This book describes the Saga of the best Flying Boat ever made, the Consolidated PBY Catalina. This iconic WWII Sea Patrol Bomber evokes strong nostalgia related to its wartime heroic role as a Rescue aircraft in search for downed crews and as a ship convoy guard against the ever-looming Submarine attacks.
But the aircraft also had a dominant role in the post-war seaplane transport, the Coast Guard and arial Firefighting.
With over 400 stunning images of its military and civil operations from 1937-2017, this book is the only photo album covering trhe full 80-year- career of the Catalina/Canso, of which 3,200+ aircraft were built in the USA and Canada until 1945.
The book includes over a hundred of the best images from the author's own impressive collection taken during the two Transatlantic crossings for the 8-episodes "Catalina Odyssey" TV-documentaries. It also features a wealth of photographs from private family albums and professional photographers from all over the world, many of them never published before. Additionally, the Smithsonian Institution and other leading aviation museums , plus many Catalina/ Canso operators from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, they all have supplied rare images from their WWII photo collections and of their Cats for this book!
Moments in time are captured in unique photographs of Catalinas flying around the globe to places all over the Americas, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, to far-flung Caribbean and Pacific islands and to the remote outposts in the Amazon, Alaska, and Greenland, The Cats can be seen on their mooring stations, in harbors, on lakes, flying passengers and cargo in peacetime, but also in wartime while attacking enemy submarines, or hidden during the daytime in lagoons, waiting for the night to fly out for making their surprise attacks on Japanese ships, port-installations, with torpedo/ mine-droppings in their role as the legendary "Black Cats".
All photos come with captions that describe in detail the aircraft depicted, their armament, location and year. Maps, weapon-systems, radar equipment, the Cats' role as a pilot-rescuing "Dumbo", it is all in the book with a very informative text of 50.000 words.
Hans Wiesman traces his profound passion for the PBY Catalina back to the age of five. Between the years 1951-1956, he lived in the Borneo Jungle and flew many hours in the Cat with his father, a Shell oil exploration engineer. Hans’ love affair with this aircraft never faded. Many years later in 1993/1994, he produced a European adventure TV series and flew in the flying boat over the Atlantic and the Americas on behalf of the "Catalina Odyssey". With only a few Cats left airworthy, this book with 400 unique photos is a heartfelt personal and colorful tribute to this legendary aircraft.
“The author has done a job of tracing the history of the PBY literally around the globe. Using incredible and rare photography joined with well-researched narrative, Hans Weisman captures the multi-role capability of this aircraft from a war fighter on patrol, bombing, rescue and transport missions to a luxury touring and adventure platform. If you love aviation, this is a must-have part of your collection!” —Larry Frankenbach on 6th Jun 2018
“The author has collected a huge amount of unpublished photographs, interesting stories and well documented information about this fascinating aircraft. Nearly 300 pages that will catch your interest if you are really a fan of historic planes. Fully recommended book.” — Cesar Canomanuel on 29th May 2018
“Apart from other interesting books about the PBY Catalina this one gives a detailed survey of the development of this very interesting airplane in photo’s over a long period.Flying in this plane will give me even more pleasure now having the information from this book. Many thanks to Excellent historical photo book 5 Star Review “— Cees Timmer on 5th May 2018
“80 years , a tribute to the PBY Catalina is “THE” BOOK about this legendary aircraft. The author did an incredible research and put together an impressive collection of pictures (those 1944 / 45 COLOR photos are unique). I have been a big fan of Seaplanes for long time , have several publications about them and this is the best book I purchased so far. It is EXCELLENT. Please extend my huge complements to Hans Wiesman,the author, and also thank him for the extra color photo included in the book.” — Edwardo Beretta, Canada
“I am absolutely amazed at the quality of the photographs and the extent of the textual stories that Hans Weiseman has assembled in this book. It has obviously been a book that he has put his personal passions into and has gathered so many previously un-known and un-seen photos and stories of the Catalina/PBY/Canso. This book will be the go-to reference for archival photos that have been gathered from around the world and illustrate the history and use of these aircraft during the Second World War as well during the post-war era and into their current state of use. Beautifully published.” — Les Oystryk on 12th May 2018
“Was very excited to finally receive my copy and finally get to see how much work was put into it’s compilation. A fabulous collection from around the world and over the years.” — Norm O’Donovan on 28th Apr 2018
“Firstly thank you for the delivery of this product to southern New Zealand-albeit after a longer wait than I would have liked.I find the ‘Catalina’ book visually pleasing in it’s layout and very informative in it’s text, making for a very good historical document.” — Clark McDowall on 27th Apr 2018