The OA-10 was the U.S. Army Air Forces' version of the PBY series flown extensively by the U.S. Navy during World War II. It was a twin-engine, parasol-mounted monoplane equipped with a flying boat hull, retractable tricycle landing gear and retractable wing-tip floats. The OA-10 operated primarily for air-sea rescue work ("DUMBO" missions) with the USAAF's Emergency Rescue Squadrons throughout WWII and for several years thereafter. During the war, OA-10 crews rescued hundreds of downed fliers.
The prototype Catalina first flew on March 28, 1935, and the production version was built in both seaplane and amphibian versions. The Consolidated Aircraft Corp., along with Canadian Vickers Ltd. and the Naval Aircraft Factory, produced nearly 2,500 Catalinas; of these, the USAAF received approximately 380.
The Brazilian Air Force was one of several Allied nations that received Catalinas during the war. It operated this Catalina in a variety of roles in the Amazon Basin until 1981. Flown to the museum in 1984, it was restored and painted as an OA-10A assigned to the 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron in the Pacific Theater during WWII.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Two .50-cal. machine guns in the waist, two .30-cal. machine guns (one in the bow and another in a rear tunnel), and 8,000 lbs. of bombs Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92s of 1,200 hp each Maximum speed: 184 mph Cruising speed: 120 mph Range: 2,325 miles Ceiling: 22,400 ft. Span: 104 ft. Length: 63 ft. 10 in. Height: 20 ft. 1 in. Weight: 36,400 lbs. loaded