Felixstowe: Catalina flying boat and Spitfire in RAF Felixstowe centenary air display

A Catalina flying boat wil be the highlight of an air display as part of the Wings on Waves event to

A Catalina flying boat wil be the highlight of an air display as part of the Wings on Waves event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of RAF Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

A flying boat will take part in a display this summer to mark the centenary of the air station where dozens of the aircraft were design and tested.

The rare Catalina will take to the skies to celebrate the 100th anniversary of RAF Felixstowe and the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) in the Wings on Waves event on August 4.

A spokeswoman for Felixstowe Town Council, which is coordinating the celebration, said the flying boat would be taking part thanks to the “wonderful generosity” of the Port of Felixstowe.

During the years the base operated as the MAEE, more than 250 types of seaplanes and flying boats – military and civilian aircraft – and others were tested and designed there.

Inventor of the jet engine Flying Officer Frank Whittle was stationed at the base, which also held tests of jet fighters and a jet-powered flying boat, as well as experiments with floating docks and de-icing.


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Wings on Waves will feature a church service at St John’s Church, Orwell Road, at 11am, a parade, led by the Harwich Pipe Band, from the Spa Pavilion to the steps of Felixstowe Town Hall at 12.30pm, and the air display, weather permitting, over the sea, opposite the Town Hall at 3pm, which is set to also include a Spitfire, Yak 52, ME 108, and other planes.

It is hoped the Science Museum will loan the Schneider Trophy – the trophy for a worldwide high-speed race challenge which was won by crews from RAF Felixstowe three times – for the weekend, so it can be put on public display.

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The RAF, which was given the Freedom of Felixstowe in 1958, had its base where the town’s container terminal stands today.

The last of its hangars was demolished to make way for the port’s most recent development.

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