing for Consolidated as it did allow them to fix problems
encountered with the test flights.
PB2Y-2 Coronado -
Eventually, on 31 March 1939, the US Navy was able to order six of
these aircraft under the designation PB2Y-2 and the name Coronado, and
delivery of these to US Navy Squadron VP-13 began on 31 December 1940.
This was a much improved aircraft over the original prototype. The tail
section was completely redesigned to overcome lateral instability
problems, and the hull was also redesigned to increase hydrodynamic
PB2Y-3 Coronado -
Service trials of the PB2Y-2s lead to the procurement of the PB2Y-3
Coronado, following the conversion of one of the PB2Y-2s as a prototype
XPB2Y-3. They differed by having increased armament and the provision
of self-sealing tanks and armour, A total of 210 of this version was
built, late production aircraft being equipped with ASV Air to Surface
Coronado Mk I - Ten of the aircraft, designated PB2Y-3B, were supplied
to the RAF and based initially at Beaumaris, Anglesey, intended for
service with Coastal Command. Their stay there was only brief, for they
were transferred to No. 231 Squadron of Transport Command and Used from
June 1944 to operate freight services.
PB2Y-3R - The military
transport version capable of carrying up to 45 passengers powered by
four 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney single-stage supercharged
R-1830-88 radial engines. 31 aircraft total.
XPB2Y-4 - A single
aircraft used to test the experimental installation of Wright R-2600
Cylone radial engines.
PB2Y-5 - The best
patrol bomber version, they were all converted from exsisting PB2Y-3s
with increased fuel capacity and 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney
R-1830-92 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines which gave better
performance under 10,000 ft (3050 m).
PB2Y-5H - This was the
Casualty Evacuation (Ambulance) version. Military equipment was removed
to make room for the provision of 25 stretchers. This version did see
limited service in the Pacific Theatre.
(Consolidated PB2Y-3 Coronado - Model 29)
Type: Ten Seat
Maritime Patrol Bomber
Consolidated Aircraft Corporation Design Team
Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in San Diego
1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-88 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder
Maximum speed 223 mph (359 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6095 m); cruising speed
141 mph (227 km/h) at 1,500 ft (460 m); service ceiling 20,500 ft (6250
m); initial climb rate of 570 ft (174 m) per minute.
range 2,370 miles (3814 km) with maximum fuel loadout. Range with 8,000
lbs (3629 kg) bombload 1,370 miles (2205 km). Ferry range 3,105 miles
40,935 lbs (18568 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 68,000 lbs
115 ft 0 in (35.05 m); length 79 ft 3 in (24.16 m); height 27 ft 6 in
(8.38 m); wing area 1,780.0 sq ft (165.36 sq m).
12.7 mm (0.50 in) Browning machine-guns in the bow, dorsal and tail
turrets (six total) and one 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Browning machine-gun in
each of the two beam positions, plus up to 12,000 lbs (5443 kg) of
bombs. Normal bomb configuration consisted of eight 1,000 lbs (454 kg)
bombs carried internally and four 1,000 lbs (454 kg) bombs or two Mark
XIII torpedoes carried externally. Depth charges could also be carried
externally. The transport version could carry up to 45 passengers and
in the freight configuration could carry up to 16,000 lbs (7258 kg) of
freight. The transport and freight aircraft were unarmed.
XPB2Y-1, PB2Y-2 Coronado, PB2Y-3 Coronado, XPB2Y-3B, PB2Y-3R, XPB2Y-4,
production) ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) radar.
flight (XPB2Y-1) 17 December 1937; initial deliveries (PB2Y-2) 31
United States (USN), United Kingdom (RAF Transport Command).