The oldest airworthy amphibian in the UK is currently flying around Britain to mark the 100th anniversary of the Circuit of Britain Race.
The original challenge to fly around Britain in a seaplane was sponsored by the Daily Mail. Four pilots entered the race, but only one – an Australian called Harry Hawker – started. He flew more than 1,000 miles before crashing near Dublin. Despite not having finished the race his journey was still the longest distance flown over water at the time and he was awarded the £1,000 prize.
IWM Duxford based Catalina G-PBYA, flown by Jeff Boyling, took off on 20 August and passed over London’s Tower Bridge, before flying over Hook in Surrey – where Hawker is buried. He then flew on to Southampton, which was the start point of the original race.
A statement on the Project Hawker 2013 website said: ‘By marking this occasion Jeff hopes to inspire younger generations with the wonders of flying and keep “the golden era of aviation” alive today.’
The flight will last five days and aims to follow Harry Hawker’s route as closely as possible. You can track the Catalina’s process at projecthawker2013.com