One demonstrated the dreamlike glamour and recreational possibility of the flying yacht, while the other was a forlorn remnant, telling a story of one of those dreams wrecking on the shores of a hostile country.
I kept those images in separate folders for a couple of years, and recently it occurred to me that they were related, and worthy of a story together.
Some Landseaire conversions had retractable stairs fitted just aft of the planing bottom, but this version has a simple ladder.
According to brochures, when the amphibian is afloat, the steps or ladder make useful diving platforms.
With such a capable aircraft available in such numbers, it was only a matter of time before the low-time surplus examples found their way into civilian hands, including some with Southern California Aircraft Corp., a partner with Consolidated’s new corporate identity as Convair.
While fighter aircraft and bombers would have no future use after the global conflict of the Second World War, surely the plethora of the versatile, but now-silent Consolidated PBY Catalinas and Cansos could be put to some alternate use.
The USSR built a small number under licence as well.
Odekirk, head of the Southern California Aircraft Corporation, who is busy converting ex-government PBY-5A amphibious Catalinas into air yachts.
With over 4,000 hours in his logbook, Odekirk has his own ideas of what an executive type airplane should be like—and be able to do.
These images came with a strange story of a family outing, Bedouin militiamen, international intrigue and a dream riddled by bullets.
The Catalinas in both instances were postwar conversions to a luxury flying yacht known as the Landseaire.