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RAF base welcomes UK's oldest seaplane on historic flight
12:23pm Friday 30th August 2013 in News
AN RAF base has welcomed the UK’s oldest seaplane as part of centenary celebrations of the first attempt to circumnavigate Britain by air.
To commemorate pioneering aviator Harry Hawker’s 1,000-mile flight, the oldest airworthy amphibian still flying in the UK, the Catalina G-PBYA has flown over the 1913 route.
Mr Hawker, whose attempt ended when he crashed near Dublin, achieved the longest distance flown over water at the time.
The crew of the Project Hawker Circuit of Britain flight diverted inland to visit RAF Leeming, near Bedale, to be greeted by station personnel, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia sufferer Brad Brown, 11, and youngsters from the base's summer holiday activities groups Stepping Stones Nursery and Airplay.
The voyage of the Catalina, which is marking its 70th anniversary, raised funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Station commander, group captain Steve Reeves said: “The arrival of the Catalina and her crew brought a great sense of excitement and it has been a marvellous opportunity for everyone to see such a wonderful aircraft.”
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