It was an historic moment at IWM Duxford at 10.30am this morning (21) as Plane Sailing Air Displays Limited’s Catalina aircraft took off for the first leg of the recreation of the 1913 Circuit of Britain flight.
The original flight, attempted by famous Australian aviators Harry Hawker and Harry Kauper, was never completed, so the crew of the Catalina, led by pilot Jeff Boyling (who also hails from Australia) are hoping to succeed where they did not.
The take-off of the Catalina was watched by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Harry Hawker for whom the recreation of the flight, attempted by their famous relative, was a poignant and proud moment.
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 1600 mile route will take approximately five days.
The Catalina is due to land back at IWM Duxford on Sunday 24 August at approximately 4.34pm.