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Submarine hunter set to star at 2019 Wales Airshow

An eye-catching flying boat will make its debut at this summer’s Wales Airshow – 75 years after it was hunting World War Two enemy submarines.

Credit: Paul Johnson

Miss Pick Up, a Consolidated Catalina plane that undertook wartime patrols off western Canada, could become a new crowd favourite at the Swansea event.

There are only around 12 airworthy Catalinas remaining and Miss Pick Up is the only one flying regularly in Europe.

The Wales Airshow, including attractions such as The Red Arrows, will see tens of thousands of spectators gather on Swansea Beach for two days of spectacular flying action on July 6 and 7.

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This year also has – for the first time – an after-dark event on the Saturday.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The Catalina will bring a real sense of history to the Wales Airshow in July.

“It’s also a great looking plane with a wow factor. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

“The Wales Airshow is already one of the UK’s biggest free events but this year, we wanted to do something extra to mark the city’s 50th anniversary.

“The show is all about the spectacular; the huge crowds it draws really appreciate the aerial displays and ground events which form the main part of the event.”

 The Catalina is arguably the most famous and successful flying boat ever built.

They flew widely in World War Two, its crews claiming two Victoria Cross medals.

Since the war, they have served with military and commercial operators around the world and have found new leases of life as forest fire waterbombers, survey aircraft and air display stars.

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2018 saw Miss Pick Up celebrate her 75th birthday. Since the war its roles have included those of a freighter and a search and rescue plane. It is based in Cambridgeshire and flies at air shows all over Europe.

Five years ago it took part in the 70th anniversary Battle of the Atlantic flypast down the Thames in London.

Miss Pick Up is supported by an active fan club – The Catalina Society.

The full timetable for the Wales Airshow weekend is available by downloading the official App from the App Store currently priced at just £1.99

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