Canso Restoration: With the completion of our hanger in 1995, major restoration work and presentation has begun in earnest. Currently, the museum estimates that restoration of the Canso will take a minimum of 10 years to complete. Since the Canso has been moved into the museum, the large hole on the left side of the fuselage had been repaired.
Some of the paint has been cleaned up and removed and work on the landing gear has begun.
When completed the center section of the Canso wing and left outer wing section will be reinstalled. However the right wing section will be left off. This wing was heavily damaged in both the crash and recovery of the aircraft. As well, the museum does not currently have the space to display the aircraft with its full 104 foot wingspan. The Canso will also be repainted in EPA colours as she looked the day it crashed.
The museum wishes to thank the Newfoundland Forest Service which has donated used parts that are no longer airworthy to help with this restoration.
History of the Consolidated (Model 28) PBY Catalina
During the 1930’s, the U.S. Navy issued a requirement for a patrol flying boat with greater range and loading capacity. In 1933, the US Navy had Consolidated and Douglas design competing prototypes: the Consolidated XP3Y-1 and the Douglas XP3D-1. Consolidated’s XP3Y-1 became the most extensively-built flying-boat in aviation history.
The Consolidated Model 28 has a parasol-mounted wing like the P2Y which preceded it. In the new design there was an introduction of internal bracing which virtually made the wing a cantilever. Except that on each side between the hull and the wing there are two small streamline struts. The performance of earlier designs was limited because the model 28 was free of multiplicity of drag producing struts and bracing wires. Another innovation which was made was the provision of stabliszing floats. This made the plane more aerodynamically efficient. Although this formed stream lined wingtips because they are retracted when flying. The model 28 had a clean tail and a two-step hull design. The Model 28 had two 615-kW (825-hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-54 Twin Wasp engines mounted on the wing leading-edges.
In November 1939 the designation XPBY-5A was introduced. These were a revised version of the PBY-4, giving it wheeled landing gear so the plane would work like an amphibian (being far more versatile). The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum’s Canso is an example of a PBY-5A.
The Museum’s Canso was completed shortly after WWII. It was flown for a short time by the United States Coast Guard before being declared surplus and sold. It was later modified for passenger and freight work, having its military equipment removed including the observers blisters. After brief service in the Caribbean it was purchased by Eastern Provincial Airways and flown throughout Atlantic Canada until it’s crash on Oct. 1st, 1957.