In 1919, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown became the first pilots to fly nonstop across the Atlantic. The British Vickers Vimy biplane they flew in was originally designed as a bomber for England in World War I. Just after the war, Vimys made three historic "first flights," inspiring the development of long-distance aviation:
- The First Nonstop Transatlantic Flight in 1919
- The First England to Australia Flight in 1919
- The First England (London) to South Africa (Cape Town) Flight in 1920
This year in mid-June, pilot Steve Fossett and co-pilot/navigator Mark Rebholz will attempt to complete the third leg in the recreation of three historic flights made by the Vickers Vimy by crossing the Atlantic nonstop in a faithful reproduction of the original 70-foot wingspan, open-cockpit flying machine.
They will depart St. John’s, Newfoundland, sometime between June 7 and June 20, 2005, depending on weather conditions, to make the 24-hour flight to Clifden, Ireland.
The Vimy arrived in Toronto last night and can be viewed this week at the Toronto Aviation Museum