Here she is – the 70 year old Catalina G-PBYA, landed earlier this evening at Oban Airprt after her repetition of the 1913 Circuit of Britain route so far. This took her from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, up the east coast of Scotland on a salute to Aberdeen, Lossiemough, Cromarty, Inverness… down the Great Glen to Fort William and on to Oban Airport.
She’ll be there tomorrow and Saturday morning, to be looked at and admired – along with a carnival to fit a centenary event as extraordinary as this one.
There will stalls from LORN Community Producers Market – with their always scrumptious freshly cooked food. – bacon butties, venison and beef burgers and fresh quiches .
Then there will be the inspirational Ardchattan Parish Archive – for which tomorrow will be another signal event in a constantly retrieved history.
Classic Cars just have to be there to welcoe a classic aircraft and the Oban War and Peace Museum will provide another rich seam of appropriate interest and texture.
Harry Hawker, the 24 year-old Australian pilot who flew the Sopwith biplane on the successful two thirds of the circuit before crashing short of Dublin, was also Sopwith’s Chief Test Pilot, wokring on many of the aircraft important in the reality and in the history World War II in these glory days of aviation.
Hawker’s present-day equivalent, Australian pilot, Jeff Boyling, has taken on the challenge of trying to complete the 1913 air race route as a tribute to Hawker and to raise funds for the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. This centenary flight took off from Duxford yesterday, 21st August 2013.
Oban Airport is the place to be tomorrow.
The photograph above of Catalina G-PBYA at Oban Airport is produced here by courtesy of Ardchattan Parish Archive. She may look relaxed in the twilight tonight – but she’ll wake to north Lorn in celebration tomorrow.