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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

Old 20th Aug 2011, 00:29
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EAX READY TO ROCK & ROLL?

The engines are back in. However, two years sitting in the tropics have taken their toll on the airframe and fabric, requiring a number of repairs. When that is all done, she should ready for a test flight.
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Old 2nd Sep 2011, 05:21
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All going well, EAX will resume her journey tomorrow, Saturday.

Route is believed to be Singapore, Bali, Darwin, arriving Longreach on Wednesday. (4 sectors of 8 to 10 hours. Bali - Darwin mostly over water)

She might be held up in Darwin for a couple of days to clear Customs and Quarantine. You may recall VH-CAT in 2007 had to be completely unloaded and thoroughly vacuumed on entry to Australia, the concern being she may have picked up some of those northern hemisphere nasties such as mad cow disease or bird flu.
Also, Customs required the payment of $15,000 Import Duty (Import GST). Hopefully, this time it has all been squared away.

Good luck!

Last edited by Wingnuts; 2nd Sep 2011 at 22:15.
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 11:18
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Departed Rayong this morning.

Follow her here:

SPOT Shared Page
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Old 10th Sep 2011, 08:00
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Landed Bali

This aircraft just landed safely at Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar Bali this afternoon.
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Old 11th Sep 2011, 04:04
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Departed Bali for Darwin

Just departed at 00.45z on 11 Sept 2011 (Hazy morning at Bali)


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Old 11th Sep 2011, 10:42
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VH-EAX arrived in Darwin just after 6pm local time. A great sight to behold as it landed into the setting sun. Photos soon.
John
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Old 11th Sep 2011, 10:49
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VH-EAX arrived Darwin, Australia

Without stealing anyone's thunder...

Catalina VH-EAX landed YPDN - Darwin, Australia today, touching down on runway 29 at 0840z.

She was an awesome sight arriving in the setting sun!
The aircraft parked in bay 12 at the base of the RAAF ATC Tower.

Welcome to Australia aircraft and crew!
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Old 11th Sep 2011, 12:37
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Link to photos. I will add the flying shots soon.
John
QANTAS PBY pictures by JJELLIS_PHOTO - Photobucket
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Old 11th Sep 2011, 21:15
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Good job well done to the crew and support people.
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Old 14th Sep 2011, 23:47
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GETTING CLOSE
Thailand, Early September 2011

Big day at the airport yesterday. Started both engines for the first time since installation. A few oil leaks from left prop and right

Some welcome commentary and details of flight from Thailand are now on QFMs web site:

Catalina updates

ARRIVAL at LONGREACH
[IMG][/IMG]
photo, Nicholas Vincent

Almost two years and the best part one million dollars after departing Spain, EAX finds itself in the backblocks of outback Australia, a destiny she would have mixed feelings about, and little wonder she was a reluctant participant in the relocation.
Its been an amazing journey fraught with frustration for all those involved. There were moments, Im sure, when she was lucky a lighted match wasnt thrown into her as the costs of a potential Black Cat spiraled into a financial black hole.

So what now?
First up, it is believed the borrowed engine will be returned to DC3, VH-AES, then shell be sitting on the deck until a replacement can be procured. Long term is open, but it is hoped to eventually add blisters, nose turret, and be relaunched as a Qantas Double Sunrise Cat.

Double Sunrise Cat
[IMG][/IMG]

Qantas Double Sunrise Ops:
In 1943 Qantas, the British Air Ministry and BOAC (Imperial Airways) agreed to a daring plan to re-establish the Australia-England air link that had been cut by advancing Japanese forces.

The plan called for regular flights between Perth, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

The single Indian Ocean hop of 5,652km would be the longest non-stop regular passenger flight ever attempted in the world. Celestial navigation had to be used to maintain radio silence over waters patrolled by enemy aircraft. Travelling at about 200km/h, would take an average of 28 hours to complete the journey, but up to 32 hours when winds were unfavourable. On many occasions with the autopilot u/s, fatigue was a problem, as in the air the controls are heavy and large inputs are required. That is to say, she flies like a boat. The story goes that all crew members and passengers were expected to take their turn at the controls. The weight of fuel limited the Catalina's load to only three pax and 69kg of diplomatic mail. The Cat was so heavy with fuel on take-off that the failure of an engine in the first 10 hours of flight would have made a ditching inevitable. This never happened.

Last edited by Wingnuts; 16th Sep 2011 at 04:37.
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 03:52
  #111 (permalink)  
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LOCAL RADIO STATION REPORT

ABC Western Queensland

15 September, 2011 10:48AM AEST

A Rare Catalina Flying Boat

By Chrissy Arthur and Julia Harris

A rare Catalina flying boat has touched down at its new home in Longreach.
The Catalina was purchased in Spain by the Qantas Founders Museum, but had to undergo a mammoth restoration to get it flying.
The museum wants to tell the story of the Catalinas involvement in the "Double Sunrise Service"; a top secret mission during World War Two.
Qantas pilots flew Catalinas to keep supply lines open between Australia and England; breaking the Japanese blockade over the Indian Ocean when Singapore fell.
After the war, Qantas also used Catalinas to open up the Pacific Islands.
Spokesman John Seccombe explained the plane's been at a military base in Thailand for the last 18 months, where it broke down in transit from Spain.
"It's very rare and of course there are times when we thought it would never arrive, we thought it would rot in Thailand.
"Fuel went missing out of it so you have to ask how secure it was.
"When the riots were going on in Thailand, we wondered whether it would turn into a civil war and whether in fact the aircraft would be safe.
"I am thrilled to see it here."
The Longreach museum hasn't decided yet whether to keep this vintage and rare Catalina in the air, or leave it on permanent display.
Warwick Tainton, the Museum's Chairman, said it's cost an awful lot of money.
"It will have cost us something like one-million dollars to get it back and I would like to see it keep flying but we haven't made those decisions.
"It's been such a long, ardous road you might say and we are really, really proud to get it here.
"The big story really is the engineers and the pilots who have actually bought the aeroplane out, it had been sitting idle for eight years I think."
Mr Seccombe said either way, it'll be some time before it goes on display because they plan to refurbish it in its war-time camouflage colours.
"The question is whether we take it to Wollongong where the Historical Restoration Society operate from and enlist their assistance with it to refurbish it, or whether we do it here.
"But we hope to have it back here by Easter."
A 91-year retired pilot was on hand to greet the plane when it flew in.
Rex Senior is the only surviving pilot of the "Double Sunrise service " and said it was an important part of Australia's war-time experience.
"It was a very secret business, when the Japanese came down through the Asian area; they interrupted the normal communication between England and Australia.
"It was a very necessary and very dangerous mission."
Mr Tainton said only a handful of Catalina's are still flying.
"I think there are probably four, or five or six still flying in the world."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex Senior, what a legend!
His Catalina story as told by himself is here:

http://mastermariners.org.au/file/Double_Sunrise_service_docx_Compatibility_Mode.pdf


Photo taken in 1983
[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by Wingnuts; 9th Aug 2013 at 07:24.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 00:57
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I'm sure I've seen bull no42 somewhere before...
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Old 9th Aug 2013, 07:22
  #113 (permalink)  
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Another Catalina is on its way to Australia, but this time by boat for static display.
For more go here:
Another Catalina Coming

Update on VH-EAX. Both engines have been removed, the left, returned to its owner, DC3 VH-AES, and the right has been borrowed by HARS for its DC3s.



September, 2013. Installation of non-operational engines for display. Courtesy of HARS



New Paint! Dec 2014



Meanwhile, VH-CAT at Bankstown is progressing. Its left engine, which had been removed to facilitate the front spar corrosion repair, is back on. Engine run June 2015 ok https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7B...usp=drive_web>


The original destination of CAT was Rathmines, but no mention of that in this ad...?

The Australian, 23-10-15

Last edited by Wingnuts; 5th Nov 2015 at 22:59.
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