The PB2Y was the end result of
placed by the Navy in July of 1936 for a large four-engined maritime
reconnaissance bomber flying boat. Designated the Model 29 by
Consolidated and XPB2Y-1 by the Navy. The XPB2Y-1
flew for the first time on December 17, 1937, powered by four 1,050
h.p. Pratt and Whitney Twin Wasps. Initial trials revealed serious
lateral instability. Initially auxiliary vertical tail surfaces were
fitted and although some improvement resulted it was found necessary to
redesign the entire tail assembly using twin tails with circular
end plate vertical surfaces. The XPB2Y-1
eventually delivered to the Navy and after completing trials became the
Flagship of the Aircraft Scouting Force.
While the aircraft was
acceptable to the Navy their budget prevented them from ordering more
until March of 1939 when six production aircraft were ordered under the
designation PB2Y-2 with the first of these being delivered on December
31, 1940. The hydrodynamic characteristics of the XPB2Y-1 left much to
be desired and Consolidated had taken the opportunity provided by the
Navy's lack of funding to redesign the hull making it substantially
deeper than the prototype and the circular tail fins were changed to an
oblong configuration similar to those of the B-24. Power was increased
on the PB2Y-2 using Twin Wasps rated at 1200
h.p. Named the Coronado the PB2Y-2 carried a crew of nine and had a
defensive armament of six 50-caliber machine guns. The PB2Y-2
was the fastest version of the Coronado with a top speed ranging from
224 m.p.h at sea level to 255 m.p.h. at 19,000 ft. The six were used
primarily for experimental purposes as they lacked self-sealing fuel
tanks and armor protection for the crew.
One of the six was converted
as the XPB2Y-3, the production PB2Y-3 having been ordered in November
of 1940. The PB2Y-3
had self-sealing main fuel tanks and 2000 lb. of armor protection for
the crew and the defensive armor was increased to twin 50- caliber
machine guns in bow, dorsal and tail turrets and 50-caliber
machine guns in each of the beam positions. Later PB2Y-3's were
equipped with surface search radar installed in a housing aft of the
flight deck. A total of 210 PB2Y-3's were built with the last
being delivered in October of 1943. Ten of the Coronado's designated
PB2Y-3B were delivered to the British under Lend-Lease which were
intended to be used by RAF Coastal Command but ended up being
transferred to Transport Command and were used to fly freight across
Atlantic and between Africa and the West Indies. Thirty one others were
converted by Rohr Aircraft Corporation for the transport role under the
designation PB2Y-3R. Part of the conversion included replacing the Twin
Wasps with two speed superchargers to single stage low-altitude engines
rated at 1,200 h.p. at sea level. The propellers of the inboard engines
being four-bladed and the outboard being three bladed. Additionally all
military equipment was removed and the bow and tail turrets openings
were faired over.
One PB2Y-3 was experimentally fitted with Wright 2600 Cyclones as the
XPB2Y-4. Following the successful power plant modification of the
PB2Y-3R, other -3 were converted to the low-altitude engines under the
designation PB2Y-5. The re-engined patrol bomber featured an increased
fuel capacity with the normal fuel load increased from 1,580 gallons to
2,512 gallons, which provided a range with an 8,000 lb. bomb load to
1,640 miles. Other-3 conversions with the low-altitude engines had all
the military equipment removed and were used as ambulance aircraft in
the Pacific under the designation PB2Y-5H.
Mach 2 kits have a mostly bad
being some of the worst short run kits on the market, usually
displaying sink marks on the wings and fuselage, huge ejector pin stubs
on the inner surfaces, rough surface texture, terrible clear parts and
flash every where. This kit seems to be one of Mach 2's better
attempts. While the surface still has some roughness and irregularities
there were no sink
marks that I could see and the engraved panel lines seemed to be
didn't disappear as on some of their other kits. Still lots of ejector
stubs and the small parts are still flash laden and the clear parts
could be better. Little in the way of interior detail is provided, a
bulkhead, floor, seats and control columns. The box doesn't state what
version the kit is and the
instructions are labeled PB2Y-2, however a -2 two it isn't. The -2
lacked the turrets, had totally different beam positions, had a large
blister on the top where the dorsal turret is located, did not use the
radar housing above and behind the cockpit and didn't have the
four-bladed props on the inboard engines. The kit can best be
used to represent a -5. The -3 could be done by replacing the
propellers with three bladed units.
Lets take a look at what's in the box.
There are five
sprues of white plastic. Two sprues are nearly identical with bottom
wing halves and various other parts, another nearly identical pair have
upper wing halves and various other parts and a third has the
fuselage and various other parts. Total parts count 87. See below...
is one sprue with clear parts if you can call them that, typical of
most Mach 2 kits. Future may help them some. Unfortunately there are no
after market vacuformed replacements available. Parts count 32 for a
total of 119 in the box. See below...
decal sheet has the markings for the aircraft shown on the box top. The
painting instructions show the colors and markings for an RAF aircraft
but notes that roundels and fin flashes are not included. Other than
the Star and Bar and the aircraft number the only other markings
supplied are the manufacturers decals for the props. The decals look OK
but I have no experience with Mach 2 decals so I can't comment on
them. The color has been adjusted to make the lettering visible. See
instruction sheet consists of a single A4 size page with various sub
assemblies shown on one side and painting and lettering shown on the
other. There are only a couple written notes on the assembly side which
indicates where most of the small parts go but nothing showing the
fuselage, wing or wing to fuselage assembly so you are pretty much on
your own. The kit does come with beaching gear.
test fitted the fuselage halves just out of curiosity. While they seem
to match up pretty well, assembling them will be a challenge. One half
a bulge in the bottom of the fuselage just past the step that may be
tough to fix and it looks like some addition bulkheads would be helpful
to maintain the fuselage shape while gluing. As with all the kits from
Mach 2 much labor is required to clean up flash from small parts and
the lack of alignment pins makes assembly challenging. I would
recommend the kit only to die hard seaplane fans and those with
multiple limited run kit experience.
Links to kit build or reviews
None that I am aware of.
"War Planes of the Second World War
Volume 5 Flying Boats" by William Green
canopy was found to be nearly 1/8" wider than fuselage, fixing it will
require modifying the kit piece to use as a master and vacuforming a
new one. Due to the poor quality of the kit part this will be an
improvement, however it just adds to the workload of an already tedious
Flight deck was not properly shaped and the fit in fuselage was not
acceptable. I modified the deck and added styrene strip stock to each
fuselage half to better align it during fuselage assembly. While trying
to decide how much effort to put into detailing the flight deck I found
a photo online that shows what the real cockpit looked like and it
pointed to an error in Mach 2's parts. The photo shows that that the
control wheels come out through the instrument panel in a manner like
that of the Catalina and the B-24. In fact the control wheels look
identical to those used in the Catalina. I really didn't want to make
new ones since they won't be that viable once the fuselage is closed
I ended up using the supplied control
wheels and mounted them on some 1/16" styrene rod. Then drilled holes
in the instrument panel and mounted them so they would be in the proper
relation to the seats. The seats themselves appeared to set too high
and too far back. I shortened the lower portion of them and removed the
mounting pads on the floor and placed the seats closer to the panel.
The molded detail on the panel in no way shape or form matched the
prototype so I just left it as it was and made no effort to dress it up
any. If I was younger and steadier of hand I might have been tempted to
add some additional detail in this area but I was pushing it as it was.
I did put photoetch harnesses on the seats. See below...
Tail pieces and wings halves aligned reasonably well but some time was
spent sanding the mating surfaces on a sheet of sandpaper to insure a
good fit and to thin the trailing edges some. After I had them glued
together I wish I had thinned them more.
The fuselage needed some top to bottom
spacers as one fuselage half sagged a bit near the top center. These
were made from 1/8" x 1/4" styrene stock. The ends needed to be
contoured to fit the fuselage. I also needed to add a shim of .020"
where the supports met one side of the fuselage as it was thinner on
one side than the other. See below...
I did not like the supplied small windows as they didn't fit
well and were not clear, and also did not fit any where near flush. I
made new glass for these from some clear stock I had for vacuforming.
They were cut to fit the window openings then held in place with scotch
tape from the outside so that they would be flush with the outer
surface then a heavy coat of Future was applied to the inside. This
forms a bead around the perimeter of the window and hopefully will keep
it in place. If there are any gaps around the outside, they will be
filled with clear parts cement.
I gave some thought to using
market engines but decided I didn't want to dump another $40 into this
kit so I cleaned up and used the kit supplied
parts. After removing the flash and painting they looked acceptable to
Another major glitch. The
point of attachment for the tailfins to the tailplane. These should
mated at an angle to allow the tailfins to be vertical. They don't. One
would have worked great if the rudders were to be mounted like those on the
Mariner the other was molded at an angle but in the wrong direction.
Tabs were cut off and the ends of the tail plane sanded to the correct
angle plus shaped to fit the contour of the tailfins, then a new
styrene block attached to mount the rudders.
Back to the Flying Boats page