Former Cathay Pacific MATCO Catalina VR-HDH

HF: Enoch Wang recently emailed me with the following information and images for which I thank him very much. Enoch Wang: I am a local aviation enthusiast and recently I had the luxury of having a half a day to spare in Christchurch, which I spent visiting the former Cathay Pacific/MATCO Catalina VR-HDH located at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand. I am pleased to report that it is in a generally good condition, currently undergoing restoration in a heated hangar on the premises.

Even though the Catalina still hasn’t had its wing installed, it seems there is constant work maintaining her, and she is visibly improved compared to photos dating back a few years. The wing section is stored to the side, just out of shot of the camera. The blisters on the rear of the Catalina were also the work of museum volunteers – a very neat restoration job I would say.

According to volunteers, the museum hopes to display the Catalina in war time RNZAF colours after restoration. Notably the Catalina was converted to a flying boat when serving in Australian/PNG service, and the museum hopes to restore it to its amphibious state, so that the display will be more accurate (even though this Catalina in question has never served in the RNZAF).

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This article was first posted on 14th January 2024.

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