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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:21 am 
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The addition of dinghies under each wing of post-war commercial Catalinas was not uncommon and was normally associated with the so-called Landseaire conversions produced by Southern California Aircraft Corporation of Ontario, Ca. In addition to the option of boats, these conversions usually included the removal of the bow turret, the addition of a horn-balanced rudder and an integral rear hull airstair. The rear blisters were retained but the port unit featured a hinged access panel whilst the starboard unit was replaced with a one-piece perspex unit without any framing. This latter feature has since been copied by other companies on a small number of non-Landseaire conversions. I have never seen or heard of any Catalina with a jeep under the wings so wonder if this really did occur?

In addition to the 4-engined bird Innovator (the small 'b' was deliberate) and the LSFM's N68740, there were a number of other examples that had under-wing boats including the one in Mark Fidler's very interesting photo. This aircraft was N19Q and in the photo has 1,700hp Wright Cyclones in place of the original 1,200hp P&Ws. It also has a Super Cat type rudder to give more control with the powerful engines. In an earlier incarnation with P&Ws it was N5804N but it still had the dinghies in those times. It travelled the world both as N5804N and N19Q with Monsanto, recently known for their work on genetically modified crops. Later it was owned by actor James Stewart and in his ownership it came to grief in August 1972 whilst landing on the sea at Monte Carlo en route Marseille - Malaga and it sank.

I would be fascinated to see the operating procedures for raising and lowering the dinghies - I have often wondered how the crew member who attached the last boat to the winch then got back to the aircraft and out to the boat when it was lowered. I'm sure there is a logical answer!

In 'The Inspector's' post above, I agree that the clipper bow was a commonplace feature of post-war civil and military Catalina conversions but I think the installation of an APU in that space was more unusual and may have been unique to the Innovator which was a very 'individual' aeroplane.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:30 am 
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I meant to add, referring to 'The Inspector's' post just above, that the Duxford based former RCAF Canso A G-PBYA has frameless blisters either side of the hull (not a Landseaire conversion but done in British Columbia by Ray Williams) and whilst we do not have integral shelves like the Innovator had, it is possible to sit in the blister area and lean right out so that most of the body is effectively outside of the aircraft itself but protected by the perspex. The view is awesome! My photo to the left shows me in one of these frameless blisters although I am not leaning right out at that moment. These blisters cannot be opened in flight unlike the original framed design where the inner part opened upwards like an eyelid.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:18 am 
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David Legg wrote:
I meant to add, referring to 'The Inspector's' post just above, that the Duxford based former RCAF Canso A G-PBYA has frameless blisters either side of the hull (not a Landseaire conversion but done in British Columbia by Ray Williams) and whilst we do not have integral shelves like the Innovator had, it is possible to sit in the blister area and lean right out so that most of the body is effectively outside of the aircraft itself but protected by the perspex. The view is awesome! My photo to the left shows me in one of these frameless blisters although I am not leaning right out at that moment. These blisters cannot be opened in flight unlike the original framed design where the inner part opened upwards like an eyelid.

Those blisters indeed give an awesome view from inside, but they do look funky when viewed from the outside. Maybe it's because they're smoked and the aircraft is white. Here's a picture by the way of G-PBYA's cockpit.
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Taken in Koksijde a few years ago when David showed me around. Thanks again for the tour! :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:42 am 
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Did someone say Bird Innovator?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Where is it at now ?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:28 pm 
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20 miles north of me in Aurora owned by Ron Ruble.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Any chance he would want to disassemble and transport it to Connecticut for free? :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Roger Cain wrote:
There was also a Grumman HU-16 Albatross at Oshkosh in the 90's that had a small boat mounted under the right wing, that was flared over.


That might have been N291TC with Jetskis under the wings as seen here:

http://www.hu-16.com/photos/173-002.jpg

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:06 pm 
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jreichle wrote:
That might have been N291TC with Jetskis under the wings as seen here:

http://www.hu-16.com/photos/173-002.jpg

Joerg

:shock:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:09 am 
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Think I may have found it (posted on Hyperscale):

http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/05e46b4c3528fe34_large

More pictures here:

http://images.google.com/images?sa=4&im ... rce%3Alife

No Jeep, but the photog clearly had an, er, "professional" interest in the young blonde woman ...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:43 am 
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Great shots aren't they. The photos show the various features mentioned in my post of 29th January (no bow turret, horn-balanced rudder, one clear blister and one with integral opening hatch) but the airstair is just a free-standing ladder and not the full-blown hinged integral version used on later some conversions. The aircraft shown is PBY-5A N69043 c/n 1599 ex-BuAer34045 and it ended up in Brazil as PP-AXX and crashed on landing near Ubatuba, Sao Paulo on July 5th 1953.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:45 am 
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Chris;
I don't think the PBY you are thinking about was the "Innovater".
At one point in it's career, before it was acquired by the CAF and then Gary Austin, that PBY had nicely, aerodynamically secured, boats beneath both wings. It was panted over all white with blue and red trim and had a seagull painted on the nose.
I last saw it at the 1975 P&W 50th Anniversary Display in East Hartford.
Jerry

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:54 am 
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Those are some really awesome images. Thank you for posting the link.

It's nice to see an old workhorse getting some vacation time!

Peace,

David


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:27 am 
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Seeing those Life pictures really makes me want to get one of those :D

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