I've gushed about my love of the Consolidated PBY Catalina on here before. As ungainly as she may look to some, I find her to have a classic beauty as striking as her history. "Pure Nostalgia" refers to a line in a video I was sent via email which I wanted to share. It's from AOPA, or the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association website which has a bunch of great photos, articles and videos which can keep you distracted from work, which it did for me for far too much of the day. To give full credit, and keep any copyright attorneys off Sarge's back, Mike Fizer created the video which is wonderfully put together.
As you would expect, the video has some great shots of the Cat, both now and during her storied history, but also contains some excellent footage of the aircraft flying over my hometown of San Diego, including Mission Beach, the USS Midway Museum, and Naval Station San Diego. It also has a pretty decent soundtrack.
Unfortunately, it's a Vimeo video which has some restrictions with Blogger scripting so you'll have to watch it here:
The aircraft is owned by Jim Slattery. For those of you not familiar with him, Jim is a very big-time Navy airplane collector out here at Gillespie Field in El Cajon- a suburb just east of SanDog. His fleet of WWII aircraft, and a few others from different eras, is quite spectacular.
The aircraft was restored for The Greatest Generation Naval Museum in San Diego, CA. "These guys were putting these aircraft into 10 foot seas, and getting out again...into combat conditions. Extraordinary group of young men."
|Sean M. Haffey / UT San Diego|
Here's another site I found while researching Jim Slattery and his aircraft. I had heard about Jim and his effort to restore the aircraft, but didn't realize that was done in South Africa. After which the bird had trekked across 3 continents to make it to San Diego. The link above will take you to "Catalina. Last Journey of Patrol Boat Yankee" which is a mini-TV series about the journey.
If the video isn't enough, read about Slattery's endeavor in the story from the Union Tribune newspaper here in San Diego. The trip from South Africa is quite a tale:
than five years ago, two Americans purchased the Catalina with the hope of
restoring it. They spent $1.3 million on the aircraft before a disagreement led
to the dissolution of their project. Slattery purchased the plane in 2010 — he declined to say for how much — and
finished the job. Just getting the plane qualified to return to the United
States was a substantial undertaking, because Slattery had to fly a Federal
Aviation Administration official to South Africa for an inspection."
|A PBY Catalina lands at Gillespie Field after a 12,000-mile, 16-leg trip from South Africa. — Sean M. Haffey, UT San Diego|