Consolidated PBY Catalina
                          build log



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 October 2014.....


The PBY Catalina is well known around these parts especially to those old enough to remember the hundreds of them parked all around the Patrica Bay aiorport during WW2. Originally built in the USA as far back as 1935 - 1940, they were used primarily in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts and search & rescue. The photo at the right shows three of them in Saanich inlet near Victoria.


 The model will be a 102"span replica of the US naavy version.....just because I like the color scheme. The plans are from Ivan Pettigrew.....Just can't get enough of his models.....they are so light and fly so slow and realistic.

Follow along with me.....



Here the fuselage is started on the workbench.....It will be built upside-down and turned over when it is sheeted. I expect to use twin electric motors in the same size that I used in the twin was about the same size and weight.         



The tailfeathers are framed up and covered with Solartex. Now to figure out some way to blend the vertical fin into the needs to be a compound curve. The elevator is operated with a single servo up front and a carbon pushrod operating through a bell-crank and up to the elevator..

Here is the center pylon......carved from
blue foam. I did not like the non-scale appearance of the pylon on the drawings. The whole thing will be clad in glasscloth which will give it the strength that it needs and it will be quite light as well.


The wing tip sections are done a little differently than the plan calls for..... capstrips are placed on all of the wing ribs. The ailerons are strengthened with 1`/16" sheet on the bottom. The aileron pushrods will be completely hidden. The center section is held on to the pylon by an aligning pin and two 1/4" nylon wing bolts. The wing can be removed with or without the pylon.


Making the cowling.....We need to laminate five pieces of 3/4" balsa together to make the cowl. I have cut the circular pieces on the bandsaw using a jig to cut perfect circles. The jig can be set at different diameters and angles. The laminated block is then shaped in the lathe using my dremel as a cutter. A very smoothe finish results.


Here is the wooden plug which will be used to make the two fibreglass cowls it needs to be smoothed and primed before it is used to make a mould. The cowlings will fit in front of the nacells which are being formed on the wings.

The balsa plug is now primed, polished, sprayed with three coats of and placed halfway sunk into a plywood box. Polyester resin and glasscloth is laid up onto this plug to form the first half of the female mould.

When set up the first half is taken out of the box and reversed into the same is again waxed and PVA applied and the glasscloth is laid up to form the second half of the mould. The completed two part mould is shiny smooth inside and can be used for lots more cowls.

The nacells are made of balsa and foam . The blue foam part is covered with glasscloth for strength. some filler and sanding will take place next.

                             Here are the cowls.....ready for paint.


Here the operation of the wingtip floats can be seen.....Instead of a servo to operate the wingtip floats I used a small electric retract unit and a pushrod. The floats retract quite slowly and scale-like and they lock in the up and down positions. The aileron servos and the float activators are accessed by doors on the bottom of the wing.




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