December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
People lined Gorleston seafront to watch a 70-year-old Catalina seaplane on a 1,600 mile journey around Britain’s coast.
The Catalina - the only one of its kind still flying in the UK, soared over Gorleston beach at about 3.25pm today and put on a close up flying display for the crowd below.
David Parker and Madeline Mitchell, from Gorleston, said it was “well worth the wait”.
“It was brilliant,” said Mr Parker.
“It could only have been better if I was in the plane.”
The plane put a show on over Gorleston as part of a commemorative flight around the coast, marking 100 years since aviation pioneers Harry Hawker and Harry Kauper attempted the same.
Australians Hawker and Kauper were forced to land on Gorleston beach during the 1913 Circuit of Britain flight. They never finished the route, but have inspired countless of aviation enthusiasts to take to the skies.
At 10.30am today, the Catalina took off from the Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford.
The take-off was watched by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Harry Hawker for whom the recreation of the flight, attempted by their famous relative, was a poignant and proud moment.
While the airspace in 2013 is somewhat more restricted than 100 years ago, the crew of the Catalina intends to follow the 1913 route as closely as possible. The mile route will take approximately five days, with the Catalina due to land back at IWM Duxford this Sunday (August 24).