Today is the 75th Anniversary of the Double Sunrise flights between Swan River, Perth, and Koggala Lake, in southern Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), during World War II. The passengers on board would see two sunrises, and thus the origin of the name.
In 29 June 1943, Qantas re-opened the link with a weekly non-stop flight between Perth and Ceylon. At the time, this was the world’s longest flight flying 5642 kilometres in average 28 hours. The regular flights took between 31 and 32 hours nine minutes when winds were unfavourable.
The five Qantas Catalinas, took their names from the stars used for navigation – ‘Rigel Star’, ‘Spica Star’, ‘Altair Star’, ‘Vega Star’ and ‘Antares Star’ and remained in service with Qantas until the last two were sold in November 1958.