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Old Sep 14, 2014, 09:24 AM
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sturla's Avatar
Iceland, Capital Region, Reykjavik
Joined Oct 2012
57 Posts
Build Log
PBY-5A Catalina 1/8 scale

I started my PBY build almost 20 years ago, I designed the plans along with the build.
At that time I had a RC model store and through my store I met an old PBY mechanic who was a big help with the design as well as an RC modeller who I could not have done this without. During the building process two PBYs came to Iceland and I was fortunate enough to get the chance to see them up close and measure them from top to bottom.

Finally in June of 2001 the Cat flew for the first time.
After 62 great flights, the PBY crashed this summer.

Being of the old school I make all my plans by hand, but I have had laser cut plans drawn for me that I am going to use for the rebuild.
I am looking forward to using laser cut parts for the build and I am also excited to put in the new landing gears that I have been perfecting.

PBY-5A Catalina Landing Gear and Flight (4 min 1 sec)

Here is a video of fligh 63

Crash of PBY-Catalina RC model in giant scale (5 min 43 sec)

Best regards,

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Old Sep 14, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Joined Feb 2013
257 Posts
That is heart-breaking...what a beautiful aircraft. What was the cause of the crash?
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Old Sep 14, 2014, 12:17 PM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Nederland, ZH, Oostvoorne
Joined Jun 2009
1,710 Posts
Hi Sturla ,

I have seen your website a few weeks ago , found it by chance. What an amazing design have you made ! so sad to see it chrash. . .

I wonder , do you have any video of it flying of the water ?

Kind Regards ,

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Old Yesterday, 03:16 PM
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sturla's Avatar
Iceland, Capital Region, Reykjavik
Joined Oct 2012
57 Posts
I have tried three times to take of off water. It is quite the mission attempting waterflight as you will need the perfect weather conditions and someone with a boat. Both things at a time was the first challenge.

Then I always ran into some troubles when trying fly the PBY off the water.

On the first attempt I was on a long narrow lake with crosswinds coming on the right side and every time I gave throttle the left wingboat pushed down and the plane spun around. So no takeoff there.

The second time I tried, the crosswinds came on the left side and everything was looking great. Then, seconds before takeoff, the nose wheel doors came loose on the front hinges and one of the doors cut through the bottom of the plane and took control of the plane causing it to flip.
That was such a disappointing day. It was a beautiful day and I had convinced one of the best photographer and videomaker to come with me to capture everything on film. What a letdown!

The third time the weather wasn't ideal, with rough turbulence coming from a nearby mountain. Water splashed the motor and killed it two times. So that was that.
Later talking to an ex PBY pilot he told me the only way to take off water was with crosswinds on the left wing, as the left wingboat would otherwise always push down and make the plane spin.
That was the exact same thing that happened to me.

So for the fourth attempt I was sure I would have success with what I had learned.
1. Crosswind coming on the left side.
2. Tightening the nose door really well.
3. Good weather and still waters.

Unfortunately the PBY crashed before I could make my fourth waterflight attempt.

Catalina Hafravatn take off bútur (2 min 24 sec)

Catalina 1/8 scale Model on Water (2 min 45 sec)
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