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Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce Aviation Dollars
2006 Aviation DollarVickers Vimy

Designed in 1917 the Vimy did not enter full service until July 1919 when it began to re-equip units in the Middle East. During those early years the Royal Air Force used some of these aircraft to fly mail services between Cairo and Baghdad. Replacement began in late 1924 but some remained as bombers in Northern Ireland until 1929. A number of Vimys were used for flying and parachute training duties. This is the aircraft in which John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic on 14-15 June 1919. They took off from Lester's Field, near St. Johns, Newfoundland on June 14,1919. They landed June 15,1919 at Clifden in Ireland. The time for the crossing was sixteen hours, and twenty seven minutes.

In July 2005 the Vimy Atlantic team recreated the first direct crossing of the Atlantic by the British team of John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown in June 1919. Their mission was to recreate the flight and bring to life the impact this flight had on the peoples on both sides of the Atlantic. This and subsequent Vimy flights demonstrated that the airplane, considered a tool of war, had a tremendous civilian application.

Alcock and Brown's flight happened when a spirit for adventure and incredible skill combined to accomplish a truly heroic act. Today, significant pioneering and invention often happens at the far reaches of science and at the molecular level; invention appears out of reach to today's students.

The Vickers Vimy replica that flew across the Atlantic has become almost as famous as its original ancestors, whose feats also include the first London to Australia flight in 1919 and the first London to Cape Town flight in 1920.