Rathmines Catalina news

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The NSW WW2 Catalina flying boat Rathmines plans and progress - see this webpage for more - http://rathmines-catalina.com/
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10 years

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We have a update showing photos of recent work done to the fuselage while it is in storage at Rathmines. There are detailed plans underway to hopefully reach some of the organisation's goal regarding the restoration and display and we will be able to update when information is available. https://www.facebook.com/john.richard2/media_set?set=a.10203442778930694.1073741830.1249382670&type=1 More information can be seen on their webpage at http://rathmines-catalina.com

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10 years

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The Rathmines static Catalina project has some minor news update for anyone interested - * The restoration work is progressing.....they currently have about 8 regular volunteers at present working across 3 days a week. * They have so far commenced on the grubby work/preparation. The cockpit has now been stripped out, after the screens and an audit has been done on the instruments taken out, plus all the instruments that were able to be scavenge from San Juan. They will have more than enough to restore the cockpit to days past. * The project could use more supporters with donations of money. So if interested consider visiting their website and follow the donations link..... http://rathmines-catalina.com/

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Thanks Daniel, I have been following your posts.

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Rathmines Catalina project updates - "Weather has been a major factor with work on the fuselage over past weeks. From the cockpit the instrument panel has been removed for refurbishment and instrument replacement. Additionally the centre wing assembly, has been tarped over for weather protection. Mr. Paul McSweeney, an aviation enthusiast on vacation from America, is volunteering his time refurbishing the control panel from "Our Girl". We hope to have it completed for display at the Rathmines Festival. Meanwhile, in the "front office" - Penny& Rob Furner, Terry & Linda Woolard along with Trev & Claire Mears enjoyed a great trip to Lake Boga, Victoria in July. All were made most welcome by the amazing volunteers from the local Lions Club, who built the Lake Boga Hangar/Museum, and staff it - keeping it open to the public on a daily basis.Lake Boga was the largest maintenance depot for the Catalina, during World War 2. All major repairs on the Catalinas from Rathmines, Bowen/Cairns & Darwin were carried out there. The project of restoring their Catalina started in 1997 & the Hangar, built to house it & many items of memorabilia, was completed in 2011.Thank you Lake Boga Lions Club - hopefully, one day in the not too distant future, we can reciprocate! Our business plan is in the final stages of development, waiting for a few quotes for the hangar, then off to the Council. Lake Macquarie has so much to offer & having a hangar/museum, incorporating a large function & educational centre similar to Lake Boga, would be "the icing on the cake" for this beautiful area."

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We have an update for followers - courtesy of Terry Woolard RCMPA Volunteer. "Progress has been made on several fronts in the refurbishment of the RCMPA PBY5A “Our Girl”. 1)More work has been carried out cataloguing the spare parts brought back from Puerto Rico plus actual components of the aircraft that could be brought up to airworthy status. There are quite a lot of these that possibly could be put up for sale,exchange etc providing we can procure replacements suitable for static display.All this may work any number of ways as there are critical components totally missing from “Our Girl”. Probably the most outstanding items missing are engine cowlings, the search is already on for these. 2)The RCMPA has been contacted by the Catalina Preservation Society in New Zealand regarding possibly supplying them with some components critical to the repair of their starboard wing which most would know has been removed for corrosion repairs. We are working hard in developing a working relationship but it’s only very early days yet. I am already working to track down a readily available source of AN10 fasteners as used in the attachment of PBY wing leading and trailing edges. The NZ people need a large quanity of these as do the RCMPA. More on this later as things hopefully progress. 3)I have also completed research on confirming exactly what model engines are fitted to the RCMPA PBY. Some doubt existed that these engines were actually P/W1830-75’s despite a photo of the port engine ID plate put into circulation early in the aircraft recovery process.When the US Navy sold this PBY in 1954,it was still fitted with R1830-92 engines,not sure if they were the same ones fitted during production. These engines were exchanged for R1830-75’s in 1961,this model was made under license by the Buick company. David Legg from the Catalina society assisted with this research. 4)Have just begun the process of cleaning out the interior of all wing sections & spraying with fish oil to hopefully stop any further corrosion. Fish oil is being used because of it’s excellent corrosion preventative properties plus we are dealing with a static aircraft only. Where suitable,Alodine and aircraft grade primer will be used during the overall corrosion treatment process. The extent of resheeting the wings is yet to be determined but costs well be kept down by the use of non aircraft grade aluminium. 5) Most of the cockpit window and windscreen retainers have been repaired except for the sections the side windows slide in. These extrusions are proving difficult to source locally. 6) Finally, the port engine is being cleaned up, lubricated internally, various external components repaired and painted to bring the engine up to a reasonable static display standard. The starboard engine will prove more difficult as it received the full force of the prevailing weather when parked outside for years." Their website is http://rathmines-catalina.com/

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4)Have just begun the process of cleaning out the interior of all wing sections & spraying with fish oil to hopefully stop any further corrosion. Fish oil is being used because of it’s excellent corrosion preventative properties plus we are dealing with a static aircraft only.
Mmmm...the smell of hot fish oil in the Australian sun. Is anybody going to want to go anywhere near this cat when it's finished?! :D

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Warbirds are becoming more frequent each year at the Rathmines Catalina Festival event... Here we have early news for the 2015 Catalina Festival...write this into your diaries. Rathmines Catalina Festival - SUNDAY, 25th October, 2015. Put this date in your Diary.Please also note the Festival will be held on SUNDAY this year, NOT on a Saturday. Further details to follow regarding participants, air show etc., (now in planning stages).

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Latest updates on progress of the Rathmines Catalina "President A Message from our President. Hello all, After a late night loading & an early morning start, 'Our Girl' finally reached her destination at our depot at Kilaben Bay. The last move before going to her final home at Rathmines. This will make it easier for the restoration work, as the various parts of the plane are now at the one place. We would never have been able to achieve this if it wasn't for the generous support of several companies, including, ALKIRA BOATSHED (Phil & Margaret Heaney), DARACON (Dave Mingae - Peter Tighe & James), CAMERON CRANES (Rob Cameron & Scott) and NOVA TIMBER ( Chris Magin). A big 'thank you' to those who also helped at the time, Terry, Ray ,Rob & Pee Wee, also our 'film crew', the Bates family. Big job for so few. Please feel free to call in and have a look at the restoration work when you are in the area. Cheers, Penny." and Project Co-Ordinator "Our Girl" UpdateTime for another update from my perspective. There has been some really positive progress made in the refurbishment of “Our Girl”, some obvious and some not immediately obvious. The rear portion of the fuselage has had the basic repairs completed and has been primed and we are now carrying out similar work from the main undercarriage area right to the nose. The area aft of here is where some re sheeting has to take place and some of this has to be rolled into shape before being riveted into place. Dave Swanson has been working on sourcing suitable material for this and other areas where any badly corroded areas have to be cut out. Ray and Warren continue to work on the fuselage, concentrating on treating corrosion. Ray has been researching the preparation of any sections to be painted using a method similar to sand blasting but using Bi Carbonate of Soda using a special spray gun. The first trial using this method has taken place and Ray is happy it will speed up progress plus improve the finished product. The other major plus is that the process is totally safe to the operator and the environment. I have been concentrating on corrosion and riveting repairs on the chine strips, this is basically where the upper fuselage and the hull join. Hopefully, Dave can also source new material to replace sections of the chine where required. We are also looking forward to another volunteer joining us this week. Andrew is well experienced as a pilot and is looking forward to helping us any way he can. Another two volunteers should join us soon. Kerry and Adrien have been quietly working away on the port engine, still with the plan to prepare it for static viewing on a stand. A basic amount of special tools have been sourced for this work, mostly from the USA. Kerry and Adrien continue to supplement this by making their own special tools, particularly for the removal of cylinder head fasteners. Progress on the removal of the cylinder heads is moving along really well and we have been very relieved to find the condition of cylinder liners, pistons and rings etc is amazingly good given the neglect they have suffered. One final item, when a major inspection hatch on the front of the lower tail was removed for repair, we found it had been autographed by two people during a previous repair in 1994. See attached photo. That’s about it for now. No doubt some of you would know that the relocation of the fuselage was successfully carried out in early June, therefore we now have all the components and the volunteers in one place. Should make for much better progress. Best Wishes, Terry Project Co-Ordinator"