Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 14, 2013 12:24:01 GMT 12
Just a note for historical purposes. I am told by wartime Corsair pilot Norman Kiddle, and I have heard this elsewhere too I'm sure, that if a pilot was stricken and was preparing to ditch into the sea the call he made on the radio to summon a Dumbo Catalina was "26-Baker-258".
This is still etched into Norman's brain even now. He was flying a mission over Rabaul when Frank Keefe went into Simpson Harbour and was involved as Mort Vanderpump's wingman trying to cover Frank till fighter relief arrived.
He says the reason Frank Keefe was shot up was because the US Dauntless squadron that was meant to bomb the gun positions at Hospital Hill were late and didn't do so till after Keefe was shot down. Norman said this was the fastest he has ever flown over fifty feet of water on that day, and he said the aircraft attacking the gun positions were bouncing over just above him.
The enthusiast who put "The Last African Flying Boat" up on YouTube recently also put a couple of other interesting Sunderland/Solent docos which are just as amazing
"The Flying Boats" full documentary
"The Big Boat of the Islands" - The story of VH-BRC, Beachcomber, the Sandringham now housed in the Solent Sky Museum in Southampton.
"Edward's Flying Boat" - In 1979 Sir Edward Hulton bought this Sunderland flying boat, actually a converted Sandringham, with the idea to restore it to Imperial Airways flying boat standard and begin commercial flights.
"Air (Flying) Boat '85" - A unique record of the last airworthy civil Sunderland flying boat in the world. Companion video to "Edward's Flying boat". This aircraft is now with the Kermit Weeks Fantasy of Flight collection in Florida USA.
I was contemplating whether Aviation Films or the older flying boat thread was the place for these but they seem to follow the sequence of the Last African Flying Boat.
As the Catalina newsletter has reported: "At Tauranga, volunteers set to with initial focus on rebuilding the bow section which had been removed some years before in the USA. Progress was rapid and by the end of Winter 2009 the entire hull had been tidied up and painted as a San Diego-based US Navy Catalina with the hull code '204'. The project group had previously decided that no attempt would be made to obtain wings and a tail section to replace the missing originals. Instead, the intention is that the hull will in due course become a 'walk in' exhibit once the interior has received further attention. On Saturday, March 7th 2009 the hull was lifted and positioned on a raised stand inside the museum hangar at Tauranga. This has been a superb example of a dedicated team taking a seemingly wrecked artifact and turning it into a really unusual and interesting exhibit. Well done to all concerned."
My sentiments exactly.
Classic Flyers Museum, 8Apr2012
And so it came to pass and while it cannot be cosidered an authentic replication of the interior of a Catalina it is near enough and does a great job of educating those who visit and enter and touch and play and adds to the museums atmosphere of family friendly exhibits.
The view from the rear entry towards the cockpit. See the steps on the right to get up to the Engineers Panel
The reverse through the Galley wardroom and rest area looking back to the observation Blisters
I wonder how many times a week the (fibreglass) Spitfire will get shot down during the school holidays
If you can mange to scramble the steps up the the Engineers Station this is the view.