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  PBV-1A "Sunbird" Bureau Number 68045 Registration VH-SBV
Trans Australian Airlines

Former Assignments
Macau Air Transport
Cathay Pacific

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Richard Leahy c1960s

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Richard Leahy 1975

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via PNG Museum 1975

Aircraft History
Built by Canadian Vickers Limited in Montreal, Canada as the Model CL-1 a license built version of Consolidated Aircraft Corporation Model 28-5A. Constructor Number CV592. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PBV-1A Catalina bureau number 68045.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as OA-10A Catalina serial number 44-34081. Assigned to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

In 1946, stricken from charge from the RCAF and sold as surplus. During November 1946 sold to Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Hong Kong as VR-HDH. Next with Macau Air Transport. On July 6, 1962, purchased by Trans Australian Airlines (TAA) and overhauled at Bankstown Airport. On October 31, 1962 registered in Australia as VH-SBV. Nicknamed "Sunbird" with "Trans Australian Airlines" in blue each side of the fuselage with "TAA" on the tail.

This seaplane operated in Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). On January 5, 1966 this aircraft made its last flight landing in Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby. Afterwards, the engines were removed and it was stored outdoors near Jackson Airport. Between 1966-1975, the aircraft was used as a training aid for fire fighters, along with the nose section of C-47A "Hell's Bells" 42-23959. During September 1975, dismantled and shipped to Auckland.

During 1976-1986 displayed at MOTAT. In 1987, moved to the RNZAF Museum, where it is under static restoration.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - PBV-1A Catalina 68045
"68045 (MSN CV592) to USAAF as 44-34081"
USAF Serial Number Search Results - OA-10A Catalina 44-34081
"34081 (MSN CV592) ex BuNo 68045. To Cathay Pacific Airways Nov 1946, then operated by Macau Air Transport 1948-1962 as VR-HDH. Sold to Trans Australian Airlines in 1962 as VH-SBV. WFU May 1966. Remained derelict until imported from New Guinea into New Zealand in 1979. Now undergoing restoration by RNZAF Museum."
Aussie Airliners - VH-SBV. Canadian Vickers OA-10A Catalina c/n CV-592

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Last Updated
February 4, 2020


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