WWII Catalina seaplane flies over Cornwall
- 25 August 2013
- From the section Cornwall
A World War II flying boat flies over Cornwall to mark the 100th anniversary of a British seaplane race.
A World War II flying boat has flown over Cornwall as part of a commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of a seaplane race - 1913's Circuit of Britain Race. Project Hawker 2013 is celebrating a flight around the country by Australian pilot Harry Hawker in a Sopwith Waterplane.
The flying boat, Catalina G-PBYA, visited RAF St Mawgan and Newquay as part of a journey around the country. Hawker himself flew the longest distance of four entrants, managing more than 1,000 miles in what was supposed to be a 1,500-mile challenge before crashing near Dublin.
During WWII, the aircraft - usually on display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford - was used for anti-submarine operations by the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, it was used for fighting forest fires. It is due to put in an appearance at the Proms in the Park in London in September.
While in Cornwall, it took six passengers around the Newquay, Perranporth (pictured) and St Columb areas.
Passengers included 93-year-old Squadron Leader WH Taylor (Retired) DFC, pictured here with his family before the flight. Mr Taylor - who flew on the last ever operational flight of an RAF Lancaster in Cornwall - said it was "wonderful", and he saw "how much Newquay has changed since I worked nearby in the 1950s".