12 June 2013

94 years ago another long-range aircraft with twin Rolls-Royce engines made a first flight.

The first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic take off on 14/June of 1919. The aircraft, a Vickers Vimy biplane was designed in 1917 as a heavy bomber to attack Germany and constructed mainly of wood covered by a layer of fabric. But when the First World War ended this example was converted with extra fuel tanks to attempt the crossing.

Sir John William Alcock (1892-1919) and Sir Arthur Whitten Brown (1886-1948) made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic on 14th-15th June 1919 in this Vimy, flying from St John's, Newfoundland and crash-landing in a bog near Clifden, Galway, Ireland. They were knighted by King George V on their return becoming national heroes with that flight of 16 hours.

Vimys made a number of other long-distance flights, including England to Australia and England to South Africa. The aeroplane is complete with two Rolls Royce Eagle engines and propellers.

You can watch on display in the Flight Gallery, at Science Museum, in London.

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