THE 456th FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON

THE PROTECTORS OF  S. A. C.

 

Click on Picture to enlarge

 

The Convair R3Y "Tradewind"

+ Larger Font | - Smaller Font

 

Click on Picture to enlarge

The R3Y Tradewind

In 1945, the Navy approached Convair to see what could be done about building an improved flying boat, and Convair came up with the Model 117. It was a very sleek, high wing boat with a single step hull, four Allison T-40 turboprop engines with six blade, contra-rotating props. Each engine developed 5,100 shaft horsepower and 830 pounds of jet thrust. The stabilizing floats were fixed, as there was no room to stow them in the thin, laminar-flow wing. The boat was named the "Tradewind". It first flew in 1950 after a delay of some months because of trouble with the Allison engines. The Navy received it first Tradewind in 1954.

The Navy sought to use it as a patrol craft, troop transport, flying ambulance and fuel tanker. As a patrol craft, it mounted 5 pairs of 20 mm guns, two on each side fore and aft, and one pair behind the rudder. The Tradewind could lift 8,000 lbs of stores. It had a range of 3,450 miles without stores. This was the P5Y and it had a much different nose section from the transport version.

In the troop transport/ambulance arrangement, it was called the R3Y and could carry 103 fully armed troops or 92 stretcher patients and 12 Medics. It was planned to use it as an airborne landing craft, coming right up to the beach to unload troops and equipment. The tanker model  went into the history books in 1954 when it set a transcontinental seaplane speed record of 403 miles per hour utilizing the jetstream. It again set a record in 1956 when it simultaneously refueled four F9F Cougars in-flight. The speed record still stands.

Two P5Ys, five R3Y-1s and six R3Y-2 Tradewinds were built before production was terminated.  What should have been one of the Navy’s best and most beautiful boats was destined to be very short lived. The Allison T-40 engines were trouble from the start and the problems were never adequately remedied. One of the two original XP5Y-1s crashed and the suspected cause was engine failure. Subsequently, several more of the R3Ys were wrecked and it was judged definitely due to faulty engines. Finally, in 1958 the Navy ordered them grounded and sold for scrap.

Click on Picture to enlarge

A total of 11 Convair R3Y Tradewind seaplanes were built.  Five were troop transports and six were aerial refueling tankers In 1954 one set a transcontinental seaplane record of 403 mph by utilizing the jet stream, that still stands to date. Another set a record in 1956 by simultaneously refueling four aircraft at once Production ceased prematurely due to problems with the Allison turboprop engines
The Convair Tradewind set a record in 1956 when it simultaneously refueled four F9F Cougars in-flight.  After setting the record for prop planes (403mph) a faulty gear box caused this crash at Alameda NAS

The year 1945 saw WWII wind down and each of the armed services try to evaluate the implements they had fought with. The Navy concluded most of their aircraft had done well. By August 1945, the United States Navy was ostensibly the most powerful and modern in the world. Their flying boats had done well enough, but with the technology developed during the war, the Navy felt this class of aircraft could be greatly improved. What with the development of the turboprop engine and thin, high-lift wings, the Navy could increase payload, speed and effectiveness to a degree unheard of just a few years back.

Click on Picture to enlarge

It was further envisioned that the bow-loader R3Y-2s would be able to pull up and tie up to these floating docks to offload and on-load their cargo.

In 1945, the Navy approached Convair to see what could be done and Convair came up with the Model 117. It was a very sleek, high wing boat with a single step hull, four Allison T-40 turboprop engines with six blade, contra-rotating props. Each engine developed 5,100 shaft horsepower (3,806 kW) and 830 pounds (376.48 kg) of jet thrust. The stabilizing floats were fixed, as there was no room to stow them in the thin, laminar-flow wing. The boat was named the "Tradewind". It first flew in 1950 after a delay of some months because of trouble with the Allison engines. The Navy received it first Tradewind in 1954.

The Navy sought to use it as a patrol craft, troop transport, flying ambulance and fuel tanker. As a patrol craft, it mounted 5 pairs of 20 mm guns, two on each side fore and aft, and one pair behind the rudder. The Tradewind could lift 8,000 lbs. (3,628.7 kg) of stores. It had a range of 3,450 miles (5,52.1 km) without stores. In this configuration, the Navy called it the "P5Y".

Specifications:
Convair Tradewind R3Y-1
Dimensions:
Wing span: 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
Length: 139 ft 8 in (42.26 m)
Height: 51 ft 5 in (15.68 m)
Wing Area: 2,102 sq ft (640 sq m)
Weights:
Empty: 71,824 lbs (32,579 kg)
Normal Gross: 145,500 lbs (65,998 kg)
Maximum Gross: 165,000 lbs (74,842 kg)
Performance:
Maximum Speed: 388 mph (624 km/hr) @ 30,000 ft (9,144 m)
372 mph (598 km/hr) @ sea level)
Cruising Speed: 225 mph (362 km/hr)
Service Ceiling: 39,700 ft (12,100 m)
Combat Range: 2,785 mi (4,482 km) with eight 325 lb depth charges
Maximum Range: 3,450 mi (5,552 km) without payload
Powerplant:
Four Allison T-40-A-4 rated 5,100 shaft hp (3,806 kW)
plus 830 lbs. (376.48 kg) jet thrust
Armament:
No Armament on R3Y Versions.

In the troop transport/ambulance arrangement, it was called the "R3Y" and could carry 103 fully armed troops or 92 stretcher patients and 12 Medics. The fuel tanker model was also called the R3Y. It was this model which went into the history books in 1954 when it set a transcontinental seaplane speed record of 403 miles per hour utilizing the jet stream. It again set a record in 1956 when it simultaneously refueled four F9F Cougars in-flight. The speed record still stands.

At various times, the Navy had further plans to use the P5Y as an assault boat, a nuclear powered aircraft and several other configurations. Engine problems ultimately blocked these plans.

Two P5Ys, five R3Y-1s and six R3Y-2 Tradewinds were built before production was halted, What should have been one of the Navy’s best and most beautiful boats was destined to be very short lived. The Allison T-40 engines were troubled from the start and the problems were never adequately remedied. One of the two original XP5Y-1s crashed and the suspected cause was engine failure. Subsequently, several more of the R3Ys were wrecked and it was judged definitely due to faulty engines. Finally, in 1958 the Navy ordered them grounded and sold for scrap.

As part of the "Mobile Base Concept", the Navy had Convair develop a bow-loading Tradewind which incorporated straight-in loading. The above concept was developed by the Navy in the late 1940s around a high speed seaplane transport (the R3Y), a jet fighter seaplane (the Convair F2Y SeaDart) and a jet bomber seaplane (the Martin P6M SeaMaster).

It was planned that these three aircraft could fly anywhere in the world and have a floating base set up by suitable naval vessels anchored or buoyed in sheltered water.

In 1945, the Navy approached Convair to see what could be done about building an improved flying boat, and Convair came up with the Model 117. It was a very sleek, high wing boat with a single step hull, four Allison T-40 turboprop engines with six blade, contra-rotating props. Each engine developed 5,100 shaft horsepower and 830 pounds of jet thrust. The stabilizing floats were fixed, as there was no room to stow them in the thin, laminar-flow wing. The boat was named the "Tradewind". It first flew in 1950 after a delay of some months because of trouble with the Allison engines. The Navy received it first Tradewind in 1954. The project was re-evaluated by the Navy and developed into a transport with the new designation R3Y. Given the beautiful name Tradewind, eleven of these impressive aircraft were built and used by the Navy on runs such as that between Alameda and Pearl Harbor. This version could carry 80 passengers in rearward facing seats, up to 24 tons of cargo or an assault company of Marines more than 3,200 km (2,000 miles) without refueling. A special cargo version, designated R3Y-2 and sometimes known as the 'Flying LST' embodied an upward opening nose to facilitate the loading and unloading of troops and equipment. Although the Tradewind was used for a variety of tasks, including an aerial tanker for air-to-air refuelling, it proved the practicability of high-speed flying boat transports.

Click on Picture to enlarge

The Navy sought to use it as a patrol craft, troop transport, flying ambulance and fuel tanker. As a patrol craft, it mounted 5 pairs of 20 mm guns, two on each side fore and aft, and one pair behind the rudder. The armed Tradewind could still lift 8,000 lbs of stores. It had a range of 3,450 miles without stores. This was the P5Y and it had a much different nose section from the transport version whose nose can open.

Click on Picture to enlarge

Click on Picture to enlarge

In the troop transport/ambulance arrangement, it was called the R3Y and could carry 103 fully armed troops or 92 stretcher patients and 12 Medics or 24 tons of cargo. It was planned to use it as an airborne landing craft, coming right up to the beach to unload troops and equipment. The tanker model went into the history books in 1954 when it set a transcontinental seaplane speed record of 403 miles per hour utilizing the jetstream. It again set a record in 1956 when it simultaneously refueled four F9F Cougars in-flight. The speed record still stands.

Two P5Ys, five R3Y-1s and six R3Y-2 Tradewinds were built before production was terminated. What should have been one of the Navy's best and most beautiful boats was destined to be very short lived. The Allison T-40 engines were trouble from the start and the problems were never adequately remedied. One of the two original XP5Y-1s crashed and the suspected cause was engine failure. Subsequently, several more of the R3Ys were wrecked and it was judged definitely due to faulty engines. Finally, in 1958 the Navy ordered them grounded and sold for scrap.

Do we get this right?

We have an excellent seaplane transport that could speed marines anywhere in the world at high speeds instead of having them sit on vulnerable amphibious ships for months at a time and we give them up just because of ENGINE problems?

GET BETTER ENGINES!

 

 

USE YOUR BROWSER "BACK" BUTTON TO RETURN TO PERVIOUS PAGE

Last Updated

02/10/2014

 

POWERED BY

456FIS.ORG