Centenary celebration of the Circuit of Britain flight will pose a massive challenge for Duxford flyers


Duxford - Credit: Archant

AVIATION adventures are in store for visitors to Duxford with the centenary celebration of the Circuit of Britain flight.

IWM Duxford-based Catalina recreates challenging Circuit of Britain race 100 years later

IWM Duxford-based Catalina recreates challenging Circuit of Britain race 100 years later - Credit: Archant

An historic Catalina will set off from Duxford to recreate the moemtous flight path which was first made in 1913.

Plane Sailing Air Displays Limited’s Catalina G-PBYA will depart from IWM Duxford, where it is based, on Wednesday August 21.

The Catalina, 70 years old this month, will undertake the 1913 Circuit of Britain flight, which was flown by pilot Harry Hawker and mechanic Harry Kauper, both Australians, in a Sopwith Waterplane.

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 crew will fly the 1600 mile route over approximately five days.

They will be flying over some key historic sites, including Kingston, where the Sopwith Factory was based, Hook in Chessington, where Harry Hawker is buried and Brooklands Aerodrome, now Brooklands Museum, where Harry Hawker learnt to fly and tested aircraft for use in the First World War. The Catalina will also orbit the Classic Boat Museum at Cowes, which has on display an 1/8 scale replica of the Bat Boat tested by Harry Hawker in 1913.

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Pilot Jeff Boyling, who is leading the 2013 Catalina commemoration. Jeff, like Harry Hawker, was born in Australia and shares a passion for aeronautical adventure.

Descendants of Harry Hawker, the original aviation pioneer, will also be in attendance and can share their thoughts on Harry’s historic aerial achievements and what it means to them to see his original flight undertaken again 100 years later.

Duxford will be tracking the Catalina’s progress on the Imperial War Museum Duxford facebook page.