Pilot Jeff Boyling and the Catalina G-PBYA completed the the centenary route of the 1913 inaugural Circuit of Britain, landing back at Duxford at around 16.45 yesterday, Sunday 25th August.
The challenge was undertaken in tribute to the young Australian pilot, Harry Hawker, who first attempted it and who failed to complete it following a crash, short of the Dublin control point. Harker and his mechanic, Harry Lauper survived. The Sopwith floatplane he was flying did not.
Fellow Australian Boyling, one hundred years later, has now successfully completed the Circuit in the 70 year old Catalina, the oldest amphibian still flying.
The Circuit was also flown to raise funds for the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, where the Catalina is based and from which it took off and landed in this epic effort.
Assuming that they attracted everywhere he sort of attention, excitement and community carnival that welcomed them to Oban in Argyll, Bpling and his colleagues – not to mention G-PBYA – will have spread a lot of sheer delight around the British Isles over the past few days.