Built by Canadian Vickers as PBV-1A Canso for the RCAF. Constructors Number CV369.
Post war, sold and converted to an airborne mineral
survey aircraft, flying in Australia, Indonesia and South Africa. Registered as N609FF and VH-EXG in Australia. This Catalina continued to fly until 1993, when it was cost prohibitive to keep airworthy.
In 1993, the RAAF Museum acquired the
aircraft and it was transported to Australia. The fuselage was restored at RAAF Amberley Museum & Restoration Facility.
Under restoration as Catalina A24-104 with tail code NR-H of the 113th
ASRF (Air-Sea Rescue Flight). inParts from other Catalina wrecks were used in the restoration, including: exhaust stacks were recovered from Catalina A24-1.
Also, parts from Catalina A24-381 and the gun platform from Palm Island Seaplane Base.
Dennis Doggett describes the restoration on July 21, 2000:
will return the plane to its World War II RAAF configuration of
search and rescue. We have managed to scrounge about three-fourths
of the parts we need for the restoration. For the rest,
we have to get creative. This map table was created from
photographs. Our replica is exactly like the original,
which just does not exists anywhere. You do get a lot
of satisfaction in restoring stuff like this! The gun platforms came off a wrecked PBY
from Palm Island.
Sure, its been there 50 -70 feet from the salt water,
in the open air. There's allot of corrosion on it, but
there are a lot of parts, about 70% are mint. If you could,
you could hop in, and fly it! The ammo box we had to make up from photos
and diagrams. The right side feed chute was given to us
on loan. We copied it, then reversed it and made the left
hand side chute. We have one floor panel, but we don't
have one for the other side. We will have to make a copy
from the one we do have, but that will be a very difficult
part to make."
During September 2001, the wings were removed for the Amberley Airshow (cancelled due to 9/11/01). Later, the RAAF cutting funding to restoration because it was taking too
long and RAAF Amberley Museum & Restoration Facility was closed to visitors.
In early 2002, this Catalina was moved to RAAF
Museum at Point Cook, where it is stored in the storage facility.
Thanks to Dennis Doggett for additional information
Australian Aviation January / February 2002 Issue
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January 31, 2018