The Next Generation In Amphibious Aircraft Operations

 

The

 Next Generation Amphibious Aircraft

 (NGAA)

“A Single Asset Solution For Airborne Amphibious Operations”

 

Executive Summary

Catalina Aircraft Trust, LLC (CAT,LLC) is currently developing the Next Generation Amphibious Aircraft (NGAA) “Catalina II”TM.  The NGAA is a modern production continuation Transport Category fixed wing twin turboprop amphibious flying boat capable of performing a significant number of commercial operations, sovereignty roles, and military missions using an affordable common platform design derived from the venerable Airplane Model 28-5ACF (PBY-5A) “Catalina“ amphibious flying boat.

CAT,LLC was formed in January 2009 after an exhaustive 6 year search resulted in the discovery of the intact (original Consolidated-Vultee) Intellectual Property package which, due to a paperwork error, had been last reported transferred by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1971 and presumed missing or destroyed for decades.  After securing the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), CAT,LLC worked with the FAA Los Angeles - Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to issue Revision 1 of FAA Type Certificate 785 for the Transport Category, Standard Airworthiness, Airplane Model 28-5ACF (PBY-5A) “Catalina“ amphibious flying boat in the name of Catalina Aircraft Trust, LLC on June 23, 2009.  Later, working with the Canadian authorities, Catalina Aircraft Trust, LLC was issued Revision 9 of Transport Canada Type Certificate A-24 for the Transport Category, Standard Airworthiness, Airplane Models PBY-5A / 28-5ACF “Canso (Catalina)” on October 02, 2014.

CAT,LLC is currently socializing our NGAA project to reintroduce the amphibious flying boat into commercial, sovereignty, and military service through a low technical risk production restart of a proven design, which to date has ZERO airframe Airworthiness Directives (ADs) associated with the Catalina’s robust design. CAT,LLC believes the time to field this new production variant of a previously proven and type certificated design could be accomplished in one fifth the time it takes to field a new design at a quarter the expense, thus saving significant schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars in development.

The NGAA is constructed using modern corrosion resistant materials, assembly practices and Supportability initiatives to ensure the Operational Availability (Ao) remains at the highest rates possible. Existing and proven in-service systems will be employed to minimize logistics footprint growth and provide for a commonality of components between the NGAA and current in-service platforms.

As the NGAA is based heavily on the design fundamentals of the 28-5ACF “Catalina”, it is also possible for CAT,LLC to configure a customer specific (Milestone C) demonstrator prototype airplanes exploiting existing 28-5ACF “Catalina” airframes that can be readily modified to customer specified NGAA configurations.  By modifying existing airframes, it is possible to accelerate prototyping timelines and demonstrate design concepts effectively and efficiently as compared to an entirely new airplane design concept, which requires the preliminary design to be completed before the first prototype can be produced.

By employing existing 28-5ACF “Catalina” airframes, CAT,LLC can provide a potential customer with radial or modified turboprop engine powered combat capable “Catalina” airplane to demonstrate Commercial Transport Capabilities, Concepts Of Employment (COE) capabilities, participate in amphibious landing exercises or fulfill Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONs), Navy Urgent Operational Needs (UONs), Marine Corps Urgent Universal Needs (UUNs), Navy/Marine Corps Operational Challenge Areas or other niche mission requests and/or needs.

For decades airlines and militaries relied heavily on the capabilities the amphibious flying boat had to offer.  However, with the advent of the jet age and introduction of the helicopter, they shifted away from this proven capability, focusing on the new emerging platform technologies.  Recently there has been a surge in the revival of the “seaplane” with many new airlines and several foreign militaries opting for float converted land planes to perform their amphibious operations / missions.  However, many operators continue to employ multiple platforms to execute amphibious operations that a single multi-purpose amphibious flying boat regularly executed decades ago without the need for additional platforms to support the task / mission.  As fiscal constraints force operators to move away from service-centric platforms, the NGAA can offer an affordable multi-service multi-mission solution that once again will prove to be a strategic force multiplier that can be employed across the entire spectrum of military operations by way of Land, Air, and Sea.

 
An Amphibious Concept

Realizing that seventy-one percent (71 %) of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, why are amphibious flying boats not more commonly employed in today’s amphibious operations?  Quite simply stated: because no one is currently building Large Category amphibious flying boats.  The production continuation NGAA can provide the commercial, sovereignty and military operators significant capabilities expansion over any current platform employed in amphibious operations today.  As an air-bridge, the NGAA can offer precision, speed and flexibility from land to air to sea.

CATT, LLC has identified fifty (50) potential unclassified military, government and commercial missions / roles the NGAA could perform.  Amphibious operations that traditionally relied on a mixture of land based vehicles, conventional fixed wing aircraft, vessels, and vessel based rotorcraft can now be accomplished with a single common platform based amphibious flying boat.  Deployment ranges (from home based or an austere Aerial Ports of Embarkation / Debarkation) can be extended and payloads increased as the benefits of fixed wing performance are now coupled with the virtually unlimited insertion / extraction point potential of any body of water or shoreline.

NGAA Variants

The NGAA targets two major aircraft client groups, the Military / Government customer and the civilian / commercial operator.  Listed below are many of the potential unclassified Department of Defense Joint Services, Defense Ministry, Provincial, and Commercial multi-role niches that the common platform design NGAA variants could perform:

Military Missions:

● Anti-Piracy Patrol / Gunship                                                   

● Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)

● Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) w/ Dipping Sonar        

● Counter Insurgency (COIN)

● Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR)                                         

● Executive / Head Of State (HOS) Transport

● Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR)        

● Military Air Ambulance

● Aerial Weapons Platform (Organic Airborne Artillery) 

● Aerial Refueling Tanker

● Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C)                    

● Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS)

● Sea Basing Troop Transport (Ship To Shore)                    

● Sea Basing Cargo Transport (Ship To Shore)

● Special Operations Forces Support (SOFS)                       

● Tactical Bulk Fuel Delivery

● Submarine Emergency Evacuation                                      

● Air Droppable Payload Delivery

● Airspace Range Clearing                                                           

● Surface Range Clearing (w/ interdiction)

● Maritime Patrol Amphibious Aircraft (MPAA)

● Maritime UAV Control, Support, and Recovery                             

● Target Tow (Airborne/Surface)

● Sonobuoy Air Drop                                                                     

● Cold Weather Insertion & Resupply

● Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO)                 

● Command and Control

● (104’ Span) Modular Aerial Spray Systems (MASS)       

● Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) & Blue Water 

 

Sovereignty Roles:

● Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA)                             

● Border Patrol

● Coast Guard Search & Rescue                                               

● Customs Patrol

● Coast Guard Maritime Disaster Response        

● Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) Patrol

● NOAA Hurricane / Typhoon Hunter                    

● Disaster Relief Support (Tsunami, Earthquake, Typhoon)

● NOAA Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) Station Support

 

Commercial Applications:

● Commuter Airline Passenger Transport            

● Air Cargo Transport                                    

● Aerial Firefighting

● Offshore Oil Rig Support                                          

● Corporate / Personal Transport            

● Air Ambulance

● Environmental Disaster Response                       

● Dive Emergency Response                     

● Fisheries Bulk Stocking

● Humanitarian Aid                                                        

● Postal / Supply Delivery                           

● Adventure Sports Transport  

 

NGAA Advantages

With an almost limitless CONOPS potential, many newly formed commercial airlines and several militaries around the world are now taking advantage of the benefits amphibious aircraft can offer to perform maritime based operations and have begun the acquisition process to re-introduce this proven capability.  A conceptual Operational View (OV-1) showing just a few of an estimated 50 unclassified activities the NGAA could be capable of performing is provided below:

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In the area of Homeland Security, the NGAA can perform variety of non-lethal interdiction activities using a single asset.  Equipped with “dipping sonar” Customs and Border Patrol could interdict semi-submersible drug and human trafficking operations using a single asset equipped with an under wing mounted RHIB for the boarding party to use once alighted.  Search & Rescues that traditionally relied on fixed wing aircraft to search, locate, and then become the “on-scene” coordinator circling overhead while directing other assets such as slow moving vessels and their vessel based rotorcraft to perform the actual rescue when finally in flight range, or requesting assistance from diverted civilian vessels, can now be accomplished with a single NGAA. 

As a forcible entry asset, the NGAA can offer flexibility in troop and equipment positioning.  Performing Special Operations activities, the NGAA can insert and extract SEAL / RECON teams carrying Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), Shallow Water Combat Submersibles (SWCSs), or High Speed Amphibians (HSAs) under wing to support operational needs.  Up Armored, the NGAA can offer four manned weapons stations.  Equipped with M-134 Miniguns, M2 .50 Cal, Mk19 40mm grenade Launchers and wing mounted Hellfire missiles, the NGAA can provide superior lethality for riverine and other special operations.

Imagine having a single asset that can not only patrol and discover, but now also intercept and interdict a perceived threat in a timely manner by alighting onto the sea.  Equipped with up to two (2) under wing mounted Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), the NGAA can provide the Combined Task Force (CTF) an asset that can rapidly respond to piracy distress calls, gain situational awareness, intercept and then interdict the piracy attempts, taking prisoners and destroying pirate vessels if necessary with the on board M230 30MM chain gun, 120mm breech load mortar or wing mounted DAGR 70mm laser guided rockets and Hellfire Missiles. 

Consider a new capability to perform full “dipping sonar” Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations or other Under Surface Warfare (USW) activities using land based amphibious flying boats that not only do not need a Million Dollar an hour slow moving vessel to support it, but can also “dip” for hours, along a hundreds of miles of sea, as compared to current rotorcraft platforms which can “dip” for just minutes before having to return to their slow moving support vessels for refueling.

Working as an air-bridge, the NGAA can provide logistics support to a seabase directly or from an advanced base to employ, sustain, and reconstitute the Joint Task Force.  NGAAs could operate from an Integrated Landing Platform (ILP) or Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) with a Float On / Float Off (FLO/FLO) design to become an “at sea” tarmac.  Urgent at-sea deployments or replenishments, currently beyond the range of rotorcraft, can now be accomplished with the NGAA. 

Performing humanitarian aid services during Natural Disasters (Hurricane Katrina, Tsunami, Haiti earthquake), the NGAA can execute mass rescues and deliver emergency supplies to any shoreline prior to the arrival of any current vessels or vessel based rotorcraft platforms.  After the Haiti earthquake, one relief organization used an amphibious flying boat exclusively to deliver urgently needed medical supplies and doctors to a hospital by way of the beach, as the roads from the (also closed) airport to the hospital were still blocked a week later.

Utilizing the NGAA, patrolling costs could be further reduced through the added capability to extend offshore loiter times by flying with One Engine Inoperative (OEI) without the associated ditching concerns of a non-amphibious aircraft.  Because NGAA can alight onto the water, it can offer an unchallengeable capability for Time-On-Station (TOS) as compared to any other fixed wing or rotorcraft platforms currently employed in Maritime Operations. 

 Proposed CONOPS

Aerial Weapons / Anti-Piracy Gunship

Equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), Infrared Detection Set (IDS), Integrated Self Defense (ISD) systems, a 30mm automatic cannon, a 120mm multi-purpose launcher (capable of firing the 120mm breech load family of munitions to include: Precision Guided Mortar Munitions (PGMMs), 120mm Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), Very Small Munitions (VSMs), Combat Explosive Rounds, Smoke Rounds, and Illumination Rounds), a “Gunslinger” type Standoff Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGM) system, or emerging Airborne Tactical Laser (ATL) technology, the NGAA can provide Close Air Support (CAS) and Surgical Strike (SS) capabilities offering direct and indirect attack capabilities encompassing the entire kill chain (F2T2EA) for both maritime and terra targets. With the NGAA on Anti-Piracy Patrol, improved interdiction to distress calls from ships off the coast of Africa would suppress the growing rate of pirate attacks on civilian ships.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft without having to return to base/Seabase.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for up to four (4) “Hellfire” type missiles on each M299 Smart Launcher or sixteen (16)  Direct Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR), and a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) to provide the crew with a vessel for boarding and inspection of potential threat vessels.  When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.

Seabasing / Blue Sea / Carrier On-board Delivery Troop Transport

Equipped with a port side combination Troop/Cargo Door, Starboard Troop Door and a rear Ventral Paratrooper/Cargo Door, the NGAA can perform Troop insertion/extraction operations from/to land, sea based vessels, and/or the beach head.  There are internal provisions for thirty (30) crashworthy troop seats or a combination of troop seats and internal cargo.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for transport of two (2) High Speed Amphibians (HSAs) similar to the “Terra-quad” type concept, two (2) Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), or four (4) Next Generation Cargo Pods (NGCPs)  in support of troop transport missions.  Aerial deliveries of Paratroopers and smaller sized cargo loads are possible through the rear Ventral Paratrooper/Cargo Door.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel supply from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  Once alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  The NGAA can also come ashore by lowering the landing gear and using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Seabasing / Blue Sea / Carrier On-board Delivery Cargo Transport

Equipped with a port side Cargo Door and a Rear Ventral Cargo Door, the NGAA can perform cargo transport operations from/to land, sea based vessels, and/or the beach head.  There are internal provisions for seven hundred and fifty cubic feet (750 CuFt.) of internal storage, including the capability to support HCU-12/E (88”x54”) 463L style palletized loads.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for the transport of two (2) High Speed Amphibians (HSAs) similar to the “Terra-quad” type concept, or additional cargo in four (4) Next Generation Cargo Pods (NGCPs).  Aerial deliveries of smaller sized cargo loads are possible through the rear Ventral Cargo Door.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel supply from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  Once alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  Lowering the landing gear, the NGAA can come ashore using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Anti-Submarine (ASW) / Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)

Equipped with a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Laser Detecting/Ranging/Tracking set, Multi-Mission Surface Search Radar, Airborne Low Frequency (dipping) Sonar (ALFS), and an Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, the NGAA can outperform any Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) dipping sonar rotorcraft platform in inventory today.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for up to eight (8) “Hellfire” type missiles, four (4) torpedoes, four (4) “harpoon” type missiles, or two (2) Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM  ER).  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft without having to return to the Naval Air Station (NAS) or Seabase.  The unique ability to alight onto the ocean permits the NGAA to remain on-station for twenty-four (24) hours at a radius of 500 miles from the fleet performing dipping sonar operations operating on APU power.  When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked. 

Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS)

The NGAA can be equipped with a Carriage Stream Tow Recovery System (CSTRS) for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS), Mine Hunting Sonar, Rapid Airborne Mine Clearing System (RAMICS), and/or Organic Airborne Surface Influence Sweep (OASIS) to operate as an Airborne Mine Countermeasure (AMCM) platform.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft without having to return to the Seabase.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for two (2) wing mounted external fuel tanks. The unique ability to alight onto the ocean permits the NGAA to remain on-station for twelve (12) hours at a radius of 250 miles from the fleet performing mine clearing operations operating on APU power with occasional airborne operations.  When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked. 

Coast Guard Search and Rescue

Equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), Multi-Mission Surface Search Radar, a port entry door, port side Forward Gunner’s Window and rear Waist-Gun Blister, starboard forward Observation Bubble and rear Waist Observation Blister and a rear Ventral Swimmer/Cargo Door, the NGAA can perform Coast Guard Search and Rescue missions from/to both land and sea based facilities/vessels.  With the added capability of a single engine loiter, the endurance can be extended to 15 hours.  There are internal provisions for thirty (30) crashworthy seats or eight (8) crashworthy seats and twelve (12) stretchers.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for transport of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) to provide the crew with a vessel for boarding and inspection of potential threat vessels, and an “Air-Droppable” “AR-8” style rescue boat or wing mounted external fuel tank in support of long range Patrol/Search And Rescue missions, .  Aerial/alighted deliveries of Swimmers and rescue supplies/additional inflatable rafts are possible through the rear Ventral Swimmer/Cargo Door.  The Port Gunner’s Window and rear Waist-Gun Blister are equipped with machine gun and mini-gun type weapons to provide manned defensive stations.  The starboard forward observation bubble and Waist Observation Blister provide unmatched fields of view for observers.  A nose mounted Monitor could provide the capability for a first responder aircraft to suppress a ship or oil rig fire as the crew/passengers proceed to evacuate.  Two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked during firefighting/rescue operations.

Border, Customs and Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) Patrol

Equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), Multi-Mission Surface Search Radar, Airborne Low Frequency (dipping) Sonar (ALFS), a port entry door, port side Forward Gunner’s Window and rear Waist-Gun Blister, starboard forward Observation Bubble and rear Waist Observation Blister, and a rear Ventral Cargo Door, the NGAA can perform Homeland Security Patrol missions from/to both land and sea based facilities/vessels.  With the added capability of a single engine loiter, the endurance can be extended to over 15 hours.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for transport of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) to provide the crew with a vessel for boarding and inspection of potential threat vessels and a wing mounted external fuel tank in support of long range Patrol missions.  Aerial deliveries of rescue supplies/inflatable rafts are possible through the rear Ventral Cargo Door.  The Port Gunner’s Window and rear Waist-Gun Blister are equipped with machine gun and mini-gun type weapons to provide manned defensive stations.  The starboard forward Observation Bubble and rear Waist Observation Blister provide unmatched fields of view for observers.  With the added capability to operate as a non-lethal weapons platform, the NGAA can immobilize threat vessels and render the crews incapable of resisting interdiction.  When alighted, Two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.

Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO)

Equipped with a port side combination Troop/cargo and Starboard Troop Doors, the NGAA can perform Non-combatant Evacuation Operations from/to land, sea based vessels, and/or the beach head.  There are internal provisions for thirty (30) crashworthy troop seats or a combination of troop seats and internal cargo.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for transport two (2) Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), or four (4) Next Generation Cargo Pods (NGCPs) in support of NEO transport missions.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel supply from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  Once alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  The NGAA can also come ashore by lowering the landing gear and using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Counter Insurgency (COIN) / Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR)

Equipped with a multi-sensor suite including Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Laser Detecting/Ranging/Tracking set, Real Time Full Motion Video, Signals intelligence (SIGINT) and jamming systems, the NGAA is capable of intercepting and combating adversary communications, and intensifying  data collection operations through the intelligence-collection capabilities operating in-theatre, allowing real-time full-motion video and signals intelligence for battlefield decisions both on land and at sea. Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for two (2) wing mounted nestable external fuel tanks in support of long range Reconnaissance missions, multiple munitions capabilities and .  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel supply from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  If alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.

Special Operations Forces Support (SOFS)

Equipped with a port side combination Troop/Cargo Door, Starboard Troop Door rear Ventral Paratrooper/Cargo Door, Port and Starboard Forward Gunner’s Windows and rear Waist-Gun Blisters equipped with machine gun and mini-gun type weapons providing manned defensive stations, the NGAA can perform Special Operations Forces insertion/extraction operations from/to land, riverine, and sea based vessels.  There are internal provisions for thirty (30) crashworthy troop seats or a combination of troop seats and internal cargo to include up to quad-runner type sized ATVs.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for two (2) High Speed Amphibians (HSAs) similar to the “Terra-quad” concept, two (2) Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), two (2) “Air-Droppable” Boats, or four (4) Next Generation Cargo Pods (NGCPs) in support of Special Operations Forces missions.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  Aerial deliveries of Paratroopers and smaller sized cargo loads are possible through the Rear Ventral Paratrooper/Cargo Door.  When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked for more covert/riverine operations.  The NGAA can also come ashore by lowering the landing gear and using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR)

Equipped with a port side combination Troop/Cargo Door, starboard Troop Door, rear Ventral Paratrooper/Cargo Door, Port and Starboard Forward Gunner’s Windows and rear Waist-Gun Blisters equipped with machine gun and mini-gun type weapons providing manned defensive stations, the NGAA can perform Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) from/to both land and sea based facilities/vessels.  There are internal provisions for twelve (12) crashworthy troop seats and eight (8) stretchers or a combination of troop seats/stretchers and internal cargo to include up to quad-runner type sized ATVs.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for transport of two (2) High Speed Amphibians (HSAs) similar to the “Terra-quad” concept, two (2) Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), two (2) “Air-Droppable” Boats, or four (4) Next Generation Cargo Pods (NGCPs) in support of CSAR missions.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  Aerial deliveries of Paratroopers and smaller sized cargo loads are possible through the rear Ventral Paratrooper/Cargo Door.  When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked for more covert operations.  The NGAA can also come ashore by lowering the landing gear and using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C)

Equipped with a Multirole Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) Radar and a integrated Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) set, the NGAA can operate as an land or sea based Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platform.  Twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for two (2) wing mounted nestable external fuel tanks in support of long range Patrol missions.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel supply from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft.  If alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.

Aerial Refuel

Equipped with twin twenty-five hundred pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores, the NGAA can be equipped with an Aerial Refueling Wing Pod, which can aerial deliver fuel to jets at higher speeds as well as turboprop and rotorcraft aircraft at very low airspeeds without the risk of stalling.  Aerial supply fuel can be stored in additional internal crashworthy tanks capable of being installed / removed through the Cargo Door or drawn from the NGAAs two thousand and fifity (2050) gallon integral fuel tanks and an additional wing mounted nestable or external fuel tank.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board aerial supply fuel from turbojet tanker aircraft which may not be capable of supporting the slower rotorcraft in inventory or return to the Seabase for replenishment of aviation type fuels utilizing the Taxi Along Side Alighted Refueling (TASARTM) system and two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods to provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked. 

Tactical Bulk Fuel Delivery

Whether on the beach or afloat, the NGAA can operate as an Airmobile Forward Area Refueling Point (AFARP) to support Over-The-Horizon (OTH) amphibious assault vehicles and/or rotorcraft.  Additional bulk fuel can be stored in internal crashworthy Ferry/Forward Area Refueling Equipment (FARE) tanks capable of being installed/removed through the Cargo Door and/or wing mounted nestable external fuel tanks.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board bulk aviation fuel from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft, or return to the Seabase for replenishment of non-aviation type fuels utilizing the Taxi Along Side Alighted Refueling (TASARTM) system and two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods to provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  Lowering the landing gear, the NGAA can come ashore using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Air Ambulance/Personnel Transport

Equipped with port side and rear Ventral Air-Stair Doors, the NGAA can perform Air Ambulance and Personnel Transport operations from/to both land and sea based facilities/vessels.  There are internal provisions for sixteen (16) stretchers or twenty-five (25) crashworthy type seats. When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  Lowering the landing gear, the NGAA can come ashore using the propellers to thrust the aircraft onto the beach.

Executive / Head Of State Transport

Equipped with port side and rear Ventral Air-Stair Doors, the NGAA can provide a flexible mission capability for the transportation of a Very Important Person (VIP).  Departing from a local terra/riverine based facility, the NGAA could rendezvous with a ship, submarine, or fly to an alternate designated terra/water based Landing Zone (LZ) in support of maintaining the Continuity Of Government (COG).  The Mission Equipment Package includes a fourteen (14) passenger executive interior, facilities for a Communication System Operator (CSO) and Integrated Self Defense (ISD) systems.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA can replenish on board fuel supply from turboprop/turbojet tanker aircraft to extend the estimated 1350 mile range as required.  When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked for more covert operations.

Commercial Airline

Equipped with port side and rear Ventral Air-Stair Doors, the NGAA can perform commercial airline service operations from/to both land and sea based facilities/vessels.  There are internal provisions for nineteen (19) to thirty-four (34) airline type seats and a flight attendant (if required). When alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  With the added ability to maneuver (with both engine’s propellers braked) in the water using optional integral hull mounted water-jet thrusters, the NGAA can also offer a safer and quieter seaplane alternative while operating in confined seaports or aquatic areas where noise abatement considerations must be addressed.   Lowering the landing gear, the NGAA can come ashore using the propellers to thrust the aircraft up the seaplane ramp or onto a beach, creating a terminal wherever desired.

Commercial Cargo

Equipped with a port side Cargo Door, the NGAA can perform cargo transport operations from/ both land and sea based facilities/vessels.  There are internal provisions for over seven hundred and fifty cubic feet (750 CuFt.) of internal storage, including the capability to support LD-3 containerized loads. Twin two-thousand pound (2500 Lbs.) wing stores offer provisions for additional cargo in Custom Cargo Pods (CCPs).  Once alighted, two (2) optional integral hull mounted water-jet pods can provide maneuvering capabilities with the turboprop engines prop braked.  With the added ability to maneuver (with both engine’s propellers braked) in the water using optional integral hull mounted water-jet thrusters, the NGAA can also offer a safer and quieter seaplane alternative while operating in confined seaports or aquatic areas where noise abatement considerations must be addressed.   Lowering the landing gear, the NGAA can come ashore using the propellers to thrust the aircraft up the seaplane ramp or onto a beach, creating a terminal wherever desired.

Aerial Firefighting

Equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), Water Pickup Skimmers, a removable two thousand (2000) gallon internal water tank and a removable retardant mixing system, the NGAA airtanker is capable of replenishing payloads by skimming lakes, rivers and oceans at speeds as slow as sixty (60) Knots without the need to return to a USFS airbase.  Using a revolutionary drop system coupled with a slow seventy (70) Knots drop speed, the NGAA airtanker can provide more even and consistent coverage patterns than airtankers whose payloads are dropped at nearly twice that speed with inconsistent coverage patterns.  Capable of operating from unimproved airfields and nearby bodies of water, the NGAA airtanker can offer unsurpassed turn times to help suppress fires.  Equipped with an In-Flight-Refueling (IFR) probe, the NGAA airtanker can replenish onboard fuel from the air, further improving time on station.  When not fighting fires, NGAA Operational Effectiveness (of a normally idle airtanker fleet) can be further increased by easily removing the tanking system to support other Joint Service mission requirements such as Patrol, Interdiction, Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief, and Medical Transport. By utilizing the NGAA (airtanker) to support other Joint Services, USFS aerial firefighting operational costs could be significantly offset.

The NGAA Difference

Catalina Aircraft Trust, LLC (CAT,LLC) is a new venture airplane company currently developing the NGAA “Catalina II”TM.  The NGAA is an affordable modern Transport Category fixed wing twin turboprop amphibious flying boat capable of performing a significant number of civilian roles, and government / military missions using a common platform airframe design.  The common platform design allows for an efficient and effective means to offer significant product variation to satisfy multiple customer niches while maintaining economies of scale by offering a reconfigurable airframe platform that can be easily modified during the production process through the selection of airframe specific modules.

The NGAA is a 34 seat / 30 troop / 12,000 pound cargo payload capable, unpressurized, hulled, twin turboprop, high wing monoplane amphibious flying boat equipped with retractable tricycle landing gear and retractable wing tip floats.  Weighing in at 32,000 / 40,000 pounds MTOW, with a 18,500 pounds “Green Vehicle” Basic Empty Weight, the NGAA has 13,500 / 21,500 pounds of basic Useful Load capacity available for commercial interiors, military Mission Equipment Packages, payloads and fuel.  The NGAA has a maximum 200 Knot cruise speed and a maximum 1970 nautical mile range.  The Very Low Stall (VLS) wing design affords a 60 Knot stall speed, permitting the NGAA to operate at very low speeds while safely loitering airborne and offers unmatched short take-off and landing performance both on land and in the water.  The unique ability to alight (land) onto the water in up to Sea State 3 (up to 1.5 Meter wave heights) makes the NGAA the most suitable platform for maritime based flight operations.

As the NGAA is capable of alighting (landing) on the water, it is an inherently failsafe design for operations in the Oceanic and Remote Area airspace.  With the added ability to maneuver (with both engine’s propellers braked) in the water using optional integral hull mounted water-jet thrusters, the NGAA can also offer a safer and quieter seaplane alternative while operating in confined seaports or aquatic areas where noise abatement considerations must be addressed.

The NGAA is being designed around a common platform airframe.  Utilizing a common platform, it is possible to vary the configuration of the airframe during the production process through the selection of specific airframe modules and assemblies.  By varying the selection of specific airframe modules and assemblies it is possible to produce a customer specific airframe that minimizes unique non-production modifications outside of the normal production line process. The NGAA is constructed using modern corrosion resistant materials, assembly practices and Supportability initiatives to ensure the Operational Availability (Ao) remains at the highest rates possible. Existing and proven in-service systems will be employed to minimize logistics footprint growth and provide for a commonality of components between the NGAA and current in-service platforms.

 Engineering Development

The NGAA is engineered from the elemental design of the 28-5ACF.  While the 28-5ACF production run has ended, the entire engineering package for the 28-5ACF remains intact.  Utilizing the existing 28-5ACF engineering drawings, original 2D drawings are being imported into 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs such as Catia, and then re-analyzed to meet today’s commercial and military standards.  Existing aircraft structural components and newly designed assemblies are being optimized using modern manufacturing techniques incorporating monolithic structures and composites where practical, as well as using the latest corrosion control techniques from the piece part level through final assembly.   Systems, such as Avionics, Electrical, Hydraulics, and Power will be newly designed, taking advantage of today’s proven and fielded technologies.

Production Prototypes / Rapid Insertion Program (RIP)

The NGAA is not currently in production.  However, as the NGAA is based heavily on the existing design of the 28-5ACF platform, it is possible to produce a customer specific demonstrator prototype utilizing an existing 28-5ACF airframe that can be modified to the desired NGAA configuration.  Utilizing an existing airframe, it is possible to accelerate prototyping timelines and prove out design concepts effectively and efficiently as compared to an entirely new airplane design concept, which requires the design to be completed before the first prototype can be produced.

Utilizing existing 28-5ACF airframes, CAT,LLC can provide a potential customer with radial engine powered combat capable airplane or turboprop power converted airplane to quickly demonstrate Commercial Operations, Concepts Of Employment (COE) capabilities, or fulfill urgent operational needs to support  the War On Terror, Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONs), or other niche mission requests.


Production Timelines

As the NGAA is based on an existing proven design, it is possible for CAT,LLC to restart production of the 28-5ACF / NGAA at an accelerated rate.  It is estimated that time to field the NGAA could be one fifth the time it takes to field a new airplane design at a quarter the expense, thus saving significant schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs.

The cost savings experienced using this program strategy verses a newly designed airframe startup program that leads up to a Material Solution is estimated to exceed 600 Million dollars. The cost savings on a recognized program within DOD starting with the Material Development Decision to the Milestone C point, (to include Type Certification by the FAA) is estimated at 4 billion dollars for the same lot size of aircraft (analysis was used conservatively from both ground based solutions and aviation programs that were terminated during 2009, 2010 and 2011 due to cost). The Total Life Cycle Cost for this platform verses both in-service and future cost estimates on for example; a new helicopter solution for CSAR verses the NGAA acquisition strategy is half the cost with 40% more performance in range and 300% more endurance, with far more joint service integration of the platform.  This realized cost savings analysis was analyzed against the implementation cost for a program using doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF) as the categories of analysis.


Conclusion

In a speech presented to our servicemen and servicewomen at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the Honorable Dr. Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) stated;

 …We need to shift away from the 99 percent “exquisite” service-centric platforms that are so costly and so complex that they take forever to build and only then in very limited quantities.  With the pace of technological and geopolitical change, and the range of possible contingencies, we must look more to the 80 percent multi-service solution that can be produced on time, on budget, and in significant numbers. As Stalin once said, “Quantity has a quality all of its own.”

The 28-5ACF “Catalina” is a proven platform with a proven track record.  It has earned the respect of 29 nations and proudly served during their time of need.  The NGAA “Catalina II”TM carries that same proud history forward by exploiting today’s advances in systems technology.  The NGAA “Catalina II”TM, like its predecessor, is a strategic force multiplier that can be employed across the entire spectrum of military operations by way of Land, Air, and Sea.


Department of Defense (DoD) Officials and Foreign Defense Ministry Officials are encouraged to contact our Business Development team at:
 

businessdevelopment@catalinaaircrafttrust.com