Yesterday I was in America…

Rhodesia_vimy
Yesterday I was in America, and I am the first man in Europe to say that."
— John Alcock – June 15, 1919 Upon landing in Ireland after his transatlantic flight

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

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