Joining the CatPack

On my ‘To-Do’ page, you will see that the last two entries read:

  • Build an aeroplane (assuming I achieve the above – a bit pointless otherwise). Failing this, and learning to fly, I could always….
  • Help restore an aeroplane (I’ve seen adverts for volunteers to restore and maintain a Catalina at Duxford, so this shouldn’t be too difficult to do… famous last words!)

So that’s what I’ve done – I’ve volunteered to help maintain the Catalina at Duxford. I attended my first session at the beginning of December, and then went again last Sunday. Despite being the youngest, and having the least relevant knowledge of all the volunteers I have met so far, they have made me very welcome.

My first session was spent cleaning old neoprene from a handful of panels from the tailplane, and removing the residue of the glue that had been used to adhere the neoprene to the panels. In the photo below (which I found through Google, and is from a gentleman called David Whitworth, who may himself be one of the volunteers as two of them are called ‘Dave’) you can see where the panels should have been (it’s the green bit under the tail wings).

The Catalina's tail - note the green patches below the wings where the panels I worked on live. Credit for this photo goes to David Whitworth -


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