Vickers Vimy Completes Trans-Atlantic Flight
The Vickers Vimy biplane landed safely in Ireland yesterday at about 5 p.m. local time, after crossing the North Atlantic nonstop, following the route flown in 1919 by the British team of John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown. As planned, pilots Steve Fossett and Mark Rebhol landed on a golf course in Clifden, Ireland. The flight took about 20 hours. They launched from St. John's, Newfoundland, with strong tailwinds at about 7:30 Saturday night. The flight was the last of three adventures that re-created the original Vimy's historic flights. In 1994, the team flew 15,306 miles from England to Australia, as the original Vimy had in 1919. In 1999, the Vimy traced a 1920 route from England to South Africa, covering 9,844 miles. The original British-made Vickers bomber was designed for use during World War I, according to National Geographic, but by the time it went into production the war was over. In 1919 and 1920 models of the Vimy became world-renowned when they won the three long-distance, globe-spanning races that the modern team has re-created.