1944, the US Navy asked the industries to enter a design competition for
a 105,000 pound patrol boat powered by four radials. At the end of the
two German Bv.222 flying boats were captured by US forces.
acquired one for evaluation at Naval Air Station, the intensive studies
leading to the hull design of their Model 117. In early 1946, Convair
received a requirement from the US Navy for a large flying-boat using
the new laminar flow wing and the developing turboprop technology. It was awarded a contract for two prototypes,
designated XP5Y-1 Tradewind. After the first aircraft crash in 1953, the
Navy decided not to proceed with the patrol boat version but changed into a passenger and cargo aircraft.
The Tradewind program was redesignated R3Y. Six flying boats were built
as the R3Y-2 with a lifting nose for landing ship duties.
In practice, it was almost impossible for
the pilots to hold the aircraft steady and nose on to the beach while
the aircraft was loaded or unloaded. The aircraft were converted into
tankers for the in-flight refueling role. Subsequently three more
aircrafts were lost through engine failures, all the Tradewind aircrafts
were grounded in 1958.