• Home
  • News
  • Aircraft Restoration Updates

Rathmines Catalina: 'Our Girl' restoration updates

September 2019 report

2019 seems to be a pivotal year for the restoration of ‘Our Girl’

Progress update summary

  • The fuselage paint coating has now been completely removed which unfortunately revealed more corrosion and prompted us to develop an interim repair schedule for this year, to deal with the additional hours required for the repairs. Progress has been swift with both wheel wells and the area between the Pilot and Engineer’s sections being largely re-sheeted on both sides.
  • The surface preparation of the fuselage is all but complete, ready for the application of the Lanotec protective coating.
  • The Centre Wing spar has also progressed rapidly , helped immensely by the new guillotine and folder, enabling us to produce our own stringers and angles to replace those that are severely corroded.
  • The majority of bolt-on components have now been repaired, stripped, cleaned, painted, wrapped and stored ready to be re-assembled on the aircraft.

As an association, our immediate concentration is to be as organised and advanced with the restoration as possible, to allow us to participate as best we can in the RAAF’s Centenary celebrations in 2021.

Equipment donations

  • We have received donations from several unrelated sources in the form of general and specialised tools, purpose-built scaffolding, benches, etc., and RCA purchases of much needed cutting and folding metalworking machinery.
  • A local private collector has also gifted the Rathmines Catalina Association with numerous genuine radios and associated equipment as used on the Catalina aircraft and at the Radio Transmitting Rooms on the Rathmines Air Base during WWII.
  • RAAF Heritage have also been proactive, assisting the RCA to acquire two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 engines which were surplus to their requirements.
    ... For all of these we are very grateful !

Onsite safety

With the growing number of volunteers attending each workday we have identified for some time a requirement for a defibrillator (AED) to be kept on site. With the assistance of a NSW Government Grant, the RCA recently purchased an AED which complements our trained First Aid representatives and gives us the confidence and an assurance that we are as well prepared as we can be, for most medical conditions on site.

In the same vein, we have commenced an automatic re-ordering system for our volunteer Personal Protective Equipment, with a standard max/min order replenishment each month, ensuring a regular supply of safety equipment at all times.

Terry Fahey
Restoration Coordinator


We are constantly looking for volunteers to help with the Catalina restoration and effective running of the Rathmines Catalina Association. 

Whether ‘hands-on’ working on the Catalina or assisting with the Association’s many other tasks, whatever your skillset we have a role for you! 

For information and to discuss how your skills and experience can fit in, please contact

Bill Anderson (President)  0418 770 400
Terry Woolard (Volunteer Coordinator) 0437 170 343 
Terry Fahey (Restoration Coordinator) 0490 487 985

Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association Incorporated is a non-profit organisation, trading as RATHMINES CATALINA Association
ADDRESS: PO Box 59, Toronto NSW 2283 AUSTRALIA

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software