Consolidated PT-6

Consolidated PT-6


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Consolidated PT-6

The Consolidated PT-6 was a training aircraft based on the Fleet 2 civilian biplane.

The Fleet had originally been developed as the Consolidated Model 14 in 1928, with the support of Reuben Fleet, the founder of Consolidated. It was a scaled down version of the PT/ NY family of military trainers, meant for the civilian market. The original aircraft was powered by a 100hp Warner Scarab seven cylinder radial engine, had a steel tube structure with a fabric covering and staggered biplane wings. The upper wing was level and the lower wing had slight dihedral. Fleet's fellow directors weren't convinced about the potential of the Model 14, and so he founded a new company, Fleet Aircraft, in February 1929 and built the aircraft as the Husky. After six months it was a clear success, and the new company was sold to Consolidated. The Husky then became the Consolidated Fleet.

The US Army purchased sixteen Fleet 2s, which were powered by a Kinner K-5 five cylinder engine. The first army aircraft, the XPT-6, was delivered in 1930. The next ten were delivered as the YPT-6. The final five had larger cockpits and a redesigned cowling. They were delivered as YPT-6As and later became the PT-6A.

The PT-6 was significantly smaller than the contemporary PT-3. It was nearly 900lb lighter when loaded, its wingspan was 6ft 5.5in narrower and it was nearly 6ft 11.5in shorter. It was also 8mph faster despite having about half the engine power.

Engine: Kinner K-5 five cylinder engine
Power: c.110hp
Crew: 2
Span: 28ft 0in
Length: 20ft 9in
Height: 7ft 10in
Empty Weight: 1,023lb
Gross Weight: 1,575lb
Maximum Speed: 113.5mph
Cruising Speed: 88mph
Climb rate: 730ft/ min
Ceiling: 12,200ft


Cat Tales: Consolidated’s PBY Flying Boat

This restored PBY-5A Catalina, built in 1944, is currently part of Kermit Weeks' collection.

Consolidated’s rugged PBY set a standard for flying boats and amphibians that will never be eclipsed.

1935 was a vintage year for first flights. It saw the arrival of three enormously capable, ahead-of-their-time airplanes that played a huge part in winning World War II: the Boeing B-17, Douglas DC-3/C-47 and Consolidated PBY flying boat, later to become an amphibian as well.

The deeds of the Flying Fortress and C-47 are widely known, but the PBY casts a less obvious shadow across wartime history. And it doesn’t help that the “Pigboat,” as some of its admirers grudgingly call it, didn’t have the warlike mien of the iconic B-17 or the rugged grace of the C-47.

Well, rugged it had…grace, not so much.

But never mind, the PBY, like all great objects of industrial design, exuded an air of absolute purposefulness. The Consolidated team that limned its lines knew exactly what to include and what to leave off: a shapely, minimal hull rather than a standard flying boat barge two tightly cowled and wing-faired engines close to the centerline, ideal for single-engine handling, though they made directional control on the water a bit difficult a towering, fish-tail vertical fin to help with the steering both on the water and in the air clean, cantilever, strutless horizontal stabilizers and the colossal, fuel-fat wing that gave the PBY range and endurance far beyond anything else with propellers.

Even the waist-blister goiters that became so much a part of the flying boat’s look when they were added to the PBY-4 might have seemed excessive, but they were effective gunnery and observation posts. After all, the famous “Attu Zero,” the largely undamaged example of the Japanese navy’s mythic fighter, was discovered by an airsick crewman who had leaned into his PBY’s blister and opened it to vomit just as the crashed Mitsubishi flashed below him.

The PBY wasn’t without its teething troubles, however. Though the prototype came in over 600 pounds lighter than the contract specified, with a stall speed 10 mph slower and a top speed 12 mph faster with a substantially shorter takeoff run, the vertical tailfin needed to be increased in size to add stability. When the prototype made its first rough-water landings, in 4- and 5-foot seas, the impact of one full-stall touchdown blew out the bombardier’s window and the forward hatch, cracked the windshield, wrinkled the hull and damaged all six prop blades. Consolidated pointed out that a less robust boat would have sunk, but it quickly added numerous stiffeners and gussets.

New flying boat pilots complained that the PBY was brutally heavy on the controls. Old-timers accustomed to the open-cockpit biplane boats that had preceded it laughed and opined that the PBY was light and responsive. Having flown a B-17 of the same era, I can attest that one pilot’s “light and responsive” is another’s “at least I don’t have to go to the gym today.”

Open-sea landings required a practiced touch, since the Pigboat asked to be stalled on at minimum speed— a characteristic that soon made it such a superb rough-water boat. Popped rivets and even sprung seams were not uncommon, but crewmen learned to use the navigator’s pencils to plug rivet holes, and pilots soon realized that a touch-and-go or immediate beaching was the only defense against an open hull skin.

The PBY’s single shapely central pylon was thus a great leap forward, following first use of the concept on the slightly earlier Sikorsky S-42. The streamlined pylon put the wing-mounted engines well above spray height, since water can do a surprising amount of damage to prop tips moving at near-supersonic speeds. More important, in combination with four short fuselage struts, it supported the PBY’s glory: the vast ironing board of a wing that was both an enormous fuel tank and a strong, efficient lifting surface. With a beefy continuous I-beam spar and internal bracing, the wing was actually semicantilevered. At the time, the PBY was the cleanest flying boat, dragwise, ever designed.

The pylon was just wide enough to serve as the military flight engineer’s lofty but lonely office, his seat suspended from the wing above him like a playground swing. With a window on each side, it gave him a good view of the nacelles, where any oil leakage would first show up. Many civil and commercial PBYs in use all over the world after WWII, however, dispensed with flight engineers and moved all the controls and engine gauges to the cockpit.

Another PBY innovation was totally retractable wing floats, each of which swung out and upward to fair neatly into the wing, the float itself morphing into a wingtip. Had the usage existed at the time, this feature would have been pronounced “cool”…but as with so many cool things, it wasn’t particularly effective. A PBY’s cruise speed remained about the same whether the floats were extended or retracted, though PBY pilots had to be ready to counteract substantial yaw whenever the tip floats were in motion, since each float often moved asymmetrically, answering to its own retraction system. With the floats down, aileron effectiveness was also substantially decreased.


This PBY-5A shows off some of the Catalina's attributes, long "wet" wings, bulging waist gun positions and dipole radar antennas under each wing. (U.S. Navy)

The PBY’s lead designer, Consolidated’s Isaac Machlin Laddon, was a brilliant engineer, though he is not as well known as Kelly Johnson, Ed Heinemann and Alexander Kartveli, who also designed war-winners. “Mac”Laddon was responsible not only for the PBY but the B-24, B-36 and postwar Convair 240/340/440 series of twin-engine airliners.

Another of his team’s PBY novelties was its huge wet wing, the first on any production airplane but today a construction technique that is the aerospace standard. (Laddon had developed the concept for his far smaller Consolidated XBY-1 Fleetster dive-bomber prototype, but only one was built.) A wet wing means that the wing skin itself is the fuel tank, with no need for separate fuel tanks or bladders to be inserted into bays between ribs and spars—a substantial weight-saving feature, but one that of course requires that every seam and rivet be sealed or gasketed. In the case of the PBY, this considerable effort meant half a pound saved per gallon of fuel, or 875 pounds pared.

PBYs came in a variety of dash numbers, but the one that really mattered was the PBY-5, which became the world’s largest amphibian. (Today it’s the Russian Beriev B-200 twin-turbofan firebomber, roughly three times the weight of a PBY.) Early PBYs had simple beaching gear—external wheels and struts that were tugged off manually by a swimsuited launching crew once the airplane had been trundled down a ramp and was afloat in the water. This was how Mac Laddon wanted it—simple, no extra weight, no complex retraction system, no internal space given up to wheel wells. His boss Reuben Fleet, Consolidated’s founder and president, thought flying boats should carry “internal beaching gear” everywhere they went, so they could operate independently without the need for a beaching crew. So a PBY-4 was fitted with retractable gear that was deemed usable only for emergency runway use at light weights, and it became the prototype XPBY-5.

“My theory is that it was Reuben Fleet’s way of persuading his engineers to accept his idea for what he envisioned as a fully amphibious version,” says PBY authority David Legg of that initial retractable beaching gear. Converting it into rugged, reliable, full-time landing gear was no small undertaking. It required substantial strengthening of the hull as well as a powerful hydraulic system, and it wasn’t easy to get good ground handling out of narrow-tread main gear sitting under a tippy 14-ton airplane with a high center of gravity. But the PBY-5A went on to become what is generally considered to be the ultimate variant of Consolidated’s flying boat.

The PBY went by several names, the most common being Catalina, the RAF’s designation for the boats that they bought. (The Brits had no idea there was such a thing as Catalina Island, not far from Consolidated’s San Diego headquarters, but Reuben Fleet suggested it.) The U.S. Navy adopted the name several years later, so it’s correct to call a Navy airplane a PBY Catalina, but there’s no such thing in England, any more than there is an F4F Martlet, a C-47 Dakota or any other dual U.S./British designation the RAF never used any of the U.S. alphanumeric designators.

Despite their long history of building successful seaplanes and flying boats, the British ended up buying some 700 Catalinas to serve alongside far larger Short Sunderlands as the RAF’s primary Coastal Command and Far East patrol bombers. The Brits had hoped the Saunders-Roe Lerwick would fulfill the medium patrol role, but the ghastly, short-coupled Lerwick twin turned out to be unstable and unable to fly on one engine. It was everything the Catalina wasn’t—including relatively heavily armed, with two multi-gun power turrets.


One of some 700 Catalinas purchased by the British, RAF Coastal Command's AH545 located and tracked the battleship "Bismarck." This sighting eventually led to the destruction of the German battleship. (RAF Museum, Hendon)

The Canadians named their PBYs Cansos, after a river in Nova Scotia, though one groaner has it that when RCAF pilots first saw a PBY, they said, “This thing can’t fly,” and the engineers answered, “It can so.” Late in the war the Naval Aircraft Factory introduced an improved model it called the PBN-1 Nomad, most of which ended up going to the Soviets. Well before the Nomad, however, there were the informally named Black Cats—Pacific patrol bombers that flew mainly at night and were painted overall flat black.

Another major wartime user of the PBY was the Royal Australian Air Force, and it has been said the Catalina was to Australia every bit as important—and to this day iconic—as the Spitfire was to Britain. With a Japanese invasion a very real threat early in the war, RAAF Catalina coastal patrols and missions into the Solomons were crucial, and when the Allies soon went on the offensive, Aussie Cats ranged as far as the coast of China, mine-laying and night-bombing. It’s said that when the RAAF Catalina crews ran out of bombs, they threw out beer bottles with razor blades inserted in the necks. The bottles whistled as they fell in the dark, assumedly frightening the Japanese.

Not many civilians knew what a PBY was until the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. That changed when hundreds of newspaper photos showed the crumpled, blazing PBYs of the six Navy patrol squadrons based at Kaneohe NAS and Ford Island. They had been 81 fine airplanes, most of them new. Only four flyable Catalinas survived, three of them because they had been aloft at the time of the Japanese attack. One of those became the first U.S. aircraft to attack the Japanese, when it bombed a midget submarine an hour before the main assault.

The Cats and other PBYs were surprisingly effective bombers, under the right conditions. Of the 60 Axis submarines sunk by the Navy in all theaters of the war, 25 went down under bombs from PBYs, plus one spotted by a PBY but sunk by a destroyer. Another 13 were sunk by PB4Ys—the Navy version of the B-24 Liberator—giving Consolidated aircraft credit for almost two-thirds of all subs sunk by the U.S. in WWII. More were deep-sixed by RAF Coastal Command Catalinas and Liberators, but a British Catalina’s most celebrated feat was spotting the battleship Bismarck after it sank the Royal Navy battle cruiser Hood and scuttled away under cover of fog. The Cat didn’t sink the Bismarck, but appropriately, the critical, crippling blow was left to another antique, the Fairey Swordfish.

The PBY’s bombing career started less auspiciously. The first-ever U.S. offensive airstrike of the Pacific War, which came nearly four months before the Doolittle Raid, was flown by six PBYs out of Ambon Island, in the Dutch East Indies, to bomb a Japanese base at Jolo, in the southwest Philippines. PBYs were the only airplanes with the range to make the 1,600-mile round trip. Four of the six were shot down by Japanese fighters, and in his post-action report, one of the surviving pilots wrote, “It is impossible to outrun fighters with a PBY-4. Under no circumstances should PBYs be allowed to come in contact with enemy fighters unless protected by fighter convoy.” A PBY typically cruised at 105 to 125 mph, which meant that a well-armed Cessna could have taken one on.

Indeed the PBY’s most effective defensive maneuver quickly became lumbering toward the nearest cloud bank to hide. One Australian Catalina pilot even evaded Zeros by ducking into a volcanic ash plume.

As the war in Europe heated up and American participation became inevitable, few thought the elderly, minimally armed and painfully slow PBY would be around much longer, so Consolidated started work on its successor, the twin-engine P4Y Corregidor—well before the name became synonymous with defeat. The P4Y might have been an order of magnitude better than the PBY, but we’ll never know certainly it was an order of magnitude uglier. It had a highaspect-ratio, high-lift, low-drag, laminar-flow wing—the Davis airfoil that was soon to become famous on the B-24—but it was designed to use the powerful but troublesome Wright R-3350 engines desperately needed for the B-29. The War Department canceled the P4Y contract after just one prototype was built, and the Louisiana factory that was built to crank out Corregidors ended up building yet more Catalinas.

For the U.S. Catalinas, the equivalent of the RAF’s sink-the-Bismarck moment was the brief break in Pacific clouds through which a Navy PBY crew saw the Japanese fleet racing toward Midway. In fact, the same phrases reappear in accounts of nearly every WWII naval battle, Atlantic and Pacific: “A PBY spotted the carrier….While Catalinas shadowed the fleet through the night….As the PBY followed the phosphorescent wakes….When the fog suddenly lifted, the PBY saw the picket destroyers….” Few such slugfests started without at least one PBY tracking the combatants from above.

Particularly in the Pacific theater, air-sea rescue PBYs called Dumbos retrieved thousands of ditched pilots and shipwrecked seamen, often under fire and usually in seas that would have trashed a lesser boat. One Dumbo landed three times to pick up downed bomber crews and eventually took off with 25 extra men aboard for that mission, Navy Lieutenant Nathan Gordon became the only PBY pilot to be awarded a Medal of Honor. Another Cat needed a three-mile takeoff run to lift a total of 63, including its own crew, and the pounding probably popped half the rivets in the hull. But the record goes to the Australian Catalina that carried 87 Dutch sailors—standing room only, thank you—after Japanese bombers mauled their freighter. With 15,000 pounds of passengers alone, to say nothing of the airplane’s fuel and crew weight, that put the RAAF PBY well over gross, but the Cat’s basic weight-and-balance rule was that if the payload hadn’t yet sunk the boat, it would somehow take off.

Beyond its stellar military service, the PBY enjoyed a long civil history before, during and after WWII, and it isn’t over yet. One of the most widely known of all converted warbirds among people who think Mustangs are cars was the Cousteau Society’s Calypso, operated during the 1970s by the famous oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques-Yves Cousteau and often flown by his son Philippe. Tragically, Philippe Cousteau was killed during a post-overhaul flight test of Calypso when it nosed over during a highspeed water run on the Tagus River, in Portugal, in 1979.

Yet the PBY’s commercial career had started—false-started, actually—a good 40 years earlier, when Consolidated proposed using PBYs as transcontinental airliners that could use lakes and rivers en route for an emergency landing, if necessary. Several American and British airlines did buy PBYs, but as survey airplanes, not passenger carriers.


"Guba," the Consolidated Model 28 used by zoologist Richard Archbold to explore New Guinea, pays a call at Rose Bay, in New South Wales, Australia, in 1939. (Australian National Archives)

In 1937 Consolidated did sell one very special civil PBY—it was officially a Model 28—to rich, eccentric zoologist Richard Archbold. A research associate at New York’s Museum of Natural History, Archbold was also a private pilot, so his Consolidated boat became, at least until the advent of converted-warbird corporate transports in the 1950s, the largest private plane in the world.

Archbold named the airplane Guba, a New Guinean word meaning “sudden storm,” and he intended to use it to continue his explorations of the Pacific island. Guba’s first major flight was a nonstop transcontinental trip from San Diego to New York in 1937, the first ever by a flying boat, establishing a speed record for the category that wasn’t broken until April 1944, by a Navy Martin Mars. Archbold sold Guba to the Soviet government before going on to New Guinea, however, since they desperately needed the aircraft to do long-range searches for the Russian pioneer pilot Sigismund Levanevsky, who was lost in the Arctic (and never found). Archbold immediately bought a second Model 28—Guba II—and not only made it to New Guinea but carried on the rest of the way around the world for another record: the first-ever seaplane circumnavigation.

Another PBY record that has yet to be broken was set by a small cadre of Catalinas that were operated by the Australian airline Qantas during WWII. They flew privileged passengers between Perth and Ceylon, near India, and from June 1943 to July 1945, several of them stayed aloft, nonstop and unrefueled, for more than 32 hours. Super Airbuses and extended-range 747s fly faster and farther, but none has ever come close to making a longer-duration passenger flight (see “The PBYs That Flew Forever,” July 2011 issue.)

After WWII, some surplus PBYs inevitably were converted into flying yachts, during the private-flying heyday that encouraged fantasies of flying cars, personal jetpacks, dad commuting in a Piper and seaplanes bobbing in lakes with fishermen on one float and bathing beauties on the other. Luxury PBYs fit right in.

The most impressive lipstick-on-a-Pigboat scheme was the early-1950s Landseaire. Even Egypt’s King Farouk had one on order before his abdication. The base price of a Landseaire was $265,000, which is about $2.3 million today and would be a bargain, since that’s roughly the cost of a bush-taxi Cessna Caravan single on amphibious floats. The Landseaire had 14-foot dinghies under each wing, hoisted to fit flush by cables that had once lifted torpedoes and bombs, and the gunners’ blisters were replaced by one-piece, blown-Lucite “flying bay windows” that invariably were photographed for various magazines (including a snarky Life feature) with a bikinied babe, drink in hand, stretched out on the interior foam-rubber cushion.


Civil Catalina conversions, including the early-1950s Landseaire, featured "flying bay windows" in place of the waist gunners' blisters for easy access to the water. (frans lemmens/Alamy)

Equally well-known—a relative term—among modified PBYs was the Bird Innovator, the world’s only four-engine Cat. A California company added a pair of 340-hp, geared Lycoming flat-6 engines outboard of the stock 1,200-hp Pratt radials to provide better performance at high gross weights as well as improved water maneuverability—the Lycs had reversible three-blade props—but apparently the Innovator was the answer to a question nobody had bothered to ask. Only one was built, and a subsequent owner eventually removed the extra engines.

One thing that civil PBY conversions accomplished was a necessary bit of beautification: what came to be known as the “clipper bow,” a fairing-in of the cowl ahead of the windscreen to eliminate the awkward nose turret. If there was one discordant note in the Cat’s refrain, it was that squared-off little greenhouse that gave the airplane the look of an angry hognose snake, a protuberance that seemed an add-on and if anything harked back to World War I observation airplanes with a freezing Frenchman standing upright in the bow. On early PBYs, in fact, the “turret” was indeed nothing more than a semi-open bombardier/observer’s post. Guns came later—ineffective single or twin .30s in the nose, single .50s in each waist blister and sometimes a .30-cal firing from a belly hatch near the tail.

Today the PBY remains the best-known seaplane in the world. Until the last of them were recently retired, photos of Canso and Catalina waterbombers appeared regularly on the front pages of 21st-century newspapers, flying over forest fires in the U.S., Greece, Spain, France and elsewhere.

No flying boat or amphibian was ever produced in greater numbers than the two basic variants of the PBY. Between Consolidated, the Naval Aircraft Factory, Boeing Canada, Canadian Vickers and the Soviets, 1,452 wheelless boats were manufactured, plus 1,853 amphibs with retractable gear. Many sources give figures of 4,000-plus total, but PBY expert David Legg comes up with a combined production run of 3,305. (Legg runs The Catalina Society—catalina.org.uk— which operates a restored PBY-5A based at Duxford, England.)

It was a fortuitous combination of talents that made the PBY effective despite its painfully slow airspeed and relatively ineffective armament. The old P-boat was hell for stout, handled open-water landing and takeoffs with equanimity, would lift anything that could fit into it, could carry 2 tons of bombs or torpedoes and had butt-busting duration and loiter capability. Since the future of commercial flying boats and amphibs seems to stretch no farther than firefighting, we’ll surely never see its like again.

For further reading, frequent contributor Stephan Wilkinson recommends: PBY: The Catalina Flying Boat, by Roscoe Creed Black Cats and Dumbos: WWII’s Fighting PBYs, by Mel Crocker and Consolidated PBY Catalina: The Peacetime Record, by David Legg.

Originally published in the May 2013 issue of Aviation History Magazine. To subscribe, click here.


10 Things You May Not Know About P.T. Barnum

1. Barnum was an entrepreneur from an early age.
Barnum’s knack for moneymaking first manifested during his youth in Bethel, Connecticut. The future showman sold snacks and homemade cherry rum during local gatherings, and by age 12, he had made enough money to purchase his own livestock. By 21, his holdings also included a general store, a small lottery and even his own newspaper called the “Herald of Freedom.”

2. He first rose to prominence by engineering a famous hoax.
In 1835, Barnum launched his career in entertainment by purchasing Joice Heth, a blind slave touted as being the 161-year-old former nurse of George Washington. After billing Heth as “the most astonishing and interesting curiosity in the world,” Barnum put her on display in New York and took her on a small tour of New England. Visitors lined up to gawk at her withered body and hear her tales of �r little George,” and Barnum helped fuel popular interest by spreading a rumor that she was actually an automaton controlled by a ventriloquist. The truth about Heth didn’t emerge until after her death in February 1836. During a public autopsy—staged by Barnum at the price of 50 cents for admission—it was revealed that she was most likely no older than 80.

3. Barnum didn’t go into the circus business until relatively late in life.
Barnum is best known for his traveling three-ring circuses, but he didn’t make his first forays under the big top until he was 60 years old. Before then, he was better known as the owner of the Manhattan-based American Museum, a sprawling collection of historical artifacts, aquariums, animal menageries, zoological curiosities and freak shows. Some of the museum’s most notable exhibits included General Tom Thumb, a child dwarf who Barnum famously brought to audience with Queen Victoria of Britain and the �jee Mermaid,” which was actually the upper half of a monkey sewn to the bottom of a fish. Barnum only launched his traveling circus after his museum was twice destroyed by fire. He later teamed with his famed partner James Bailey in 1881, and the two went on to make a fortune running their “Greatest Show on Earth.”

4. He helped popularize opera in the United States.
Despite his association with sideshow acts like the Nova Scotia Giantess and Zip the Pinhead, Barnum was also responsible for introducing many Americans to high culture. In 1850, he inked a deal that brought the European opera singer Jenny Lind to the United States on a multi-city tour. Lind was largely unknown before her arrival�rnum himself had never heard the soprano𠅋ut he cultivated her celebrity with a media blitz and a nationwide contest to write a song for her to sing onstage. With his help, the “Swedish Nightingale” became an overnight sensation. Barnum reportedly netted a staggering $500,000 on the tour, and Lind’s popularity helped make opera a mainstay in American theaters.

5. Barnum never said “there’s a sucker born every minute.”
Barnum is often credited with having coined the phrase “there’s a sucker born every minute” in reference to his gullible customers, yet there is no proof of him ever using it. The quip’s precise origins are unclear, though some claim one of Barnum’s rivals may have first said it after seeing crowds queued up for one of his exhibits. For his part, Barnum always maintained that his patrons were not “suckers” but willing participants in his lighthearted pranks and hoaxes. “The people like to be humbugged,” he once said.

6. His famous elephant “Jumbo” is the mascot of Tufts University.
In 1882, Barnum purchased a gargantuan 6-ton African elephant named “Jumbo” from the London Zoological Society. The sale proved controversial in Britain, where the animal was a cherished national treasure, but it marked the start of “Jumbomania” in the United States. People turned out to Barnum’s circus in droves and bought Jumbo postcards, hats and other souvenirs. The elephant’s fame even helped popularize the word “jumbo” as a synonym for “large.” Jumbo’s reign came to an abrupt end in 1885, when he was accidentally struck by a freight train and killed during a performance in Ontario. Barnum had Jumbo’s hide stuffed and later donated it to Massachusetts’ Tufts University, a school where he served as a trustee. The pachyderm was a popular campus monument until it burned in a fire in 1975, but it remains both the school’s mascot and the inspiration for its nickname, the “Jumbos.”

7. Barnum once used his circus animals to test the strength of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Shortly after the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, rumors that it was structurally unsound sparked a human stampede that left a dozen people dead. The bridge’s owners had previously turned down a $5,000 offer from Barnum to let him parade his circus animals across it as a publicity stunt, but they changed their minds after the accident. On the night of May 17, 1884, he marched 21 elephants and 17 camels over the bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The famous Jumbo was part of the procession, as was “Toung Taloung,” a white elephant Barnum had recently acquired from Thailand. The parade was a priceless piece of advertising for Barnum’s circus, and the combined weight of the elephants—many of which tipped the scales at over 10,000 pounds—helped put to rest any worries about the bridge’s stability.

8. He was a famous supporter of the temperance movement.
While Barnum enjoyed the occasional tipple of wine or scotch in his younger days, he swore off alcohol entirely after attending a lecture by a pro-temperance reverend in the late-1840s. He would remain an avid teetotaler and prohibition advocate for the rest of his life, and regularly gave speeches on the evils of liquor. Drinking was forbidden in his American Museum, and visitors to its lecture room were treated to performances of “The Drunkard,” a cautionary play about alcoholism. Barnum liked to say that both he and his circus animals drank “nothing stronger than water,” but his famed elephant Jumbo reportedly loved beer and was known for his ability to down a full keg in a single sitting.


4 The Pistola Con Caricato & the Nock Gun: Because You Can Never Have Too Many Barrels

Let's start with the pistol: The Italian-made Pistola con Caricato looks like something an Antonio Banderas character would use to avenge his wife's death at the hands of a drug lord. This three-barreled, 18-chambered toy for the criminally insane is even hefty enough for melee use, should it ever malfunction due to the immense gravitational forces caused by its own bulk. In Italian, Caricato can mean "caricature" or possibly even "stuffed" -- presumably because any punkass that messes with its holder will shortly find himself saturated with enough lead to wallpaper every X-ray room in the country.

This early 20th-century Italian offering is built with a locking mechanism that allows the frugal shooter to fire a single bullet from any of the three barrels. Or one can fire all three at once, producing a miniature buckshot effect as the bullets travel slightly outward. It's also easy to load, as it simply pops open:

Sadly, the Pistola's particulars are lost to history, as there's no mention of this great destroyer of worlds in any record. It's also mysteriously absent from the Encyclopedia of Bitchin' Guns. The only clue is a marking on the gun that reads "01-CAL .6.35." It's believed that the "01" denotes the gun as a prototype and possibly as the only such revolver in existence.

Now, if you prefer your gun to be even more impossible to conceal, you could go for this:

That's the Nock gun, a volley gun invented sometime in the late 18th century to answer the age-old question, "What has seven barrels, dislocates your arm, and lights your own fortress on fire when shot?" The gun's seven smoothbore barrels fire at once, so it has the kickback of seven flintlock muskets all being focused neatly into your fragile arm bones.

Invented by James Wilson and manufactured by Henry Nock, the Nock gun was used by the British Royal Navy during the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars. And we do stress the word "early" because it didn't take long for the navy to realize how impractical these weapons really were. The recoil of seven barrels' simultaneous discharge was enough to dislocate, fracture, and otherwise maim its wielder. Also, the recoil would sometimes blast the gun completely out of your hands and onto the deck below, where you would have to scramble to find it and reload it, which took as long as you would imagine reloading a seven-barrelled flintlock rifle would be.

It was also highly inaccurate, as it's pretty much like aiming a malfunctioning fire hose by yourself, except this fire hose sprays bullets and lights fires. However, in their favor, volley guns like the Nock gun were never meant to have precision aiming. We mean, look at that shit.

The Nock gun had a specialized use on ships because the sailors would be more tightly packed, and it was easier to hit them all with your enormous cone of death from atop the rigging where you would just aim down somewhere and pull the trigger. This seems like the best place for Nock guns, until you found that all the resultant muzzle flash could, and did, light the sails and rigging on fire. Even though ships are on the water, they are still notoriously hard to fight fires on, especially during a battle. You basically had to hope the enemy was so impressed by how crazy your ass was that they'd just call off the battle.

Related: 7 Awesomely Insane Guns People Actually Used


Cities and Towns Consolidated Communications (Formerly Fairpoint Communications) Has Coverage

  • Florala, AL
  • Antelope, CA
  • Carmichael, CA
  • Citrus Heights, CA
  • Elk Grove, CA
  • Granite Bay, CA
  • Lincoln, CA
  • Orangevale, CA
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  • Fort Fairfield, ME
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  • Jay, ME
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  • Lebanon, ME
  • Lewiston, ME
  • Limerick, ME
  • Limestone, ME
  • Limington, ME
  • Lincoln, ME
  • Lincolnville, ME
  • Lisbon, ME
  • Lisbon Falls, ME
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  • Livermore Falls, ME
  • Machias, ME
  • Madawaska, ME
  • Madison, ME
  • Mapleton, ME
  • Mechanic Falls, ME
  • Mexico, ME
  • Milford, ME
  • Millinocket, ME
  • Milo, ME
  • Minot, ME
  • Monmouth, ME
  • Naples, ME
  • New Gloucester, ME
  • Newport, ME
  • Norridgewock, ME
  • North Berwick, ME
  • North Waterboro, ME
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  • Norway, ME
  • Oakland, ME
  • Old Orchard Beach, ME
  • Old Town, ME
  • Orono, ME
  • Orrington, ME
  • Oxford, ME
  • Pittsfield, ME
  • Poland, ME
  • Portland, ME
  • Presque Isle, ME
  • Raymond, ME
  • Readfield, ME
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  • Scarborough, ME
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  • Shapleigh, ME
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  • Cle Elum, WA
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  • Lacey, WA
  • Naches, WA
  • Rainier, WA
  • Roy, WA
  • Selah, WA
  • Tenino, WA
  • Yelm, WA
  • Ellsworth, WI

*Accuracy not guaranteed. Use the zip search and check with Consolidated Communications (Formerly Fairpoint Communications) directly to verify availability.


New turboprop engine from GE designed to be a catalyst for GA

GE Aviation has unveiled the name for its advanced turboprop engine, which will power the new Cessna Denali: The GE Catalyst.

“The GE Catalyst engine is redefining what a turboprop can do for pilots, airframers and operators in business and general aviation,” said Paul Corkery, general manager for GE Aviation Turboprops. “It acts as a catalyst in an industry segment that has seen very little technology infusion in decades.”

A bit of history

In 2012, GE’s Business and General Aviation Turboprop team set out to validate its original hypothesis: The turboprop market is hungry for an engine with new technology and value, company officials note. They met with airframers and operators to discuss specifications and designs of interest in a next-generation, clean-sheet turboprop in the 1000-1600 SHP range that could create a new class of aircraft.

After gathering feedback from around the world, the GE team confirmed the demand for an advanced engine. GE engineers completed four design iterations and initiated a full preliminary design with the same process GE uses for commercial engines to determine what is feasible to deliver.

During this time frame, Textron issued a request for proposal to power its all-new, clean-sheet-design Cessna Denali. GE submitted an updated design, competing for the bid with other engine makers. In the fall of 2015, Textron selected GE’s design — now the Catalyst engine — to power its single-engine turboprop Denali design.

Since the engine project was unveiled to the public at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in November 2015, GE Aviation has committed more than $400 million in development costs for the GE Catalyst.

GE also finalized an agreement with the Czech government to build its new turboprop headquarters for development, test and engine-production in the Czech Republic.

Just over two years after announcing the engine, engineers ran the GE Catalyst for the first time on Dec. 22, 2017, at the GE Aviation Czech site in Prague. Certification test will take place over the next two years, with entry into service targeted for 2020. By then, the engine will have completed more than 2,000 hours of testing, GE Aviation officials report.

About the engine

According to company officials, the GE Catalyst engine is the first all-new, clean-sheet engine in more than 30 years in the general aviation market. There are currently 98 patented technologies on the engine. It also utilizes proven technologies from GE’s larger engines with billions of hours of service, officials said.

It is first turboprop engine in its class to introduce two stages of variable stator vanes and cooled high-pressure turbine blades, according to company officials. It performs at a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling the engine to achieve as much as 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared to competitor offerings in the same size class, company officials boast. At 4,000 hours, the GE Catalyst offers 33% more time between overhaul than its leading competitor, officials add.


Consolidated PT-6 - History

Fusion Bond Epoxy Coatings
Oil and Gas Pipelines
Water and Sewage Pipelines
Gas Utility Distribution
Construction
Mineral Slurry Pipelines

Consolidated is one of the largest stocking distributors of line pipe in the country with more than 120 acres of line pipe and tubular stock ready to be shipped to projects nationwide. Our state-of-the-art fusion bond epoxy facility in Birmingham, Alabama allows us to prepare all orders to our stringent specifications.

Learn More

Utility - Gas, Sewer & Water

Water
Sewer/Storm Drain
Gas Utility Distribution
Construction
Municipal

Consolidated’s Utility Division supplies the nation’s largest utilities with a full line of products needed for the installation, repair, and replacement of pipe, valves, fittings, and accessories.

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Industrial

Construction
Pulp and Paper
Chemical
Petrochemical
Marine
Mining
Coal and Coke
Steel Manufacturing
Commercial Energy
Fabrication
Alternative Fuel

Our Industrial Division provides high-quality industry-standard piping, valves and components, specialty products, coatings, and more with a full range of specialized support services to meet the needs of any industry.

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Piling and Structural Pipe

Foundation
Bridge
Micropile
Marine
Utility Casings
Bore Casings
Docks and Wharfs

Our Piling and Structural Pipe Division offers a complete inventory of prime and structural carbon steel pipe from our storage and fabrication facilities in Bessemer, Alabama Houston, Texas New Orleans, Louisiana Burlington and Newark, New Jersey yards.

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Nuclear Power - Renewable Energy

Commercial Energy
Oil and Gas
Alternative Fuels
Nuclear

Consolidated Power Supply is one of the largest nuclear component providers in the world. We provide materials and services to the nuclear industry with a focus on safety related metallic materials, parts, services, and components. Within Consolidated Power Supply, is the Engineered Products Division that allows CPS to design and manufacture custom parts for the commercial nuclear power industry.


Company History

Consolidated Glass Corporation was founded in 1967 by Mr. Calvin Braecklein from Baltimore, MD as a sister company to the original family glass business, Art Plate Glass. After started the company in the late 1920’s, Calvin’s father, Ferdinand Braecklein, began a family tradition of working within the glass industry that has spanned five generations and includes current owner and president, Louis Merryman.

Consolidated Glass Corporation originally entered the glass business as a fabricator of jalousie door glass an in the 1970’s expanded into a retail store fixture business that also offered local glazing work. Growing steadily, the company saw its first significant expansion in 1994 after current owner, Louis Merryman, purchased the business and made substantial investments in cutting, edging and tempering lines. These investments allowed Consolidated Glass Corporation to expand into new markets including office partitions, handrail and high-end shower doors while specializing in high quality, quick turn glass projects.

The growth that was attained in these new markets allowed Consolidated Glass Corporation to continue investing in the business that in 2016 included a new tempering line as well as a fully automated robotic edging line. This continued progress has allowed Consolidated Glass Corporation to evolve into the premier, high quality fabricator in North America. The company expects to continue being a leader in glass fabrication for many generations to come.


Although not the focus of the last testing session of CoPilot (as of the publication of this post), two users did interact with the versioning prototype and one major piece of feedback was that user’s desired to know whether a previous deploy was successful or not.

This prototype needs to be user tested with more subjects so the sparse feedback collected so far can be validated.

Lastly, it has also been suggested that the GitDiff view could be illustrated in an accordion, with the GitDiff view to the current version being by default viewable. This could be an interesting split test in the future if there are adequate resources to do so.


Cominco Ltd. History (1906 – 2001)

Incorporated in Canada in 1906, Cominco Ltd. has emerged as a leading integrated zinc and copper producer. With mines in Canada, the United States, Chile, and Peru, Cominco is the world’s largest producer of zinc concentrate as well as the fourth-largest zinc metal refiner. Additionally, Cominco produces lead, silver, gold, germanium, and indium. The company’s head office is situated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, while it oversees subsidiaries worldwide. Teck Corporation is the largest single shareholder with 44 percent of Cominco’s Common Shares.

Cominco’s history reaches back to the Gold Rush in the second half of the 19th century. Thousands of placer prospectors flocked to the unexplored wilderness that was later to become the Province of British Columbia. (Placer refers to a gravel deposit containing particles of gold). Although the Gold Rush ended after ten years, it hastened the proclamation of the Colony of British Columbia in 1858 and influenced the development of trails throughout the region.

The newly created trails made it possible for the remaining prospectors to move further afield. Before long, placer gold was discovered in various parts of the Kootenay region in southeastern British Columbia. Soon after, steamboat service along the upper Columbia River made it easier for miners, prospectors, and others to reach the area.

Despite these transportation enhancements, mining activity was limited until the coming of the railways 20 years later. It was difficult to move the heavy, bulky ore mined in the Kootenays to the early smelters that were situated in the U.S. states of Montana and Washington. It was clear that cheap railway transportation was the key to success. In 1871, the Canadian government commissioned the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to build a railway across Canada. To the south, the United States was developing a similar national railway system.

From 1875 to the beginning of the new century, no new gold fields were discovered in British Columbia, and gold mining was soon surpassed by silver, lead, and coal mining. Mining companies desperately awaited the coming of railway transportation to the Kootenay mines, but the wait was a long one. According to ‘The Cominco Story,’ published in the company periodical The Orbit in June 1988, both the Canadian and U.S. national railways were riddled with corruption and scandals leading to inevitable delays in construction. These delays lead to an influx of competing spur lines and affiliated businesses coming in from the United States. This competition ultimately resulted in the CPR acquiring a company that was later to become Cominco Ltd.

In 1891, the U.S.-owned Le Roi Mining & Smelting Company set the wheels in motion by deciding that the mines near Rossland, British Columbia, required a local smelter. The company enlisted the aid of Fredrick Augustus Heinze, a U.S. promoter, gambler, and visionary whose credentials included building a smelter in Butte, Montana. During the four years of Heinze’s involvement, he succeeded in building the smelter at Trail, British Columbia, and in transferring control of the mines and utilities from American to Canadian and British interests. In 1896, Heinze incorporated his new company, British Columbia Smelting and Refining Company Limited, in the State of New Jersey. Due to Heinze’s propensity for deal making, his business interests now included the smelter, mining interests, railway lines, railway charters, and associated land grants.

A year later, Heinze put the company up for sale. The CPR had no interest in the mines and mining activities but desperately wanted control of the railway lines that Heinze owned. However, the sale was a package deal. The CPR hired Walter Hull Aldridge, a smelter manager from Montana, to negotiate with Heinze on their behalf. Under Aldridge’s leadership, the CPR bought Heinze’s company, including the mining interests that proved to be a source of profit for the next 88 years.

After Aldridge took over in 1898, the smelter was known as the Canadian Smelting Works and was officially owned by the British Columbia Southern Railway, a CPR subsidiary. Canadian Smelting Works later became the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada, Limited, which was renamed Cominco Ltd. in 1966.

Within two years, Aldridge had doubled the smelter’s capacity, the CPR had improved its rail facilities, and other railway companies had built track providing the first rail connection for mines in the region. By 1901, Aldridge had installed three lead blast furnaces that were supplied with custom ore from the surrounding mines. The bullion was shipped to San Francisco for refining, then the refined lead was sold in Eastern Canada and the Far East. This represented the company’s first move overseas.

In time, Aldridge negotiated with CPR executives and with the owners of the mines that supplied ore to the smelter to join the mines and smelter into one company with one management. In 1906, The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada, Limited was incorporated as a subsidiary of the CPR.

In 1908, Consolidated leased the Sullivan Mine in East Kootenay. The Sullivan was a rich source of lead, silver, and zinc, but had been unprofitable to operate, as there was limited need for zinc, and the ore was a complicated mixture of minerals that was difficult to smelt. Anticipating that the metallurgical problems could be solved, Aldridge looked for solutions. By 1910, the Sullivan had become the largest source of lead in Canada. In 1913, Consolidated obtained complete ownership of the Sullivan, a mine that was to become the company’s mainstay for years to come.

Relying on a slow and expensive method of hand picking, the mines could produce 50 tons of lead a day by 1916. The zinc-rich ore fragments were regarded as waste. However, World War I created a need for zinc for munitions. Consolidated contracted with the Imperial Munitions Board to produce 35 tons of zinc daily. Production costs were high, and Aldridge knew that in postwar years, the cost would be prohibitive. Consequently, Consolidated hired Randolphe ‘Ralph’ William Diamond, a prominent metallurgist from Ontario, to head up the company’s milling operations and to conduct testing on the Sullivan ore. Diamond developed a process that permitted use of lower-grade ore and simplified hand sorting. The plant expanded to handle 600 tons daily.

Shortly after, Diamond developed ‘differential flotation,’ a process that would have an impact on the entire industry. Differential flotation allowed minerals to ‘float’ by sticking to bubbles formed in certain mixtures of chemicals and oils. The bubbles formed a surface froth, which could then be skimmed off, separating the mineral from the rest of the mixture. This process indicated a major step for Consolidated. The company could now mine the Sullivan on a worldwide scale. By 1923, the company had built a new concentrator near Kimberley, British Columbia. By 1924, the lead output had risen by 64 percent. Consolidated’s general manager, S.G. Blaylock, wrote in the 1924 Annual Report: ‘The year just past has been one of more than ordinary importance in the life of the Company.’

By the latter part of the decade, environmental pollution became a concern. Emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) contaminated the valley and extended to lands along the Columbia River in Washington State. Damage to vegetation and land was severe. In 1927, an International Joint Commission assessed damages at $350,000. Additional damages of $78,000 were awarded in 1941. To prevent further damage, Consolidated explored alternative uses for sulphuric acid, which it was producing in small quantities from the SO2. This led to the development of chemical fertilizers and to diversification into a new business. Also during this time, Consolidated contracted to purchase phosphate rock from a company in Garrison, Montana, the first step towards acquiring an American subsidiary company.

Consolidated’s operation was suitable for producing fertilizers that could be used in the Canadian Prairies and marketed to other countries. By 1930, three sulphuric acid plants were operating and construction of a fertilizer complex had started. The fertilizers were marketed under the name Elephant Brand.

On October 29, 1929, the stock market crash heralded the Great Depression, and during that time there was limited market for fertilizers. Thus, Consolidated looked for other uses for the gases. It developed a process to manufacture elemental sulphur by the reduction of sulphur dioxide with coke. This process continued until 1943. Consolidated curtailed some of its activities during the Great Depression, including exploration, marketing, and sales efforts in fertilizers. By 1935, it was evident that grain growing could not continue without the use of fertilizers, and Consolidated again turned to the Prairie fertilizer market.

Exploration and Expansion: 1930-45

In the third decade of the 20th century, Consolidated entered a period of exploration. Interest in northern exploration lead to the establishment of an aviation service to transport personnel and supplies to properties in northern Canada. Cominco’s air service was one of several regional services that were later consolidated to form the Canadian Pacific Airlines.

Much of the northern exploration enjoyed only limited success. As S.G. Blaylock, the company’s general manager once remarked, ‘Three things are necessary to find a mine: brains, guts and luck.’ During the 1930s and 1940s, Consolidated worked a number of gold mines across Canada. However, only the Con in the Northwest Territories proved to be a winner. The Con became the first gold mine that went into production in the Northwest Territories, and it was a profitable source for 50 years until it was sold in 1986. Further exploration lead to the discovery of the Campbell Shear Zone that came into production in 1956.

As the century progressed, sophisticated mining technology, combined with changing needs, made it profitable to mine various other minerals. During World War II, Allied requirements led to opening two new mines in British Columbia to provide tungsten for armor-piercing shells and to provide coal for the smelter in Trail. Increased need for mercury, used in bomb detonators, led to the operation of the Pinchi mine. The Pinchi was later closed but remained a Cominco property.

During World War II, Cominco contracted with the British Government to supply zinc and lead. Later, because of its experience in fertilizer production, Consolidated acquired authorization to build nitric acid and ammonium nitrate plants near Calgary, Alberta. Nitric acid and ammonium nitrate were used in explosives. While the plants were being constructed, a new explosive was developed that did not require ammonium nitrate. Consolidated consequently switched the plants over to the production of fertilizer grade nitrogen. In making the transition, Consolidated developed a new means of prilling ammonium nitrate that had a worldwide impact on the industry. (Prilling is the process of atomizing and cooling molten liquids to form a bead).

In 1942, Consolidated was selected to produce large quantities of heavy water required for the war effort. Heavy water, consisting of two deuterium atoms instead of two hydrogen atoms, was thought to be useful in the control of neutron particles resulting from atomic fission. Consolidated was chosen because it already had an electrolytic hydrogen plant, a natural concentrator of heavy water. The company shipped 100 pounds of heavy water a month to Ohio. In 1945, the plant began supplying heavy water to a uranium facility owned by the Canadian government. Also that year, Consolidated mourned the death of S.G. Blaylock, general manager and later chairman of the company.

The postwar years proved to be the most active of Consolidated’s history. Technological advances made it possible to operate previously unprofitable mines, such as the Bluebell lead-zinc mine. The Bluebell became the largest lead-zinc mine in the province and remained operational for 20 years. Other major Consolidated mines going into operation during this time included the H.B. zinc-lead mine at Salmo, British Columbia, and the Pine Point zinc-lead mine in the Northwest Territories.

Beginning in the 1950s, Consolidated branched out aggressively into new domestic and international markets. The Canada Metal Company (a lead fabricating firm) and National Hardware Specialties Limited (a die casting company) were among the best-known operations. In 1962, Consolidated and the company’s agents in Calcutta formed Cominco Binani Zinc Ltd. to build an electrolytic zinc smelter and refinery and a sulphuric acid by-product plant in southern India. Cominco Binani Zinc Ltd. experienced difficult beginnings, due to local and international economic conditions but would ultimately reach full production in 1969.

In 1964, Consolidated and Mitsubishi Metal Mining Company in Japan joined to construct a lead smelter to be supplied with concentrates from Cominco operations. More than one million tonnes [a unit of metric measurement similar to an Imperial ton] of lead concentrate had been shipped to Mitsubishi Cominco in the late 1990s. Also in 1964, Consolidated acquired Western Canada Steel Limited, which would be a part of its family until 1988 when Consolidated restructured and sold the company.

In 1966, Consolidated established Cominco American Incorporated. The American subsidiary had its roots in Montana Phosphate Products Company (MPP), a small company that had been supplying phosphate rock to Trail. MPP obtained phosphate leases in the area and also discovered a lead deposit with zinc and copper at Salem, Missouri. After incorporation, Cominco American combined with another Cominco venture, Cominco Products Inc., bringing all of the company’s mining, exploration, and fertilizer activities together in the United States.

Also in 1966, Consolidated began exploring opportunities in Australia. The company first established the Cominco Australian Pty Ltd. as a holding company with Cominco Exploration Pty Ltd. as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Later, in 1971, Cominco would obtain an interest in Aberfoyle Ltd., an Australian mining company. By 1977, Cominco had reorganized Aberfoyle’s many small companies under the umbrella of Aberfoyle Limited.

Other international explorations and operations included activities along the Iberian Peninsula, resulting in a 47 percent interest in Exploración Minera International (España) S.A. Later, Cominco teams discovered zinc-lead-copper deposits in north central Spain.

In 1968, Consolidated, having officially changed its name to Cominco Ltd., along with Canadian Pacific Investments Ltd. formed Fording Coal Limited to develop coal deposits near in southeastern British Columbia. Cominco sold its interests to Canadian Pacific in 1985.

For Cominco, th 1980s was a period of economic turmoil, riddled with gains and losses, the startup of new operations, and the closure of others&mdash well as a change in majority ownership. The slumping U.S. economy resulted in a gigantic drop in Cominco’s net earnings in 1980 and 1981. High interest rates combined with a reduced demand for consumer goods led to lowered prices for metals. In 1982, the company recorded its first loss since 1932. The situation worsened by the end of 1985, Cominco was more than C$1.0 billion in debt.

Still, there were triumphs. In 1984, the company completed the first phase of the Trail modernization program, initiated in 1977. This included construction of the world’s first zinc pressure leaching plant and a new lead smelter feed plant. Operations commenced at three new mines: the world’s northernmost mine, the Polaris zinc-lead mine in the Northwest Territories the Highland Valley Copper mine (50 percent interest), a mine which has become the second largest copper mine in the world and Buckhorn open pit gold mine in Nevada. The most significant event of the decade, however, was widely regarded as the production of the Red Dog mine in Alaska. An engineering triumph, the mine was and remained one of the world’s largest zinc-lead mines.

To reduce debt, Cominco sold its interest in a number of non-core assets and mines, including the Con gold mine, Cominco’s first mining operation in the north. At the same time, Cominco’s parent company, the Canadian Pacific Railway, sold its 52.5 percent stake in Cominco. Nunachiaq Inc., a holding company for a consortium comprised of Teck Corporation, Metallgesellschaft AG, and M.I.M. Holdings Company purchased 29.5 percent interest. The remaining shares were sold publicly. By 1987, Cominco was in the black and by 1988, debt was down to C$344 million.

Better Times: 1990s and Beyond

The 1990s ushered in a period of prosperity. In fact, the year 1990 saw the discovery of two new depositions: the drill hole hit mineralization at the Cerattepe copper-gold deposit in Turkey and the Pebble copper-gold deposit in Alaska. In 1994, Quebrada Blanca copper mine began production, and the Kudz Ze Kayah zinc deposit was discovered in the Yukon. A year later, in 1995, Cominco found major new ore reserves at Red Dog. CESL Engineering announced a breakthrough in copper and nickel hydrometallurgy, and the company bought the Cajamarquilla zinc refinery in Peru. In 1996, as Cominco celebrated its 90th birthday, the company commenced a production rate increase project at Red Dog.

In 1998, net profits dipped, but the following year Cominco enjoyed consolidated net earnings of C$159 million, a C$182 million improvement over the previous year. Trail, Cajamarquilla, Red Dog, Polaris, and Quebrada Blanca mines achieved record production, while zinc contained in concentrate rose to a new record of 728,000 tonnes of zinc. In 1999, Cominco Ltd.’s operations in British Columbia won two civic awards and one award for mine safety. Cominco Ltd. commenced the new millennium in a position of strength and stability.

Principal Subsidiaries: Cominco Engineering Services Ltd. Highland Valley Copper (50%) Cominco American Inc.(United States) Cominco Alaska Inc.(United States) Glenbrook Nickel Company (United States) Lake Minerals Corporation (United States) Minera Cominco Chile Ltda (Chile) Cia, Minera Constelación, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico) Cominco Madençilik Sanayai A.S. (Turkey) Cominco (Peru) S.R.L. (Peru) Refinería de Cajamarquilla S.A. (Peru 82%).

Principal Operating Units: Red Dog Mine Trail Operations Sullivan Mine Polaris Mine Refinería de Cajamarquilla.

Principal Competitors: Inco Limited Noranda Inc. WMC Ltd.

Bradner, Tim, ‘Cominco Tests New Ore Processing,’ Alaska Journal of Commerce, September 24, 2000, p. 11.
‘Cominco Begins Sullivan Layoffs,’ American Metal Market, October 2, 200, p. 6.
‘Cominco Posts Stellar Results,’ Northern Miner, February 13, 2000, p. 1.
‘Nature’s Gifts to the People,’ Vancouver: Cominco Ltd., 2000.

Orbit: Cominco’s Magazine, Vancouver: Cominco Ltd., 2000.
‘Red Dog Drives Cominco Rise,’ American Metal Market, May 2000, p. 7.
‘Red Dog to Optimize Mill,’ Canadian Mining Journal, April 2000, p. 7.
‘Responsible Mine Development,’ Vancouver: Cominco Ltd.

Shared Values, Common Goals, Exceptional Results: The Red Dog Mine Story, Vancouver: Cominco Ltd., 1998.
‘Trail’s 100th Anniversary,’ Canadian Mining Journal, October 1996, p. 4.
Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 37. St. James Press, 2001.

We are committed to achieving above-average returns for our shareholders through improvements to existing operations, strategic acquisitions and divestitures promoting the health and safety of our employees: protecting the environment and contributing positively to the sustainable future of the communities in which we operate. Key Dates:

1902: Cominco’s predecessor builds the world’s first electrolytic lead refinery at Trail, British Columbia.
1906: The Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company of Canada Limited is incorporated as a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway Co. Inc.
1909: The Sullivan mine begins production under Cominco’s ownership.
1925: Company pioneers aircraft prospecting in the Northwest Territories.
1931: Company initiates fertilizer production plants as a pollution control measure at the Trail mine.
1944: Company completes the Brilliant Dam in British Columbia to supply electricity for wartime production.
1961: Cominco American discovers the Magmont lead deposit in Missouri.
1966: Company name is changed to Cominco Ltd.
1977: Cominco initiates a 20-year, C$1 billion dollar project to modernize the Sullivan Mine and Trail Operations.
1986: Teck Corporation acquires significant stake in Cominco Ltd. from Canadian Pacific.
1996: Cominco celebrates its 90th anniversary.


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