A Catalina flying boat arrived at Reykjavík Domestic Airport from Prestwick, Scotland, on Thursday. It will be the main attraction at the Reykjavík Aviation Day tomorrow, during which the public will be able to view it between 12 and 6 pm behind the airport’s Loftleiðir building Reykjavík Natura (previously Hotel Loftleiðir).
A PBY Catalina. Source: Wikipedia.
This will be the first time in decades that a Catalina flying boat, which played a big part in Icelandic aviation history, can be seen up close in the country, visir.is reports.
In 1944, a Catalina owned by Flugfélag Íslands (Air Iceland), TF-ISP, became the first Icelandic airplane to fly between countries and it was used for the airline’s first international flight in the summer of 1945.
The Catalina aircrafts of Air Iceland and Loftleiðir were also important for developing domestic flights from 1944 to 1961 when airports in Iceland were few, transport on land was difficult and sea travel time-consuming.
From 1954 to 1963 the Icelandic Coast Guard had a Catalina, TF-RÁN, at its disposal, which was used during the 1958-1961 Cod War with the British.