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Consolidated 29 / PB2Y Coronado

 

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The Consolidated PB2Y Coronado series was a planned replacement for the 1930's era Consolidated PBY Catalina design already in place.
The PB2Y Coronado first appeared in the XPB2Y-1 prototype form, was first flown in December 1937, and delivered to the US Navy in August 1938. After service trials it served for some time as Flagship of Aircraft, Scouting Force, US Navy.  It suffered almost immediately with poor water-based handling and equally dangerous in-air instability issues related largely to the single fin tail design. The tail section was redesigned to incorporate twin-rounded vertical fins which helped iron out the handling issues. The US Navy took this redesigned model as the PB2Y-2 and continued testing as needed. Results necessitated the addition of better armor protection and self sealing fuel tanks which further produced the PB2Y-3. This model would go on to become the definitive production model and also join service in limited numbers with the British RAF.
The first PB2Y-2 (the production development) went into service in January 1941. The PB2Y-3 was ordered in quantity in 1941 and remained in production until 1944 as a long-range patrol-bomber flying-boat.
The large ASV radome was visible just aft of the cockpit. Wings were high mounted and forward on the tall fuselage and featured retractable wing-tip floats which helped in building better aerodynamic tendencies (this function was similar to the PBY Catalina). The twin fin tail section was also mounted high on the design at rear.

Armament of the Coronado was twin 12.7mm (.50 caliber) M2 machine guns housed in a bow turret, a dorsal turret amidships and a rear turret just aft and between the twin tail fins. An additional 12.7mm machine gun was positioned to fire from hatches in the beam position on either side. The Coronado could fulfill an offensive role by being fitted with up to 1,000 pounds of bombs (held internally in the wing roots) or two Mark 13 type torpedoes held externally.

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Despite being of sound design, the Coronado did not dislodge the PBY Catalinas in long distance reconnoitering sorties. Additionally, the Coronado was not implemented greatly as a bomber or anti-ship element, being superseded in this role by the equally capable Consolidated PB4Y-1 series, and aircraft similar in scope but dedicated to land bases and thus not needing any specialist training for water operations.
Many Coronado flying-boats were converted into transports under the designation PB2Y-3R, with military equipment removed, nose and tail turret positions faired over and the four 894kW Pratt & Whitney R-1830-88 Twin Wasp engines replaced by R-1830-92. Accommodation in this version was for a crew of five (instead of ten) and 44 passengers; 7,257kg of cargo; or 24 passengers and 3,900kg of cargo. A naval ambulance version of the Coronado was also produced as the PB2Y-5H, accommodating 25 stretchers.
In British service, the PB4Y Coronado was known as the Coronado Mk I, of which some 10 PB2Y-3 models were acquired by RAF Transport Command for transatlantic freight carrying. Several subvariants appeared as the PB2Y-3R - a dedicated transport seating some 45 passengers or cargo - and the PB2Y-5R - a converted model for air ambulance duties with room for 25 litters.
In all, 210 Coronados were produced with most models serving in the Pacific Theater (sans the RAF models in the Atlantic).

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado

Long range flying boat bomber, USA, 1937
Engine : 4 x Pratt&Whitney R 1830-88 Twin Wasp, 1184 hp Sizes and weights
Length : 79.265 ft / 24.16 m
Height : 27.493 ft / 8.38 m
Wingspan : 114.993 ft / 35.05 m
Wing area : 1779.935 sqft / 165.360 sq.m
Max take off weight : 68011.0 lb / 30844.0 kg
Weight empty : 40942.4 lb / 18568.0 kg
Max. speed : 194 kts / 359 km/h
Cruising speed : 123 kts / 227 km/h
Service ceiling : 20505 ft / 6250 m
Cruising altitude : 1509 ft / 460 m
Wing load : 38.34 lb/sq.ft / 187.00 kg/sq.m
Maximum range : 2059 nm / 3814 km
Range : 1191 nm / 2205 km
Armament : 8x cal.50 MG (12,7mm), 5443kg Bomb.

Consolidated PB2Y-3 Coronado
Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-88 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial, 1,200hp, 895kW
Length: 79 ft 3 in (24.2m)
Wingspan: 114.99ft (35.05m)
Wing area: 165.36 sq.m / 1779.92 sq ft
Height: 27 ft 6 in (8.38m)
Empty Weight: 40,935lbs (18,568kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 68,002lbs (30,845kg)
Maximum Speed: 223mph (359kmh; 194kts)
Cruise speed: 227 km/h / 141 mph
Maximum Range: 2,371miles (3,815km)
Rate-of-Climb: 570ft/min (174m/min)
Service Ceiling: 20,505ft (6,250m; 3.9miles)
Armament:
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in bow turret
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in tail turret
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in left beam position
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in right beam position
8 x 1,000lb (454kg) bombs held internally in wings OR 2 x Mark 13 torpedoes (externally held)
Accommodation: 10 + 45
Hardpoints: 2

 

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