Iconic flying boat to visit Newquay to mark anniversary of legendary race
AN ICONIC flying boat is due to land at Newquay Cornwall Airport today to help mark the 100th anniversary of the legendary Circuit of Britain race.
The crew, who will be hosted by RAF St Mawgan, are hoping to recreate the extraordinary feat of Harry Hawker, who attempted to fly around Britain in a water plane in 1913.
He managed to cover more than 1,000 miles of the 1,540-mile race before crashing just north of Dublin – the farthest distance flown over water at the time.
The recreation of his journey will be attempted by pilot Jeff Boyling, in the UK's oldest airworthy seaplane – the Duxford-based Catalina G-PBYA.
On its visit to Newquay, the aircraft will taxi to the Classic Air Force (CAF) site and pick up six passengers, including 93-year-old Squadron Leader 'Spud' Taylor, from Quintrell Downs, who flew on the last operational flight of the RAF Lancaster from RAF St Mawgan.
The crew will also join service personnel and air cadets to lay a wreath at the memorial at RAF St Mawgan to Flight Lieutenant Gareth Nicholas, a Newquay man, who was lost in the tragic Nimrod crash over Afghanistan in 2006.
Mr Boyling said: "I hope to inspire younger generations with the wonders of flying and keep the golden era of aviation alive today."
The plane will be on show to visitors at CAF on Saturday.
Steve Bridgewater, of CAF, said: "We are highly excited to host the Catalina at Classic Air Force. It is one of the most iconic of all flying machines and will be in company alongside our classic British aircraft from the 1950s and 1960s."
Richard Thomasson, operations manager at Newquay Cornwall Airport, added: "The airport is extremely happy to support this commemorative flight and to be able to offer landing and parking facilities at the Classic Air Force Museum. This is a very special occasion. To be involved in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Circuit of Britain Race is an honour.
"We hope the general public show their support and interest in being part of this occasion by visiting the museum to see this historic aircraft."