A flying boat hopes to make waves at Old Buckenham Airshow

The Catalina coming to Old Buckenham Airshow on the weekend of July 30-31

The Catalina coming to Old Buckenham Airshow on the weekend of July 30-31 - Credit: Archant

A giant of aviation, the Catalina Flying Boat will be taking to the skies at the Old Buckenham Airshow later this month.

the extra and model, photo Ian Bowskill

the extra and model, photo Ian Bowskill - Credit: Archant

With advance tickets at record levels, the show has already confirmed the return after more than a decade of the only flying B-17 Bomber in Europe, Sally B, the heavyweight Memphis Belle filmstar.

Now the show is bringing the 10-ton giant flying boat Catalina, with its 114-foot wing span, to soar over the south Norfolk airfield.

Rarely seen flying in Britain, the plane looks like a boat sandwiched by wheels and wings and was designed and built for bombing, submarine hunting and search and rescue.

Now the Catalina is used for fire-fighting or for fishing in the Pacific Ocean. Capable of landing and taking off from water or land, the aircraft displaying at Old Buckenham is in wartime USAAF markings of the 8th Air Force 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Also just announced is a truly unusual aviation act, with Advanced Aerobatic competitor Chris Burkett flying his Extra 330 next to a 41pc scale model miniature blue Extra flown by multiple remote control champion Mike Williams.

The little and large act, with the aerobatics of the full size 330hp carbon fibre Extra 330 mirrored by the aerobatic model, brings an element of humour into a show dominated by the big guns of the aviation display world.

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The show, which takes place from Saturday, July 30 to Sunday, July 31, features everything from Sally B and the Mk. IX Supermarine Spitfire MH434 to the P-51 Mustang, a Bucker Jungmann, aerobatics pilots Corinne Dennis and The Wildcats, plus the 145 hp Auster, a venerable WWII spotter plane, still popular as a trainer and pleasure aircraft.

Matt Wilkins, airshow organiser, said: 'It was a major coup to have secured the first display by B-17 Sally B in over ten years. To be able to add to it with the mighty Catalina is fabulous.

'Both aircraft are enormous and the importance of their roles in WWII cannot be overstated. They have rightly achieved iconic status and this will be a remarkable airshow weekend. To further add to these the Extra and Model act is very exciting and this mix of old, new and unique means that we will have to work very hard to try to beat this year's line-up in years to come.'

Mr Wilkins said advance ticket sales are comfortably above the record levels seen in 2015 and a sell-out attendance is anticipated.

For more information visit http://www.oldbuckenhamairshow.co.uk/

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