Felix the black Catalina flexes ageing musclesphotosvideo

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Felix the black Catalina flexes ageing muscles | photos | video MAIN ATTRACTION: Felix the black Catalina was the star of today’s Rathmines Catalina Festival. Picture: David Stewart
Nanjing Night Net

LOW AND SLOW: Felix flew close to the lake’s surface at Rathmines, giving spectators on watercraft a close-up view. Picture: David Stewart

LOW AND SLOW: Felix flew close to the lake’s surface at Rathmines, giving spectators on watercraft a close-up view. Picture: David Stewart

Picture: David Stewart

TRICK SHOTS: A Pitts aerobatic biplane piloted by Paul Bennet. Picture by David Stewart

WARTIME TRANSPORT: A display of historical military machines included motorcycles, Jeeps, and all-terrain vehicles. Picture by David Stewart

DISPLAYS: The festival included an array of stalls and exhibitions. This one highlighted a model of the former Rathmines Catalina air base, and surrounds. Picture: David Stewart

SPEED MACHINE: An L-39 Albatros. Picture: David Stewart

FULL HOUSE: Spectators line the water’s edge for the best vantage points. Picture: David Stewart

ALL ACTION: Sea planes make their way from the display area to the water while the aerobatic show continues overhead. Picture: David Stewart

OLD SCHOOL: Vintage and classic cars were a popular drawcard, with the winners of the Show and Shine announced after Felix the black Catalina completed its fly-by. Picture: David Stewart

TweetFacebookFelix the Black Cat flies over Rathmines on Lake MacquarieYet, in its heyday during World War II, the Catalina was a versatile and resilient craft, capable of landing on water, and covering vast distances at low altitudes.

The Catalina missions included long-range mine-laying, torpedoing, rescue, evacuation, and holding open far-distant lines of communication.

The Australian government said: “The Catalina was to Australia what the Spitfire was to Britain.”

The annual Rathmines Catalina Festivalcelebrates the aircraft, and thehistory of the Rathmines World War II RAAF Base which, by 1941, was the largest RAAF flying boat base in the southern hemisphere.

The base was home to almost 3000 personnel from 1944 to 1945. Some 332 personnel from the base lost their lives.

Before Felix’s arrival today, spectators were treated to an impressive air show featuring 15 aircraft including Tiger Moths, an Avenger, P 51 Mustang, L 39 Albatross and the AP-3C Orion.

Pilot Paul Bennet again led a spectacular aerobatics show.

Grumman Avenger and seaplanes at the Rathmines Catalina Festival 2016This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.