Built by Consolidated in San Diego, California during 1937 as as PBY-2 Catalina at a cost of $378,286.00 with spare parts. Completed on June 1937, without any military equipment.
Purchased by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY for use by naturalist Dr. Richard Archbold. Registered in the United States as NC 777. Nicknamed "Guba" the New Guinea Hiri Moutu word for a tropical storm in honor of his preceeding aircraft, Fairchild 91B "Kono" NR777 that sank in Guba storm. Also known as "Guba I", as another Catalina PBY-2 "Guba" NC 777 had the same nickname and registration.
This aircraft was to make the first transcontinental flight by a flying boat.
During August 1937, sold to the Soviet Union and marked as "URSS L-2". This Catalina was piloted by Sir Hubert Wilkins from Aklavik, Canada over the Arctic Sea to search for the Russian crew of Levanensky, without result. Afterwards, returned to New York, disassembled and shipped oversea to Russia. Ultimate fate unknown.
The Archbold Expeditions to New Guinea by Michael Cookson
The PBY Catalina (the early history) by Ray Wagner, Flight Classics publication 1972 Cuba [sic] Guba
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January 9, 2018