Help onze Catalina door vriend te worden!




For quite some time a group of volunteers has been occupied with restoring aeroplanes for display in museums. Of course part of the reason was to avoid that historical heritage would disappear abroad. During the organisation of the 50 year jubilee of Squadrons 320 and 321, the oldest Dutch Air force squadrons, several initiatives were taken. One of those was the founding of Stichting Neptune Association(SNA). This way, with support of the Dutch Navy, we hoped to prevent that historical heritage would disappear and it offered structure for the organisation. Our activities were certainly noticed. There are not many organisations that restore aeroplanes with volunteers. Also stood out that most restoration projects were related to the military. The main players of the SNA all worked at Navy Airbase Valkenburg so an perfect working situation developed for the Foundation. The SNA got its reputation by excellently executed projects like:
  • Repainting squadron insignia and registration signs of Dornier Do24K2 (X24).
  • The same for Lockheed SP-2H Neptune (216V) after repairing damage.
  • Sikorsky S-51 (8-1 Jezebel) had the same treatment and was prepared for exhibition.
  • A start was made wtith the restoration and complete reshaping of the PBY-5A Catalina (16-212).
  • Assistance was given to the former Fokker company school with the welding for the Fokker C.X.
  • Damage repaired of the Hawker Seahawk.
The board had no idea of what the future would bring, when it was confronted one day with an almost disaster at Schiphol Airport. The Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina with registration PH-PBY was parked on a platform in an raging storm with torrential rain. Damage was done, but after some temporarily repairs this unique amphibian was flown to Valkenburg Airbase to start restorations and bring it back into flying condition. This was the first time the Stichting undertook the task to do more then get it ready for display, that is they were to restore it to flying condition. The challenge was taken on. It took 4.5 years to complete it from 1999 to 2004. For many it was like a real insurrection when the first test flight was made. The Catalina was then housed in a separate foundation. After the adventure of the Catalina the SNA wanted to build a plane for themselves. After some deliberations the choice was made for a Van Berkel WA and the building of this replica was started. Quite a big effort to completely rebuild a unique aeroplane. (the type is really known as the German Hansa Brandenburg W-12). Sadly no Van Berkel WA at all survived and all related archives were lost. Fortunately some drawings of this float plane were found. Building started some years ago and progress is steady. Every Saturday we get together in Aviodrome hangar T-2 to work on it. You can follow progress at