CASA helping to bring Catalina Home
How many flights from Spain to Australia are likely to take 90 hours?
Not many, but when you’re flying a Catalina bound for the Qantas Founders Museum, located in Queensland’s Longreach, the flight can be expected to take a little longer than your usual journey by air.
The Catalina, designed as a flying boat, is an iconic Qantas aircraft. During World War II, Catalinas flew between Perth and Sri Lanka in 28-hour non-stop flights maintaining radio silence to prevent detection by Japanese forces.
The aircraft were finally retired from military service only in the 1980s, but are still used in firebombing operations around the world.
Through its role of coordinating the permissions required for bringing the aircraft into Australia, CASA helped Qantas to celebrate the early days of Australia’s aviation industry.
A group of aircraft engineers who volunteer their time to carry out restoration and maintenance work will have put in an estimated 500 hours of work on detailed inspections before the flight, which is planned for December 2010.