Just got word yesterday of Aerosoft preparing to release their new Catalina (PBY-5, PBY5A and PBY-6 models) and I for one can not wait to get my hands on this beautiful aircraft and once I do I will get back to you all with a more detailed look at this wonderful creation by Aerosoft.
Going by just the looks of the Catalina it will be another highly crafted aircraft following on from their superb BeaverX and Twin Otter to name just 2 of my favourites.
Below I have included an excerpt from Mathijs Kok (on behalf of Aerosoft) describing amongst other things Models, Liveries, Cockpits etc… if you follow the link to their forum you can read the post from the start of the project to where they are up to now, the posts are very informative and full of screenshots of where they are in development.
This is my most eagerly awaited aircraft that I will be buying for my virtual hangar I have already moved aside my BeaverX from Aerosoft so I have more room in the hangar for this beautiful rendition.
As before we decided to do 3 models PBY-5, PBY5A and PBY-6. Most likely each model will have a historical and a contemporary version (meaning you will find the ‘original’ and the version as it flies today) So 5 or 6 models in total.
There will be two liveries for each model, with a paint kit delivered before the release. We might ask customers to help with the liveries.
There will be two cockpits, one partly historical and one adapted to modern aviation. In both versions the functions of the navigator and flight engineer are merged with the main cockpit, even though this was not the case in most historical models. The reason for this is simple, we want the aircraft to be flyable by a single person, not with a pilot and a flight engineer who has his own compartment. As we will do all in VC, overlaying 2d bitmaps on top of the VC simply looks bad. In reality the flight engineers function was for the largest part monitoring so this is not too bad a thing.
The modern cockpit will have the advanced radios we used in the Twin Otter and a fully functional GPS system. No autopilot.
As with the Twin Otter, Beaver and other projects it is not our intentions to recreate any specific aircraft but to blend all aircraft we could find into a model to gives the best over all feature set. If you research the Catalina you will find that there is hardly any typical cockpit, even while they were in active service crews used to mount more instruments when they could find them and replace them with other versions when needed. So if we would do one model in full detail it would not be usable for all others. Some of the best known PBYs at this moment are total fakes, PBY-6 models that are painted as PBY-5 Black Cat models etc. There are models that have only been fitted 3 years ago with the typical bubbles on the fuselage, while other currently flying models have the bubbles removed because they are very expensive. Some have smooth noses were gun turrets used to be, on others the turrets where never installed. There is no typical PBY, and that is what makes it so charming.” *A post by: Mathijs Kok (on behalf of Aerosoft)*
You can get the full story from start to where they are now on the following forum post on Aerosoft here.
Be prepared for a long read as the post is 18 pages long but is stacked with lots of production shots of the aircraft inside and out.