PBY Catalina

Flying Boat

About our PBY Catalina

Our PBY Catalina “Flying Boat” will be rebuilt to airworthy status by 2020. To help return her to the skies, please donate below:

Donate Now

Her History


Built by Consolidated Aircraft in 1943 in San Diego, CA with serial number 1785.


Delivered to the US Navy on January 8, 1944, given Bureau Number of 48423 and assigned to VPB-73 at Naval Air Station Floyd Bennett Field, New York.

May 1945

VPB-73 was transferred to San Juan, Puerto Rico where the PBY flew Dumbo missions for redeployed USAAF units.

January 1946

Assigned to Naval Air Station Norfolk in January 1946. From February 1946 to May 1947, the PBY was reconditioned in Philadelphia and then placed into storage.

A PBY crew during World War II

July 1947

Stricken from the Navy list with 1,202 hours flown.

1947 or 1948

Purchased by a civilian owner with the registration of N4002A. This registration was inactive by January 1965.


Purchased by Survair Ltd., Ottawa, ON in 1964. Registered as C-FJJG and named Explorer One.


Purchased by Canadian Aero Service Ltd., Ottawa, ON


Owned by Spartan Air Services, Ottawa, ON


Owned by Knenting Earth Sciences, Ottawa, ON During this phase she was flying long-range missions with a magnetometer mounted to her nose.


Sold to Red Stevenson of Jenks, OK. He registered her as N423RS.

July 1986

Sold to Brice Redding of Reno, NV.

August 1986-1987

Owned by APEXX Company, Inc, Canby, OR


Owned by Northern Air, Inc., Dallas, TX (Dr. R. Slade)


Purchased by Catalina Angels, Ltd of Galesburg, IL and painted for a new owner GreenPeace. GreenPeace flew the plane for a year on several pollution watching activities.

September 1998

Flown to Duxford, UK and remained in the UK while her future was considered.

May 2001

Purchased by Super Catalina Restorations in Duxford, UK and painted in the colors of the UK coastal command. From 1998 to 2014 she was only flown three times.


Purchased by James Lyle contracted with Mark Edwards of AirVenture, Ltd to start the restoration. The decision was made to halt the work and ship the PBY to the U.S.

January 2015

The PBY was shipped from Biggin Hill, UK, to Florida. The aircraft is urrently stored at St. Lucie County Airport, FL. (KFPR) Funds are being sought for restoration to airworthy status.

To help the PBY fly again, kindly donate below:

Donate Now

© Copyright 2019 Tunison Foundation, Inc.

PBY Catalina Flying Boat