The Vickers Vimy was designed as a long-range bomber capable of delivering a one ton payload to central Germany. Deliveries to the RAF began in October 1918, just too late to see operational use in World War One. However, pioneering flights across the Atlantic, from England to Australia and London to Cape Town would ensure its place in aviation history.
This modern reproduction was commissioned by Peter McMillan in 1994 to re-enact the type’s three long distance flights of 1919-20. Its first flight was made in California on the 30th July 1994. In 1994 it flew the epic 75th anniversary flight to Australia, piloted by Peter McMillan and Lang Kidby. In 1999 it successfully flew to South Africa, piloted by Mark Rebholz and John LaNoue and on 2nd -3rd July 2005, the Vimy achieved the ultimate goal when Steve Fossett and Mark Rebholz successfully re-enacted Alcock & Brown’s trans-Atlantic flight from St Johns, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland, in just under 19 hours.
In 2006 ownership passed to the American ISTAT Foundation and the aeroplane was maintained to airworthy standards at Dunsfold Park by Brooklands Museum volunteers. It was finally donated to Brooklands Museum Trust on 26th August 2006.
Since 2006 the Vimy has represented Brooklands at a number of occasions including the Farnborough Airshow, the Goodwood Revival and the 2009 Connemara Airshow in Ireland to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Alcock and Brown flying the Atlantic. The decision was taken to retire the aircraft from flying (see the full reasons on our Vimy Retirement page) and on the 15th November 2009, its last flight was to the grass landing strip at Mercedes-Benz World. See a 10 minute film by Andy Lambert of the arrival at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHPe79Bhvb4. The Vimy was subsequently taken by road to the Wellington Hangar at the Museum on the 19th November - see Andy Lambert’s film of this at www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjepleZp7vI. The Vimy Exhibition was formally opened by Peter McMillan at the Museum’s Vimy Day on the 21st November 2009.