The Catalinas helped transform a sleepy town into an active Navy seaplane base during World War II. Today, the PBY-Naval Air Museum brings to the surface the stories of the U.S. Navy, the community of Oak Harbor, and all aircraft that were based at and flown from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island from 1942 to the present day.
The Floating Boat
PBY stands for Patrol Bomber Con-solidated. At 104 feet, the PBY-5A Cata-lina’s wingspan stretches almost half the wingspan of a Boeing 747-8 and demands a lot of space. Currently, Gigi sits outside the museum, exposed to the elements, with several of her parts, such as her nose turret and side blisters, secured in storage until she can be renovated. The museum has plans to build a hangar-style museum and provide on-site restoration opportunities, but is currently in the early stages of the process.