Keeping Aviation History Alive in Rathmines

Catalina Flying Boats used to be a common sight anchored off Rathmines on the western side of Lake Macquarie.

By 1941, it was the largest RAAF flying boat base in the southern hemisphere, which probably explains why it’s still considered the home of the Catalina. Continue reading

CanvasWings EP 11 – Kevin Weldon and Penny Furner

Aircraft collector and enthusiast, Kevin Weldon AM has been an avid aviator for 40 years.

His publishing career began while he was serving in the navy and he’s gone on to publish many books as well as an iPad app.

Kevin discusses his unique private aircraft collection which is based at Luskintyre in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

Photographed here at the Luskintyre Airfield (NSW) in front of the Nancy Bird Walton Memorial Tower dedicated to his late friend and aviatrix. Photo: David White

Photographed here at the Luskintyre Airfield (NSW) in front of the Nancy Bird Walton Memorial Tower dedicated to his late friend and aviatrix.
Photo: David White

What do you know about the largest WWII RAAF flying boat base in the southern hemisphere?

Well meet Penny Furner – President of the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association and someone who spent her early years living at the base on the shores of Lake Macquarie in New South Wales during the 1950s.

Penny talks about why the annual Rathmines Catalina Festival is working hard to preserve the history of the base and educate the wider community about its importance. Continue reading

International Fleet Review 2013 – Well Hello Sailor!

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Sea Fury flying at the Australian International Airshow in 2011.

Sea Fury flying at the Australian International Airshow in 2011.

Planes and men in uniform is really what this event is for me if I’m honest (sorry David).

The centennial celebration for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is going to be a big one. And I mean BIG!

Apart from the warships which have been amassing on the New South Wales South Coast, this event is going to be avgeek heaven and you might spot Prince Harry if you’re lucky.

I’m kicking myself that I won’t be there to see it in person (hopefully ABC1 will include the flyover in its broadcast), but it doesn’t mean the rest of you have to miss it as well.

Saturday’s event is what I’ll be crying over. A Ceremonial fly past over Port Denison from 11:20 with no less than 39 or so aircraft (and yes I did count what I’ll be missing).

The “Salute to Navy” air display starts at 14:15 when vintage aircraft and newbies will take to the sky around Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Shark Island.

So how low can you go? Well according to the intell, the plane, the plane! (sorry I couldn’t help it) could be as low as 150 metres (500ft in the old language).

An RAAF Orion flies over Felix the Catalia at the Australian International Airshow 2013.

An RAAF Orion flies over Felix the Catalia at the Australian International Airshow 2013.

What will I be missing? Oh only about 50 fixed wing aircraft which includes ‘Felix’ (the Catalina), Connie (the Constellation) and the yet to be named Caribou (all of which belong to HARS – the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society.

Throw into that mix a few vintage helicopters such as the Huey and Kiowa, some of the newbies like the Taipan (MRH-90) and Seahawk and you’ve got yourself a show.

The RAN Historic Flight's UH-1 Iroquois flying at Wings Over Illawarra 2011.

The RAN Historic Flight’s UH-1 Iroquois flying at Wings Over Illawarra 2011.

No word yet if the Sea Fury from Nowra will be flying as part of the display.

Feel free to torture me with your fabulous photos of the event!

I seriously would love to see what I’m missing out on while I’m working at a Festival near Byron Bay. So share via our facebook, twitter or website.

Enjoy avgeek heaven

Rhi – who’s missing one of the avgeek events of the year!