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Old 02-05-2020, 04:21 AM   #61
Icelander
 
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Default Re: PBY Catalina

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Note that if they only mount the weapon when outside the US, the FAA has no jurisdiction anyway. On the other hand, if they fly round international waters so armed, and then go and annoy some FAA (or other law enforcement) official, they might find themselves labelled 'pirates' and locked up. Getting permission to have guns mounted in the Antilles in general will be a nightmare, given how many different countries' hold territory there.
Yep.

I'd think that formally getting permission was far too difficult. Now, having law enforcement on Dominica and St. Lucia tacitly agree not to make trouble is another matter...

In the continental United States, owning and operating vintage WWII 'Warbirds' is a pretty accepted hobby for well-off enthusiasts, complete with air shows and a thriving subculture around it.

I wonder if there would be any interest in that sort of thing in the Caribbean?

For example, if Kessler acquired and refurbished a PBY-5A Catalina that was once a part of VP-92, stationed in the Antilles or some other part of the Caribbean, could he plausibly have a local equivalent to the Commemorative Air Force?

How about on Puerto Rico, which is under US authority, but culturally distinct from most of CONUS?

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I doubt it would in be better for much of anything, except where the Short is too big (and then you'd use a Goose or Otter or some such) unless a large amphibious flying boat was needed. I just mentioned it because it has those big, obvious gun blisters.
So, to you, the Catalina would be more interesting in its wartime configuration than in the classy-as-copulation Landseaire Golden Age of Travel luxury get-up?

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The thing about the Sandringham is that it's spacious enough that lots of kit can be carried (it's weight, not bulk limited), and it could be fitted out with bunks and kitchen facilities allowing both very long flights in some comfort and using it as a base when exploring remote locations. On the other hand, having one of those things pull up to the island you've put your secret cultists' temple on is going to be a fairly unmissable event, as they are not at all subtle (though neither is a Catalina).
If you need subtle and don't mind slow, you probably want to use a mid-sized yacht as your base.

The Sandringham is pretty good for Kessler's purposes in that it can take a whole team of 'Night Riders' (Monster Hunters) from the US to a Caribbean island (or vice versa) in about half a day (rather than 4+ days on a fast yacht) while still being anachronistic enough so that there is some chance that he might get those of his men who are magicians (e.g. the PCs) to step foot on it.

It can deliver the team somewhere close to the target destination, without actually being at it, and maybe rendezvous with a boat or small yacht that has been locally chartered (or that Kessler happened to have access to nearby).

I imagine that outside of situations where Kessler needs to get 12+ guys with serious occult leanings between the Antilles and the Gulf Coast relatively quickly, the Sandringham spends its time being pampered in a hangar and probably being displayed alongside some Grumman Geese as a living history exhibit, dedicated to aviation in the Antilles.

Hell, let's say Kessler bought more than just the planes from the estate of Antilles Air Boats. He can have bought the livery and rights too, to use as cover, and because he is genuinely interested in the history of seaplanes in the Caribbean. So he can operate Antilles Air Boats (having bought four Grumman Geese and one Sandringham) as a fairly exclusive, reservations required, living history museum, mostly kept on St. Lucia and Dominica, but visiting other Antillean destinations periodically.

It will lose money, obviously, but it's not all that implausible an endeavour for a billionaire who has had a home on these islands since the airline actually was in operation. Especially given that real people have tried to do this (but not being billionaires, are still stuck at the fund-raising stage).

Edit: This reveals a pretty obvious role for a PBY-5A Catalina even if Kessler also owns a Short S.25 Sandringham. The Sandringham is stored on the islands in the Antilles where Kessler has retreats and many allies living locally while the Catalina lives in Galveston/Houston. So if necessary, occultists in his employ can always travel between them in less than 24 hours, without needing to wait to be picked up.
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:13 AM   #62
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Default Re: PBY Catalina

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Assuming that Kessler has access to a Short S.25 Sandringham*, what, if anything, would be the utility of a Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina aircraft for him?
Conveniently, both aircraft have been run on the R-1830 Twin Wasp (sfc 0.49 lb/(hph)) at 1200hp, so that makes the calculation easier; each engine burns about 588lb of fuel per hour. But the Sandringham has two more engines, so it's burning an extra 1176lb every hour.

The Sandringham's faster cruise speed compensates a bit; the Sandringham is burning 1335lb of fuel per 100 miles while the Cat gets away with 941.

The Sandringham also has a higher wing load (35.6 vs 25.3 lb/ft) so slightly lower manoeuvreability, slightly higher stall speed, slightly longer takeoff and landing runs. In a tactical context that may make a difference.

Moving away from hard data, Cats have a reputation for solidity and reliability whereas the various Short flying-boats don't; on the other hand in the real world there are three surviving Sandringhams out of 51, none flyable but that's about 6%, versus 80 surviving Cats including 20 flyable out of 3305, about 2.5%.

(And of course if you want spare parts for a Cat now it has the advantage that there are 19 other flying Cats out there and that's enough to make it worth someone's while to build them.)
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:22 AM   #63
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Default Re: PBY Catalina

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So, to you, the Catalina would be more interesting in its wartime configuration than in the classy-as-copulation Landseaire Golden Age of Travel luxury get-up?
They're both cool. I do like the use of the nacelles as drinking/snuggling nooks with a view.
Quote:
Edit: This reveals a pretty obvious role for a PBY-5A Catalina even if Kessler also owns a Short S.25 Sandringham. The Sandringham is stored on the islands in the Antilles where Kessler has retreats and many allies living locally while the Catalina lives in Galveston/Houston. So if necessary, occultists in his employ can always travel between them in less than 24 hours, without needing to wait to be picked up.
So the PCs that aren't tech level-limited wizards will be 'enjoying' a 8+ hour trip in an an old flying boat, only to transfer to another old flying boat for another 8-12 journey... Well, it'll have them pining for a ride in a nice 'modern' TL-7 jet transport (the Il-76), at least (those things aren't internally quiet in their standard configuration either).
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:22 AM   #64
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Default Re: PBY Catalina

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Conveniently, both aircraft have been run on the R-1830 Twin Wasp (sfc 0.49 lb/(hph)) at 1200hp, so that makes the calculation easier; each engine burns about 588lb of fuel per hour. But the Sandringham has two more engines, so it's burning an extra 1176lb every hour.

The Sandringham's faster cruise speed compensates a bit; the Sandringham is burning 1335lb of fuel per 100 miles while the Cat gets away with 941.

The Sandringham also has a higher wing load (35.6 vs 25.3 lb/ft) so slightly lower manoeuvreability, slightly higher stall speed, slightly longer takeoff and landing runs. In a tactical context that may make a difference.

Moving away from hard data, Cats have a reputation for solidity and reliability whereas the various Short flying-boats don't; on the other hand in the real world there are three surviving Sandringhams out of 51, none flyable but that's about 6%, versus 80 surviving Cats including 20 flyable out of 3305, about 2.5%.

(And of course if you want spare parts for a Cat now it has the advantage that there are 19 other flying Cats out there and that's enough to make it worth someone's while to build them.)
Those are good points.

I was already convinced that it was plausible enough that Kessler could own both a Sandringham and a Catalina, so this just reinforces that.

If a PBY-5A Catalina is maintained as close to the historical WWII look, how many passengers can it carry?

By which I mean that if it appeared externally the same and didn't mount anything that couldn't be removed fairly easily, how many people could travel by the aircraft (instead of bombs and other cargo)?
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:25 AM   #65
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Default Re: PBY Catalina

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Moving away from hard data, Cats have a reputation for solidity and reliability whereas the various Short flying-boats don't; on the other hand in the real world there are three surviving Sandringhams out of 51, none flyable but that's about 6%, versus 80 surviving Cats including 20 flyable out of 3305, about 2.5%.

(And of course if you want spare parts for a Cat now it has the advantage that there are 19 other flying Cats out there and that's enough to make it worth someone's while to build them.)
The Sunderlands seemed to be pretty reliable and quite robust. As for their take-off runs, on a dead clam day sometimes they needed someone to take a motor boat out and make some wake to allow them to unstick. Other times 'maximum takeoff weight' was just a guideline if you had a long enough run available.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:41 AM   #66
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Default Re: PBY Catalina

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They're both cool. I do like the use of the nacelles as drinking/snuggling nooks with a view.
I know, right!

Hmm... back in the early 1980s, Kessler didn't have any kind of urgent mission to spend his wealth on (not having yet found about the supernatural), so maybe he set out to replicate a Landseaire luxury flying yacht at that time just for fun. It is very much in character, not to mention that in the early 50s he's likely to have heard about these things, wanted one, but not been rich enough for it at that time.

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So the PCs that aren't tech level-limited wizards will be 'enjoying' a 8+ hour trip in an an old flying boat, only to transfer to another old flying boat for another 8-12 journey... Well, it'll have them pining for a ride in a nice 'modern' TL-7 jet transport (the Il-76), at least (those things aren't internally quiet in their standard configuration either).
Actually, out of three 'full-time' PCs and two 'part-time', everyone has some kind of magical ability or gift. It's been established that at least one player is adamantly opposed to having his PC fly and two others have so far not done so (but then, there has been no pressing reason to do so yet). Only one part-time PC has been on an airplane in the past year and it's probably not a coincidence that that is the character whose background is the most 'mundane' (a USMC Recon officer).

Basically, the non-magic using 'Night Riders' (Monster Hunters) who are former special operators or the like are NPCs, with the PCs filling the occult expert roles.

Granted, the PCs exist in a continuum of tech-trouble, with some of them still managing to live a TL8 life (which still tends to involve being on a first-name basis with a lot of tech support guys) and others, e.g. 'Nonc' Morel, essentially living a TL5 existence (he lives in a cabin without electricity in the Atchafalaya Basin).

Still, barring the one exception, all of the players seem to have taken my warning that their tech-trouble could also add to the Malf. of devices around them... such as on airplanes, as a hard bar to them flying at all.

That being said, if and when the PCs and their allies need to make a quick trip covering hundreds or thousands of miles, they'll probably be offered a choice of a) modern helicopter + charter jet (if the hurry justifies it), b) Commercial flight, c) Il-76 (late TL7) or d) A museum piece kept by Kessler, like a C-47 Dakota, Short S.25 Sandringham or PBY-5A Catalina.

Even if they have to take a private flight in order to be able to take various gear that can only pass customs inspection if it goes through a private airport or docking facilities where Kessler has a lot of influence, the mundane members of the 'Night Rider' team will still probably have the option of flying to the nearest airport to the destination in a modern jet and then pick up their anachronistic occult experts by the time they finally arrive in the WWII plane.
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:54 AM   #67
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Default Getting Around Florida Quickly and Discreetly

Assuming that a team of 'Night Riders' was established in 2011 in Florida, based around the Gainesville campus of the University of Florida, what would be good transportation options for them?

We're talking 4-6 full-time members, with a rotating cast of experts and support staff, but it will be very rare that they'll deploy with more than eight people, as they'll usually meet a local expert and any support network on site.

The Florida 'Night Rider' team are responsible for all of Florida and might have to travel to Georgia and the Carolinas. In addition, they might be asked to provide Spanish-speaking support for expeditions to Cuba, the Dominican Republic or similar.

One trip that I can see them taking quite often might be from Gainesville to Polk City, where they have access to a Be-12 aircraft that can take them to Caribbean destinations if needed. On the other hand, if that's an unnecessary complication, they can just fly a less noteworthy plane from Gainesville directly to whereever they are going.

There are also offices of people with whom they work in Fort Lauderdale, so they visit there fairly often, and Kessler has a compound in Key West where they might deploy by yacht or other transport, but they'd have to have a way to get from Gainesville to Key West pretty quick.

None of the full-time members of the team are ritual magicians, but they might work from time to time with consulting specialists who have some magical abilities. All the same, it's not necessary for them to be so anachronistic as to use only WWII vintage transport. Just avoiding stuff that will go down immediately if a computer chip stops working should be fine (so, late TL7 to the first half of TL8 might be okay, especially if it's robust and simple designs).

Gainesville to Polk City is 116 miles by road (ca 106 mile straight line), so fast cars might do for that, but if they're already using a private plane or helicopter for longer trips, they might be able to use it for emergencies.
Gainesville to Fort Lauderdale is 277 miles in a direct line.
Gainesville to Key West is 352 miles in a straight line.

So, couple of questions:

Assuming they are flying from the Gainesville Regional Airport, would they want a helicopter or a private plane?

If a helicopter, what is the best bang for the buck for this role?

If a private plane, same question?

Kessler is fine spending some millions of dollars on their logistics (they are, ofter all, about 20% of his 'Night Rider' complement), but the money should be spent relatively shrewdly and without undue waste. If nothing else, the magicians around Kessler contribute to enough waste in the form of complex logistical requirements so it's best to avoid it for more mundane folk.

Edit: On the subject of helicopters, it's already been established that companies Kessler controls own at least one Mil Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip (obtained shortly after 1990) and a couple of Alouette III helicopters (bought in the 1980s). These have to be based somewhere, so it's not implausible that one of them could be devoted to the Florida team. Would they want a private plane as well, given that the Alouette III is not particularly fast?
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:25 AM   #68
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Default Re: Getting Around Florida Quickly and Discreetly

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Assuming that a team of 'Night Riders' was established in 2011 in Florida, based around the Gainesville campus of the University of Florida,
As a pedantic note, unless they've opened a secondary campus since I wnet there, Gainesville is the only campus of the Unversity of Florida. It's not like California where you have U of C:Los Angeles, U of C: San Diego etc. Other major (and even not-so-major) Universities in Florida are separate entities.

You might as well say you're based in Gainesville. UF was a diverse entity with degree programs including a Masters in Ornamnetal Horticlture but there was no covert supernatural commando team during my time there. Or at least not in the catalog.

For secrete tansportation you want a Cessna 172, simple reliable and common to the point of invisibility. There will be very few palces within it's range where you can't land quite close to your destination. For example: where I live now was 3 hours by road to Gainesville but there's an "air park" close enough to my house that I'd hear you coming in for a landing. If you have knowledge of the mostly abandoned strips used by the drug trade there are even fewer limits than that. If the single-engined 172 is ust too small a Beechcraft twin engine would be alsmot as invisible.

Most of the aircraft you've been talking about would be extremely conspicuous unless there was an air show nearby. Flying over KSC or Patrick Air Base in an ex-Soviet aircraft might be a particularly bad idea. Patrick _does_ have a commando team or two handy. Spooky too, it's the home field for USAF special ops.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:30 AM   #69
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

An-2s are quite popular with sky-diving companies and clubs, so if there are any in the area that shouldn't stand out too much.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:45 AM   #70
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Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

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An-2s are quite popular with sky-diving companies and clubs, so if there are any in the area that shouldn't stand out too much.
Somewhere maybe but I've never seen one around here.
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