Sunderland Vs Catalina

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Senior Airman
Feb 19, 2004
Which in your opinion was a better plane for the Maritime Recon and patrol role -

Short Sunderland: a plane with a 2980mile range, 14 defensive guns (and room for depth charges and radar fitting), heavy armour plating, a max height of 17,000ft and a max speed of 217mph...the Germans called it the 'Flying Porcupine' because of the sheer number of weapons it had and its ability to survive against overwhealming odds- A sunderland was once attacked (while staionary) by two patrolling Ju88s - one 88 was shot down and the other badly damaged and retreated. It was used effectively to patrol the seas and detect and sink was also used as a resuce plane

The Catalina had a range of 2545miles, 4 defensive machine guns and 4000lbs of bombs, mines and depth charges. a max height of 14,700ft and a max speed of 179mph. Given the name 'catalina' by the RAF who were so impressed with the aircraft they ordered 50 of them from the US in 1939. They were used by many countries over the world including Australia, Canada, East Indies and France ( :lol: ) Later models were fitted with Radar and some of these were even shipped to the USSR in their efforts against the Germans.

All in all these planes were both excellent at what they did and i often think of them as both 'unsung heroes' as you don't often hear about them in the history fact i hate to compare them but i would be interested in what you guys think...cheers

Does anyone have any true stories about incidents that happened in either a Sunderland or a Catalina? If yes, would be interested to hear them 8)
Being an American, and not wanting to disappoint Bronze, I'm going to say the Catalina, although the Sunderland is nice. Catalina looks better, IMO 8)

Catalina looks a lot nicer, although the numbers for the Sunderland are impressive.

Some Cat rescues:

I also recall reading an article about PBYs in Flight Journal at the end of which they included a quick recounting of a unique rescue. In short, a destroyer was sunk (I forget what by) and no ships were in the immediate area. A PBY landed and got about 100 (IIRC) of the crew aboard and rendez-voused with another destroyer and transferred the crew. It took off, flew back to were the destroyer had been sunk, and got the rest of the crew (not quite 100 IIRC) aboard and waited until the destroyer arrived when the crew were transferred to the destroyer.
I think it looks lovely, it isn't out of perspective at all - the Catlalina was a lovely looking plane, especially with British markings... 8)
bronzewhaler82 said:
Does anyone have any true stories about incidents that happened in either a Sunderland or a Catalina? If yes, would be interested to hear them 8)

The German U Boat U461 was sunk on the 30th July 1943 in the Bay of Biscay,North West of Cape Ortegal Spain, by a Sunderland from 461 Squadron RAAF , the Sunderland was coded U.

It was one of 3 U Boats sunk that day

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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