Geskiedenis Podcasts

Vickers Vimy

Vickers Vimy

Vickers Vimy

Alhoewel die Vimy tydens die eerste wêreldoorlog in gebruik geneem is, het hy nie betyds aktiewe diens aangeneem om aan die geveg deel te neem nie, en het hy nie 'n roemryke loopbaan in RAF -diens gehad nie, wat teen die vroeë 30's buite gebruik was. Die belangrikste militêre betekenis daarvan was as afrigter, wat deur die RAF gebruik is om nuwe vlieëniers aan tweemotorige vliegtuie voor te stel. Dit het meer betekenis in die lugvaartgeskiedenis gehad deur twee langafstandvlugte. In Junie 1919 vlieg kaptein John Alcock en luitenant Arthur Whitten-Brown non-stop van Newfoundland na Ierland, die eerste direkte trans-atlantiese vlug, terwyl Ross en Keith Smith in November 1919 in 28 dae van Engeland na Australië vlieg, 'n eerste.

Vickers Vimy

Vickers Vimy (F.B.27) oli brittiläinen kaksitasoinen raskas pommikone. Konetyypin tuotanto alkoi vasta ensimmäisen maailmansodan loppupuolella, ja se oli eräs raskaimpia (tyhjäpaino 3 222 kg ja suurin lentoonlähtöpaino 4 937 kg) luokassaan. Vickers Vimyllä tehtiin ensimmäinen Atlantin valtaml ylityslento vuonna 1919. Sen John John Johnockock en Arthur Brown. Vimy-koneilla tehtiin myös muitakin ennätyslentoja ja vastaavia saavutuksia.

Kone saattoi kuljettaa 1 124 kg pommeja. [1] Puolustusaseistuksena siinä olivat niin kutsutulle Scarffin kehälle asennetut 7,7 mm Lewis-konekiväärit, joita oli kaksi. Toinen sijaitsi keulan etuampumossa ja toinen keskellä rungon päällä. Rolls -Royce Eagle VIII -moottorit olivat 360 hv (268 kW) tehoiset kukin, of 2 kpl. Koneen kantama oli noin 1 450 km ja huippunopeus 160 km/h.

Sodan päätyttyä useita tämän tyypin pommikoneita muunnettiin matkustajakäyttöön siviili-ilmailuun.


Vickers FB27 VIMY Replica 'NX71MY'

Die Vickers Vimy is ontwerp as 'n langafstand-bomwerper wat 'n vrag van een ton aan Sentraal-Duitsland kan lewer. Aflewerings aan die POF het in Oktober 1918 begin, net te laat om operasioneel in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gebruik te word. Pioniersvlugte oor die Atlantiese Oseaan, van Engeland na Australië en Londen na Kaapstad sou egter sy plek in die lugvaartgeskiedenis verseker.

Hierdie moderne reproduksie is in 1994 deur Peter McMillan in opdrag gegee om die tipe drie langafstandvlugte van 1919-20 weer in te stel. Sy eerste vlug is op 30 Julie 1994 in Kalifornië uitgevoer. In 1994 vlieg dit met die epiese 75ste verjaardagvlug na Australië, onder leiding van Peter McMillan en Lang Kidby. In 1999 vlieg dit suksesvol na Suid-Afrika, onder leiding van Mark Rebholz en John LaNoue, en op 2 tot 3 Julie 2005 bereik die Vimy die uiteindelike doelwit toe Steve Fossett en Mark Rebholz die trans-Atlantiese vlug van Stock van Alcock & amp Brown weer suksesvol uitgevoer het , Newfoundland na Clifden, Ierland, in net minder as 19 uur.

In 2006 het eienaarskap oorgegaan aan die Amerikaanse ISTAT -stigting en die vliegtuig is deur luglandswaardige standaarde in Dunsfold Park gehandhaaf deur vrywilligers van Brooklands Museum. Dit is uiteindelik op 26 Augustus 2006 aan Brooklands Museum Trust geskenk.

Sedert 2006 verteenwoordig die Vimy Brooklands by 'n aantal geleenthede, waaronder die Farnborough Airshow, die Goodwood Revival en die 2009 Connemara Airshow in Ierland ter herdenking van die 90ste herdenking van Alcock en Brown wat oor die Atlantiese Oseaan vlieg. Die besluit is geneem om die vliegtuig te laat vlieg, en op 15 November 2009 was die laaste vlug na die graslandstrook by Mercedes-Benz World.

NX71MY is in Kalifornië in 1994 deur John La Noue gebou. Die basiese spesifikasies daarvan is:

Lengte: 43 voet 6 duim (13,25 m)

Hoogte: 16 voet 4 duim (4,98 m)

Kruissnelheid: 65 kts (75 mph) Standsnelheid: 35 kts (40 mph)

Leë gewig: 7.642 pond (3.467 kg) Maksimum bruto gewig: 12.500 pond (5.445 kg)

Plafon: 13,800 voet (4,200 m) @ 9,000 lb 1,200 voet (365 m) @ 12,500 lb

Brandstofvermoë: 530 liter (2 400 liter), 100 oktaan min 40 liter/uur gemiddelde brandopbrengs lewer ongeveer 15 uur totale uithouvermoë

Vlug van Australië: 2 x 454 kubieke duim (7,4 liter) Chevrolet V8's in NSCAR -wedrenne

Suid -Afrika -vlug: 2 x 5,4 liter BMW M73 V12's wat 321 pk (240 kW) lewer

Atlantiese vlug: 2 x 495 kubieke duim (8,1 liter) Orenda OE600 V8's wat 600 pk (450 kW) maksimum/500 pk (375 kW) aaneenlopend lewer


Die groot avontuur van Alcock en Brown: die eerste ononderbroke transatlantiese vlug

John Alcock en Arthur Whitten Brown verlaat St. John's, Newfoundland, in hul Vickers Vimy, op pad na die ander kant van die Atlantiese Oseaan, op 14 Junie 1919.

'Gister was ek in Amerika, en ek is die eerste man in Europa wat dit gesê het,' het John Alcock gesê ná sy transatlantiese vlug met Arthur Whitten Brown.

Die werklike verhaal van die eerste ononderbroke transatlantiese vlug is een wat verbasend min mense gehoor het. Soos alle groot lugverhale, is dit 'n avontuur: in hierdie geval 'n avontuur wat sneeu en ys, mis en mis, hoop en moed behels ... om nie eens te praat van 'n bottel whisky en 'n paar speelgoedkatte nie.

Die helde, vlieënier John Alcock en navigator Arthur Whitten Brown, het op 14 Junie 1919 uit Newfoundland vertrek en die volgende dag in Ierland beland. Maar op 'n manier het hul historiese avontuur lank voor dit begin. Alcock en Brown het gedroom om hierdie vlug te maak sedert hulle albei krygsgevangenes uit die Eerste Wêreldoorlog was.

Engelsman John Alcock het op 20 -jarige ouderdom geleer vlieg, geleer deur 'n instrukteur wat 'n ietwat ongewone metode gebruik het: Hy het Alcock se hande bo -op sy eie gelê terwyl hulle vlieg, sodat sy student elke beweging kon voel wat die vliegtuig beheer. Na net twee uur van hierdie "praktiese" instruksie, kyk die onderwyser na hom en sê: "Goed. Nou is u gereed om dit op u eie te probeer. ” Óf Alcock was 'n besonder geskikte leerling, óf hy was 'n natuurlike mens, want die eerste vliegles sou sy laaste wees. Hy het onmiddellik 'n solo -vlug in 'n Farman Longhorn gemaak, en net 'n week later het hy sy eerste wedren ingeskryf en gewen.

Gedurende die volgende twee jaar het Alcock soveel tyd in die lug deurgebring as wat hy kon. Toe die Eerste Wêreldoorlog begin, het hy by die Royal Naval Air Service aangesluit, wat eers as vlieënde instrukteur in Eastchurch, in Kent, gedien het. In 1916 word hy aangestel by No.2 Wing, RNAS, wat vanaf die Egeïese eiland Lemnos werk.

In die herfs van 1917 het Alcock sy eie vegter saamgevoeg uit die komponente van 'n vernielde Sopwith Pup en Triplane. Hy het op 30 September met 'n Sopwith Camel gevlieg en drie Duitse Rumpler -vlotvliegtuie aangeval en twee daarvan neergeskiet, waarvoor hy later die Distinguished Service Cross toegeken is. Dieselfde nag het hy opgestyg om Konstantinopel te bombardeer, met die enigste tweemotorige Handley Page O/100 in die Middellandse See. Toe enjinprobleme hom in Suvla -baai af dwing, is hy en sy bemanning gevange geneem.

Alle gevangenes droom van vryheid, maar gedurende sy tyd in ballingskap hunker John Alcock ook na avontuur. Terwyl hy 'n krygsgevangene was, het hy 'n plan beraam om oor die Atlantiese Oseaan te vlieg. Al wat hy nodig gehad het, was 'n goeie vliegtuig, 'n goeie navigator en natuurlik sy vryheid.

Toe hy uiteindelik aan die einde van die oorlog vrygelaat is, keer Alcock terug na Engeland en gaan na Weybridge, in Surrey, waar hy deur die poorte van die Vickers -vliegtuigfabriek stap en sy planne aan die bestuur uiteensit. Hy het gehoop Vickers sal saamstem om 'n vliegtuig te bou wat so 'n vlug kan doen. Alcock het duidelik die regte mengsel van ervaring en bravade, en sy idee het die verbeelding van Vickers se ingenieurs aangegryp. Intussen het Arthur Whitten Brown, wat Alcock nog nooit ontmoet het nie, sy eie gevare in die oorlog ondervind. Brown, met die bynaam 'Teddy', is gebore in Glasgow, Skotland, alhoewel sy ouers Amerikaners was. Hy het as ingenieur gewerk voordat die oorlog uitgebreek het, en het daarna by die Royal Flying Corps aangesluit. As waarnemer na die Westelike Front gestuur, het hy die rang van luitenant behaal voordat hy op 10 November 1915 agter Duitse linies neergeskiet en gevange geneem is. Brown is permanent lam in sy een been gelaat.

Soos Alcock, het Brown sy tyd as 'n krygsgevangene deurgebring en daarvan gedroom om oor die Atlantiese Oseaan te vlieg. Hy het boeke by die Rooi Kruis geleen en alles wat hy kon vind, verslind gretig. Hy begin die kruising in sy gedagtes maak en dink oor hoe hy sy nuwe kennis kan gebruik om 'n vliegtuig oor die see te lei. Toe hy vrygelaat is, keer Brown ook terug na Engeland en gaan na die Vickers -fabriek - op soek na werk as ingenieur. Daar ontmoet hy John Alcock, en die twee vlieëniers het vinnig agtergekom dat hulle 'n onderlinge droom deel. Van toe af was hul koers duidelik: die navigator het sy vlieënier gevind, en die vlieënier het nou die navigator gehad wat hy nodig gehad het.

Beplanning van die vlug
Alhoewel die primêre motivering vir 'n ononderbroke transatlantiese vlug was om geskiedenis te maak, was daar ook 'n aansienlike materiële beloning op die spel. In 1913 Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Burggraaf Northcliffe, eienaar van die Londen Daaglikse pos, het 'n prys van £ 10 000 aangebied aan enige vlieënier wat sonder ophou oor die Atlantiese Oseaan kon vlieg van Noord -Amerika na die Britse Eilande (of omgekeerd). Vandag is dit moeilik om die kontroversie wat deur hierdie aanbod veroorsaak word, ten volle te waardeer. Northcliffe beskou homself as 'n visioenêr, maar ander beskou hom as 'n kranksinnige. Die beloning was moontlik groot, maar die taak was destyds as onmoontlik beskou. Sommige het Northcliffe as onverantwoordelik of selfs krimineel beskou, en het mense aangemoedig om hul lewens weg te gooi op 'n hopelose soeke. Die Daaglikse posSy mededingers het 'n meer satiriese benadering gehad, en sommige het die aandag gevestig op die (toevallige) feit dat die prys op April se dwaasdag aangekondig is, terwyl ander hul eie groot belonings begin bied het vir 'n suksesvolle vliegtuigvlug - na Mars.


Dit is al wat oorgebly het van Harry Hawker en Kenneth Mackenzie Grieve se Sopwith -vliegtuig nadat hulle uit die Atlantiese Oseaan getrek is. (Museum van Londen/Getty Images)

Natuurlik het WWI sulke kompetisies etlike jare lank irrelevant laat lyk. Maar in Julie 1918 - nog voordat die konflik geëindig het - het Northcliffe sy aanbod hernu. Alle vlieëniers kom in aanmerking, behalwe diegene wie se lande teen Groot -Brittanje geveg het. Aan die einde van die oorlog het die Daaglikse pos wedstryd het 'n belangrike fokus vir vlieëniers wêreldwyd geword. Baie vliegtuigvervaardigers het dit ook as 'n goeie geleentheid beskou om hul ontwerpe te bevorder. Alcock, Brown en Vickers het dus almal redes om die missie aan te pak, maar hulle het ook baie kompetisie gehad.

Alcock en Brown het besluit dat hul poging vanaf Newfoundland sou begin. Die vliegtuig wat hulle sou vlieg-'n Vimy tweemotorige tweemotorige Vickers F.B.27A-is in Engeland aangepas, daarna uitmekaar gehaal, in kratte gepak en oor die see gestuur. Dit is tydens die oorlog as 'n bomwerper ontwerp, maar nou het ekstra brandstoftenks die wapens vervang, wat 'n kapasiteit van 865 keiserlike liter tot gevolg gehad het. Die oop kajuit is effens vergroot, sodat die twee mans langs mekaar op 'n dun kussingbank kon sit. Die Vimy was toegerus met vierbladige skroewe wat gedraai is deur twee Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII-enjins van 360 pk. Sy vlerkspan was 68 voet 1 duim en sy lengte 43 voet 7 duim: aansienlik groter as die vliegtuie wat die meeste ander vlieëniers sou gebruik vir hul kruispogings.

Op 13 Mei het Alcock en Brown in Newfoundland aangekom. Hulle vliegtuig sou egter eers op 26 Mei daar aankom, en dan moes dit weer bymekaargemaak word. Die gebied waaruit hulle beplan het om hul poging te begin - die Noord -Amerikaanse ligging naaste aan die Britse Eilande - was somber, en daar was geen geskikte geboue om die vliegtuig te beskut terwyl hulle daaraan werk nie. Die werk moes in die buitelug gedoen word, beskerm teen die koue lentewêr van Newfoundland deur slegs 'n paar seildoeke wat as windskerms opgerig is. Soveel besoekers het kom kyk wat hulle doen dat iemand van die grondpersoneel die hele dag op die terrein moes bly om seker te maak dat niks beskadig of gesteel word nie.

Hulle moes ook die vraag besleg oor presies waar hulle kan opstyg. Dit was 'n uitdaging om 'n werkbare webwerf te vind. Alcock het 'n veld gevind wat deur 'n plaaslike eienaar besit word, James Lester, en het toestemming gekry om sy eiendom te gebruik. Maar die veld was slegs 400 meter lank, wat 'n opstyg in die brandstofswaar Vimy waarskynlik 'n nabye oproep gemaak het. Boonop moet die veld van rotse en bome skoongemaak word voordat dit bruikbaar is. Maar hier het die openbare entoesiasme tot hul voordeel gewerk: Plaaslike inwoners was opgewonde oor die vlug, en Alcock het baie vrywilligers gekry om met die werk te help.

Terwyl dit alles aan die gang was, lyk dit asof die kompetisie hulle ver vooruitloop. Op 18 Mei, toe Alcock en Brown wag vir hul vliegtuig om aan te kom, het die Australiese Harry Hawker van 'n nabygeleë veld in St. Kenneth MacKenzie-Grieve. Die Sopwith -enjin het egter misluk, en hulle het in die see afgegaan — gelukkig naby die Deense stoomboot SS Maria. Hulle het 'n rubberboot in die vliegtuig se romp ingebou, wat hulle in staat gestel het om die skip te bereik, ondanks rowwe see. Aangesien daar nie 'n radio aan die vaartuig was nie, is vermoedelik die vlieëniers dood, en koning George V het kondolensiebriewe aan hul families gestuur. Toe dit uiteindelik bekend word dat hulle gered is, was die publiek bly. Toe hy hoor van die opgewondenheid, merk Alcock droogweg op: "Hulle hande is so geblaas van die klap van Harry Hawker dat ons gelukkig sal wees om selfs 'n slap hand te kry." Maar die ongelukke van Hawker en MacKenzie-Grieve moes ook gedink het aan die gevare wat hulle in die gesig gestaar het.


Alcock (regs) en Brown poseer saam met hul Vickers Vimy. (Hulton -argief/Getty Images)

Frederick Raynham, 'n vroeëre - en nog minder suksesvolle - mededinger, het in 'n Martinsyde -tweedekker opgestyg terwyl Alcock en Brown daarna gekyk het. Raynham se navigator, kaptein C.W. Fairfax Morgan, beweer dat een van sy voorouers die seerower kaptein Henry Morgan was, 'n aantreklike kwalifikasie vir enige avonturier. Maar sy roemryke afstamming kon nie die Martinsyde omhoog hou nie, Alcock en Brown het gekyk hoe dit van die grond af opstaan, en val dan onmiddellik op die grond in 'n ongeluklanding.

Uiteindelik het die Vimy aangekom, en Alcock en Brown het daarin geslaag om dit weer bymekaar te kry en die veld klaar te maak waar hulle sou opstyg. Toe draai die weer teen hulle. Storme het hulle tot middel Junie teruggehou, en selfs nadat die lug opklaar, het hul laaste voorbereidings 'n noukeurige studie van weerberigte behels. Die twee vlieëniers het ook probeer om te leer uit hul mededingers se mislukkings. Hulle het byvoorbeeld die water vir hul verkoeler gekook, dit dan gefiltreer, oortuig dat onsuiwerhede in die water die enjinprobleme in Hawker's Sopwith veroorsaak het. Die dag voor Alcock en Brown se beplande opstyg, het 'n stukkende skokbreker die voorbereiding verder ingewikkeld. Die grondpersoneel het die hele nag gewerk om dit reg te stel - ywer wat die vlieëniers sou onthou.

'N Historiese vlug neem op
Uiteindelik, op 14 Junie, was alles gereed. Alcock en Brown het middagete onder die vlerk van hul vliegtuig geëet en toe binne die kajuit geklim. Die Vimy was sorgvuldig toegerus met navigasietoerusting, asook kaarte, koffie en ander eetgoed - insluitend een bottel bier en nog een whisky. Aan boord was ook 'n linnesak gevul met 197 letters wat na die Britse Eilande gestuur is, in die hoop dat dit waardevolle nuwighede sou word. Die vlieëniers het ook twee speelgoedkatte saamgeneem as gelukbringers: Alcock's het die naam "Lucky Jim" en Brown's was "Twinkletoes."

Alcock was van plan om die enjins te begin, en dan die vliegtuig stil te hou totdat hulle op volle krag kon draai, en sodoende sy kans om die swaar gelaaide Vimy in die lug te kry, vergroot voordat dit die rand van die veld bereik. Hy het verskeie mans voor die vliegtuig geplaas en aan sy vlerke vasgehou. Toe begin hy die enjins, laat hulle aanloop en gee die opstygsein, waarna die manne los en uit die pad kom. Die Vimy jaag vorentoe en lig op, met min ruimte oor.

Hulle is op pad na die oop see en vlieg oor die St. John's -hawe, waar vissers van hul bote na hulle gewaai het. Terwyl die Vimy aangaan, bly die weer rustig, en 'n optimistiese Brown begin die welkome vieringe wat hy hoop in Londen op hulle wag, bespreek, en roep uit: 'Great Scott, wat 'n banket hou ons!' Maar teen die aand verander die weer, wat hul optimisme demp. 'N Groot miswal lê voor hulle, regoor die horison.

Helder weer het hulle verlaat, maar hulle pluk nie. 'Ons het geen keuse nie - ons moet ingaan,' het Alcock gesê. Brown het hul posisie nagegaan net voor hulle die misbank binnegegaan het, en besef dat dit 'n geruime tyd kan duur voordat hy nog 'n kans kry. Hulle was gou in so 'n dik mis dat selfs hul skroewe uit die oog verdwyn het.

Na 'n uur se blinde vlug, het Brown geskrik: "Sal hierdie rooi mis nooit eindig nie?" Maar dit sou ure duur voordat hulle daaruit kom, en teen daardie tyd was dit nag. Brown het op hemelse navigasie staatgemaak om hul posisie en koers te bepaal, met behulp van die maan en die ster Vega. Hy was aangenaam verras toe hy agterkom dat dit lyk asof hulle 'n reguit koers behou het gedurende hul oënskynlik eindelose misure. Hulle moes eenvoudig in dieselfde rigting aanhou.

Die vlieëniers het steeds misvlekke ondervind. Brown beskryf later hierdie stadium van die reis met poëtiese flair: 'Dit lyk asof 'n aura van onwerklikheid ons omsingel terwyl ons verder vlieg na die dageraad en Ierland. Die verwronge bol van die maan, die vreemde halflig, die monsteragtige wolkvorme, die mis, die mistige onbepaalde ruimte, die onveranderlike hommeltuig, hommeltuig, hommeltuig van die motors. ” Die koue het ook probeer. Hulle het albei 'n warm motorbaadjie aangehad, maar die batterye het leeg geraak en hulle het in die oop kajuit laat sidder.

Gou het hulle 'n massiewe wolk teëgekom, en Alcock het weer reguit daarin gestap. Hulle het so 'n erge onstuimigheid teëgekom dat Alcock later gesê het dat die vliegtuig "sirkustoertjies begin uitvoer het" - na die oseaan neerdaal terwyl hy wanhopig baklei om omhoog te bly. Die een oomblik het die hoogtemeter 1000 voet gelees, die volgende slegs 100. Toe hulle net 65 voet bo die golwe was, het hy daarin geslaag om weer beheer te kry.

Later op die vraag oor hoe hy en Alcock op die noue ontkoming gereageer het, het Brown eenvoudig gesê: "Ons het geglimlag!" Hulle maak ook die bier oop. Na 'n pouse vir bier en toebroodjies, het hulle van tenk verander, nadat hulle een daarvan uitgeput het. Brown het brandstof uit 'n reservoir tenk gepomp wat direk na die enjins gelei het.

Terwyl hulle deur die nag vlieg, besluit hulle dat dit tyd is vir nog toebroodjies, saam met koffie. Brown maak ook die whisky oop, gooi 'n bietjie in sy koffie en begin 'n liedjie sing oor 'n swaeltjie wat in die lug vlieg.

Toe die dagbreek uiteindelik kom, staan ​​hulle voor 'n nuwe gevaar: nog 'n reuse massa wolke. Weer het hulle beheer oor die Vimy verloor, hierdie keer te midde van 'n koue reën wat gou tot hael verander het. Hulle het in 'n neus geduik, wat Alcock uiteindelik op die laaste moontlike sekonde uitgetrek het. Hy onthou later dat hy sout op sy lippe geproe het uit die skuimende golwe daaronder.

Die hael verander in sneeu, wat binne die kajuit begin ophoop. Erger nog, daar het ys op die Vimy begin vorm. Omdat hy geweet het dat die enjins kan stop, besluit Brown dat sy enigste opsie is om die verbindings met die hand skoon te maak. Dit beteken om op te staan ​​en uit te leun in die gesig van die huilende storm terwyl hy die ys noukeurig wegstamp.


Die aankoms van Alcock en Brown op 16 Junie in Clifden, Ierland, was minder as wonderlik, maar was nietemin 'n mylpaal in die lugvaart. Die vlug het 16 uur en 27 minute geduur. (SSPL/Getty Images)

Uiteindelik kom hulle uit die storm en sien weer die son. Deur hul posisie te bereken, het Brown besef dat hulle net ongeveer 80 kilometer van die land af was. Toe vrek een van die enjins. Ten spyte van Brown se beste pogings, het daar ys op die stuurboord -enjin opgebou. Noudat hulle uit die storm was, het Alcock egter gedink dat hulle warmer lug kan vind deur die hoogte te verminder, wat hy gedoen het. Toe die ys eers begin smelt, skop die motor weer in.

Teen daardie tyd was die kajuit sopnat van gesmelte sneeu, maar hul reis was amper verby. Twintig minute nadat die enjin weer begin het, het hulle land gesien - die kus van Ierland. Binnekort vlieg hulle oor pragtige kranse, waar golwe die rotse stamp, dan golwende heuwels waar geel blomme bloei en skape wei. Dit was nie Galway, hul verwagte aankomspunt nie, maar effens noord, in Connemara. Brown het besef dat die kusdorpie daaronder Clifden was, een van die mooiste dorpe ter wêreld, met sy huise in blou, geel en groen geverf. Vir die moeë vlieërs was dit 'n welkome toevlugsoord. Hulle het besluit om op 'n groen veld buite die dorp te land.

Aan die einde van hul reis staar die vlieëniers nog 'n verrassing in die gesig. Toe hulle voorberei om te land, sien en hoor hulle die inwoners skree en waai. Die moeë vlieëniers het gedink dat dit eenvoudig 'n entoesiastiese verwelkoming moes wees, maar eintlik wou die toeskouers hulle waarsku. Die welige groen veld waar hulle op die punt was om te land, was nie 'n veld nie, maar 'n moeras. By die aanraak sak die Vimy se wiele diep daarin en die vliegtuig neus om.

Die geluk van Alcock en Brown hou egter in, en die twee helde kom ongedeerd uit die deurweekte kajuit. Hulle het oor die dam gekom, net soos Lucky Jim en Twinkletoes. Na alles wat hulle verduur het, kon Alcock net kommentaar lewer: "Die wonderlike ding is dat ons hoegenaamd hier is."

'N Warm onthaal
Alcock hoef nie bekommerd te wees dat die opgewondenheid oor Hawker se redding hom en Brown slegs met 'n slap openbare ontvangs sou laat nie. Hulle het van Clifden na Londen gereis via 'n optog van bankette en vieringe. Teen die tyd dat hulle in Londen aankom, was Brown skynbaar moeg vir spraakmakering. Net voor nog 'n feestelike banket, het hy kortliks vir 'n juigende skare gesê: 'Geen toespraak nie. Jy wou ons hê. Hier is ons!" Hy onthou later dat hy verwonderd was oor die verwelkoming wat hulle ontvang het. 'N Verdere onderskeid was die feestelike spyskaart van die Londense banket met geregte met die naam "Gepocheerde eiers Alcock, Sole a la Brown, Spring Chicken a la Vickers Vimy, Salade Clifden, Surprise Brittania en Gateau Grand Success."

Winston Churchill oorhandig Lord Northcliffe se prys van £ 10 000 aan Alcock en Brown, waarna die twee vlieërs hul eie galante gebaar maak: Hulle dring daarop aan dat hul grondpersoneel, wat so hard gewerk het om die Vimy bymekaar te maak en gereed te maak vir sy vlug, 'n £ 2 000 aandeel in die toekenning. Toe kom daar 'n onthaal in Buckingham -paleis, waar koning George V sir John Alcock en sir Arthur Whitten Brown tot ridder geslaan het.

Ongelukkig is Alcock dood ná 'n ongeluk in Desember dieselfde jaar. Hy vlieg alleen in Frankryk en val neer tydens 'n gedwonge landing in swaar mis. Sy beserings was noodlottig.

Brown het na die ingenieurswese teruggegaan na die ingenieurswese nadat hy by Vickers gewerk het. Sy transatlantiese vlug met Alcock sou sy enigste groot lugavontuur wees. Hy is in 1948 oorlede.

Die Vickers Vimy wat hulle gevlieg het, word in die London Science Museum uitgestal. Gedenktekens op Clifden en die Heathrow Internasionale Lughawe in Londen herdenk ook Alcock en Brown se prestasie.


Vickers Vimy en Sir Ross & Sir Keith Smith Memorial

Baie Suid -Australiërs is bewus daarvan, maar baie min besoek een van die belangrikste historiese gedenktekens in Australië. Op die Adelaide -lughawe, verby die terminale en in 'n klein gebou in die middel van die parkeerarea en langs die hoofbaan, sit die Vickers Vimy en Sir Ross & Sir Keith Smith War Memorial.

Hierdie baie geïgnoreerde skuilingskuur bevat die werklike vliegtuig wat deur die Adelaide-gebore Smith Brothers gevlieg is tydens hul historiese en werklik epiese vlug van die Verenigde Koninkryk na Australië in 1919. Die vliegtuig is oorspronklik gebou as 'n swaar bomwerper van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog met die registrasie G-EAOU (liefdevol bekend as "God 'Elp All Of Us"). Die vliegtuig het nooit aktiewe diens gekry nie, maar 'n jaar nadat die oorlog geëindig het, het dit een van die belangrikste vliegtuie in die wêreldvaartgeskiedenis geword.

Ross en Keith het die vliegtuig 17,950 kilometer oor die hele wêreld gevlieg. Dit klink miskien na 'n eenvoudige prestasie in hierdie dae van moderne reis en die huidige tegnologie wat ons as vanselfsprekend aanvaar, maar u moet u gedagtes terugdink en besef dat hulle hierdie vlug gedoen het net 16 jaar nadat die Wright Brothers die eerste keer gevlieg het vliegtuie wat ooit aangedryf is! Die vliegtuig het 'n oop kajuit en hulle vlieg deur reën, sneeustorms en mis sonder radio's, geen navigasietoerusting en geen kaarte nie. Vliegkaarte van Engeland na Australië bestaan ​​eenvoudig nie, daarom moes hulle hidrografiese kaarte (gebruik vir seevaart) en Ross se persoonlike vluggeheue van die Midde -Ooste gebruik om hul weg te vind. Op 'n stadium op die vlug het hul bril so gevries dat hulle nie gebruik kon word nie. Dus het hulle hul sig gewaag deur deur ysige winde van 145 km / h te vlieg sonder oogbeskerming.

Die vliegtuig het vanaf Engeland deur Frankryk, Italië, Kreta, Egipte, Palestina, Mesopotamië (Irak), Persië (Iran), Indië, Birma, Federale Maleisiese state en Nederlands -Oos -Indië na Port Darwin in Australië gereis. Hulle het probleme met die enjin gehad, hulle het vasgeval, hulle het verdwaal, storms het hulle teëgekom en daar was gevaar op elke tree, maar hulle het nie een keer opgegee nie.

Toe hulle na Darwin kom, het hulle 'n handgeskrewe boodskap in 'n leë piekelkruik geplaas, 'n valskerm gemaak en in die Timorsee laat val om kaptein H. Hayley van die HMAS Sydney te laat weet dat hulle op koers is en dat dit goed gaan met hul aankoms. Die potloodboodskap lui "The Air, 10/12/19, Vickers Vimy, The Commander, HMAS, baie bly om jou te sien. Baie dankie dat jy na ons gekyk het. Sterk gaan. Keith Smith, Ross Smith, Sgt. J. Bennett, Sers. WH Shiers ". Die boodskap en die pot is in 1922 deur kaptein Hayley aan die Staatsbiblioteek van Nieu -Suid -Wallis geskenk.

Die Smith Brothers het aan die Air Race van 1919 deelgeneem en was vasbeslote om die eerste te wees om binne 30 dae van Engeland na Australië te vlieg. Ses spanne het deelgeneem aan die lugwedren, maar slegs 2 het geëindig. Met hul werktuigkundiges, sers. Jim Bennett van Victoria en Wally Shiers ook van Adelaide, het hulle dit in slegs 27 dae en 20 uur gedoen en 'n enorme 10 000 eerste prys gewen (gelykstaande aan meer as $ 1 miljoen vandag), wat gelykop gedeel is onder die 4 bemanning. Hulle het altesaam 124 uur in die lug deurgebring.

Die tweede span wat klaargemaak het, was luitenante Ray Parer en John McIntosh, wat Engeland eers op 20 Januarie 1920 verlaat het - lank nadat die wedloop reeds gewen is. Dit het hulle nie afgeskrik nie en hulle het uiteindelik klaargemaak, maar eers nadat hulle met Murphy en sy wet vergader het - wat ook al verkeerd kon gaan, sou en het gedoen. Dit het 237 dae geneem om Australië te bereik nadat hulle verskeie kere neergestort het.

Van die oorblywende 4 spanne het twee spanne noodlottig neergestort en die ander twee is uit die kompetisie gesit weens 'n ongeluk en 'n gedwonge landing. Vier van die vlieëniers in die wedloop was Air Aces - uiters bekwame en hoog aangeskrewe lugdiensmanne.

Die Air Race is in Maart 1919 deur die destydse eerste minister, Rt Hon Billy Hughes, van stapel gestuur - slegs 4 maande na die einde van die Groot Oorlog. Beide Ross en Keith was vlieëniers in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog - Keith was Lawrence van die vlieënier van Arabië.

Ross Smith, gebore in 1892 in Adelaide, is bekroon met die Militêre Kruis en het drie keer die Flying Cross ontvang. Hy is 'n Air Ace en Australië se mees versierde WW1 -vlieënier.

Die reis van Darwin na Sydney het byna twee keer so lank geneem as die vlug van Engeland na Australië. Die vliegtuig is afgedwing en herstelwerk is gedoen met die materiaal wat beskikbaar was. Die werktuigkundiges het in 'n hitte van 52 grade Celsius gewerk, maar hulle het die vliegtuig weer in die lug gekry en op 14 Februarie 1920 is 'n boodskap per bankoordrag na die GPO in Sydney gestuur dat die vliegtuig oor die Blue Mountains opgemerk is en dat hulle aankoms in die stad was op hande. 'N Vlag is gehys om die mense te waarsku en hulle het na die lughawe gestroom om die bemanning te groet.

Die mans het ook verskeie briewe saamgedra - die eerste lugpos van Engeland na Australië. Die premier is eers in kennis gestel van hierdie bykomende wêreld en het 'n telegram aan sy regering gestuur wat sê: "Kaptein Ross Smith met verskeie briewe stop die begeertes vir spesiale stempel stop kommunikasie met die regte owerhede en reël, Hughes". Die regering het met die departement van posmeester -generaal (nou bekend as Australia Post) begin saamwerk om 'n beperkte opgawe van 364 lugposdeksels te ontwikkel - een vir elke brief. Die omslag het die naam "First Aerial Mail England to Australia" en is by die GPO in Sydney gestempel as "ontvang 26 Februarie 1920".

Toe hulle by die huis in Adelaide aankom, was daar 'n jubelende skare van meer as 20 000 mense daar om hulle te groet. Wat 'n triomfantlike tuiskoms vir so 'n rekord- en heroïese vlug!

Die Smith -broers is op 22 Desember 1919 deur sy majesteit, George V, tot ridder geslaan en sersante W. H. Shiers en J. M. Bennett is bevorder tot die geledere van luitenant en aan hulle Air Force -medaljes toegeken.

Die vliegtuig was oorspronklik in Canberra te sien, maar is in die 1950's na 'n doelgeboude huis by die ingang van Adelaide se splinternuwe lughaweterminal by West Beach verskuif. Die terminale het intussen verhuis, maar die Vickers Vimy is nog steeds waar dit was en is nou omring deur lughawebedryf en parkeerareas. Die vliegtuig is beskerm teen die elemente en is veilig genoeg agter glas. Maar dit is nie op die mees benydenswaardige plek vir so 'n belangrike deel van ons geskiedenis nie. Moet dit verskuif word? Indien wel, waar? En hoe? Besprekings en idees verskyn elke nou en dan in die nuus, en ek is daarvoor ten gunste daarvan om dit na waar ons almal kan geniet en trots is op ons belangrike betrokkenheid by die pioniersgeskiedenis van die lugvaart.

Intussen is die vliegtuig op die lughawe en die publiek kan dit gratis sien. Daar is net 'n paar parkeerplekke op die pad wat tussen die personeelparkeerterrein en die langtermynparkeerterrein loop. Daar is 'n maksimum tydsbeperking van 15 minute en geen koste nie. Die tydsbeperking is nie groot nie, maar as u na die lughawe ry, sal ek beslis 'n vinnige stop aanbeveel om hierdie wonderlike vliegtuig te sien en die storieborde te lees wat vertel van die bemanning en hul mees historiese en gewaagde verhaal.

As u die tyd op die lughawe het, kan u oorweeg om die Vimy Walk te stap, wat u van die hoofterminal na die gedenkgebou sal neem.

2019 is die 100ste herdenking van die Engeland-Australië Air Race. Daar is 'n moderne Air Race beplan - as u betrokke wil raak of die geleentheid wil volg, gaan na hul webwerf.


Vickers Vimy - Geskiedenis

Foto:

Vimy replika G-EAOU / NX71MY by die Farnborough Airshow in 1994 voordat hy vertrek het om na Australië te vlieg (David C Eyre)

Land van oorsprong:

Beskrywing:

Kragsentrale:

Twee 269 kW (360 pk) Rolls Royce Eagle VIII twaalfsilinder VEE vloeistofgekoelde enjins

Spesifikasies:

Bewapening:

Twee 7,7 mm (0,303 in) masjiengewere in die neus, en twee kapasiteite om tot 1,123 kg (2,476 lb) bomme te dra

Geskiedenis:

Die Vimy was een van 'n reeks swaar bomwerpers, soos die DH.10 Amiens en die Handley Page V/1500, wat ontwerp was om Duitsland tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog te bombardeer as die konflik voortduur. Trouens, die oorlog wat afgesluit is voordat die Vimy in genoegsame hoeveelhede gebou kon word, en dus het die tipe in diens in die opleidingsrol voortgegaan. The prototype Vimy (serial B9952) was flown for the first time in November 1917, powered by two 154 kw (207 hp) Hispano-Suiza engines, and this became known as the Mk I. Subsequently the Mks II and III were released with 209 kw (280 hp) Sunbeam Maori and 231 kw (310 hp) Fiat engines (respectively), before the definitive Mk IV appeared with the Rolls Royce Eagle.

Although it did not achieve great prominence as a heavy bomber, the Vimy was notable for a number of long, historic flights, and later the Vimy Commercial airliner was released for airline use. On 15 June 1919 a Vimy with modified seating and extra fuel tanks in the fuselage, piloted by Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten-Brown, left St Johns, Newfoundland, and made the first non-stop trans-Atlantic crossing. This Vimy was preserved and is on display in the Science Museum in London.

In March 1919 the Australian Government offered a prize of £10,000 ($20,000) for the first flight from the United Kingdom to Australia by an Australian crew in a British aircraft. The brothers, Captain Ross and Lieutenant Keith Smith of the Australian Flying Corps, entered a Vimy, with Sergeants J M Bennett and W H Shiers as mechanics. The Vimy, an ex-RAF machine (F8630), registered G-EAOU (said to stand for God ‘elp All Of Us) left Hounslow in Greater London on 12 November 1919 and arrived at Fanny Bay, Darwin, NT on 10 December that year, having covered the distance in 188 hours and 20 minutes flying time. The aircraft, after some problems, reached Sydney on 14 February 1920 where the prize was presented to the crew by the Prime Minister, the Right Hon William M Hughes. The aircraft itself was presented to the Commonwealth Government by Vickers Ltd, and was allotted the military serial A5-1, which was never painted on the aircraft. Eventually it was placed on permanent display in a special building erected for the purpose at Adelaide airport, SA.

The Smith brothers were both knighted. However, Sir Ross Smith and Lieutenant Bennett were killed in the United Kingdom on 14 April 1922 whilst testing a Vickers Viking amphibian for a proposed flight around the world. Sir Keith Smith was, for more than 30 years, the Australian representative to Vickers Armstrong, and a member of the Board of Qantas until his death on 19 December 1955. Lieutenant Shiers died on 3 June 1968.

Several other Vimys were modified for long-distance flights. G-UABA was flown by Lieutenant Colonel Pierre van Ryneveld and Major C J Quintin Brand, with two mechanics, in an attempt to win a prize for the first flight from Cairo in Egypt to Cape Town in South Africa in February 1920. However, the aircraft crashed at Korosko in upper Egypt. The journey was attempted in another aircraft and this aircraft reached Bulawayo in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) but crashed on take-off. Another example, G-EAAV, the prototype Vimy Commercial, attempted the same record but crashed on take-off at Tabora in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) on 27 February 1920.

In the late 1960s the Vintage Aircraft & Flying Association built a Vimy replica (G-AWAU – c/n VAFA.02) powered by two Rolls Royce Eagle VIII engines in the United Kingdom to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Atlantic flight. It was flown at Wisley on 3 June 1969 and was flown to the Paris Airshow. At one stage it was damaged by fire. It was rebuilt, re-painted as H651, and eventually was retired and donated to the RAF Museum at Hendon in Greater London with the serial F8614.

In the 1990s Australian adventurer Lang Kidby, and American Peter McMillan, built a replica of the Vickers Vimy (painted as G-EAOU but registered in the USA as NX71MY) and, powered by converted Chevrolet V-8 motor-car engines, left the United Kingdom Farnborough Airshow in 1994, retracing the epic journey of the Smith brothers. The aircraft then made a tour of Australia before being shipped back to the United Kingdom.

In 1999 the same aircraft, now named Silver Queen, left the UK and retraced the route flown by the original Silver Queen to Capetown. By this stage the Chevrolet engines had been replaced byconverted V-12 BMW units. In 2005 it was planned to retrace the route flown by Alcock and Brown in 1919 across the Atlantic. By this time it had been fitted with two 8.4 litre Orenda V-8 engines driving four-blade propellers. It was proposed to leave St John’s Airport, Newfoundland, Canada on June 14 but it was delayed by adverse weather and technical problems. It eventually took off on Saturday, 2 July, flown by Steve Fossett and Mark Rebholz and, using only a compass and sextant to navigate, it arrived, landing on the 8th hole at the Connembra Championship Golf Links at Clifden, Ireland on the Sunday, after being in the air for 18 hrs and 15 mins. The aircraft was then stored for some time in the United Kingdom before being returned to airworthiness.

The replica was registered in the United States under the FAA Experimental Aircraft regulations, for which there was no equivalent in the United Kingdom. Attempting to obtain a United Kingdom Permit to Fly was considered to be expensive and time consuming. Flying the aircraft in the United Kingdom under a special exemption with a foreign registration would not have been successful. From 2006 to 2009 the aircraft represented Brooklands at the Farnborough Airshow, the Goodwood Revival, and the 2009 Connemara Airshow in Ireland, commemorating the 90th Anniversary of Alcock and Brown’s flight across the Atlantic. On 15 November 2009 N71MY was retired and placed on display at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

In 2019-2020 the original Vimy G-EAOU was dismantled in its specially-built building at Adelaide airport due to a number of factors, including the difficulty for members of the public to visit the aircraft, and was restored, re-assembled and placed on display in a specially prepared area in the airport terminal at Adelaide, SA.

In February 1970 it was noted that there were parts of the Smith Brothers Vimy stored in a garage at Burwood, NSW. Some years before, whilst being conveyed from Adelaide to Canberra, ACT the Vimy, G-EAOU, suffered extensive damage and had to be repaired. Stored at Burwood were an elevator, two ailerons, engine interplane support stanchions, a spare oil tank, flying wires and a rudder. Eventually these parts found their way to the Camden Museum of Aviation at Narellan, NSW.


Geskiedenis

Adelaide’s original Commonwealth Government aerodrome, purchased from Captain Harry Butler, was developed in 1921 on just 24 hectares of land at Hendon (the site of the former Philips factory and SA Film Corporation). Nine kilometres from the city, the aerodrome provided facilities for airmail services between Adelaide and Sydney.

By 1927 Adelaide’s aviation needs had grown considerably. The site of today’s Parafield Airport was acquired and progressively developed. By 1941 the State’s aviation needs had outgrown Parafield. The West Torrens site, also known as West Beach, was chosen for Adelaide Airport.

Work on the new airport began in 1947 with flights commencing in 1954 and the first regular transport services in February 1955. Interestingly, the first passenger terminal was a lean-to on one of the large hangars at the airport. It was not until 1957 that the Commonwealth funded and built what was designed only to be a temporary passenger terminal, however its use for domestic and regional traffic continued until October 2005.

Regular International services began in November 1982 with the construction of a separate International terminal building to accommodate an influx of overseas visitors.

Terminal One – T1 – October 2005

Construction of the $260 million Adelaide Airport Multi User Integrated Terminal – one of South Australia’s largest and most significant privately funded civil infrastructure projects – commenced in November 2003.

Terminal 1 was officially opened by Prime Minister John Howard in October 2005, and provides a considerable upgrade on former airport facilities for regional, domestic and international passengers.

Highlights of Terminal 1 include:

  • 14 glass-sided aerobridges
  • State-of-the-art passenger facilities, flight information and security systems specified for use well into the future
  • Retail centre and high quality public and airline lounges
  • 42 common use check-in counters
  • Nine automated baggage carousels and
  • Under-cover drop-offs and expanded taxi/bus ranks.

T1 has an extensive retail area featuring a wide range of exclusively South Australian brands. As well as eight food and beverage outlets, the retail mall offers a selection of fashion, gifts, souvenirs, confectionery, newsagencies, currency exchange, ATMs and service outlets including a pharmacy, post office and cosmetic/skin care retail outlets.

T1 was constructed by the privately owned Adelaide Airport Limited, whose shareholders include Australian superannuation funds.

Vickers Vimy and Sir Ross & Sir Keith Smith Memorial

A memorial building at Adelaide Airport commemorates the first official flight from England to Australia – the Air Race of 1919 with Adelaide brothers Ross and Keith Smith. The restored Vickers Vimy converted bomber (Registration G-EAOU) flown by the famous aviators is housed inside the building for public display.

The epic long distance flight was made just 16 years after the Wright Brothers flew the first-ever powered aircraft.

The Vimy crew set out from Hounslow, London on November 12, 1919, and reached Darwin 28 days later to claim the £10,000 Commonwealth Government prize as the first Australians to fly from England to Australia in less than 30 days. The Smith Brothers were knighted by His Majesty, George V, on December 22, 1919. Sir Ross was born at Semaphore and Sir Keith in North Adelaide.

Flying with the Smith Brothers on their epic journey were mechanics Sergeant J. M. Bennett of St Kilda, Victoria, and Sergeant Wally Shiers of Stepney, SA. Both mechanics received bars to their Air Force medals and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Adelaide Airport and Arts SA worked together to develop the new Vimy Walk – stretching from Terminal 1 to the Memorial building – marking each stopping point that the Vimy made on its epic route to Australia. Don’t forget to have a look on your next visit.

Sir George Hubert Wilkins and Nancy-Bird Walton

If you have a chance to visit our bathrooms you will notice a large mural of Sir George Hubert Wilkins in the men’s bathroom and Nancy-Bird Walton in the ladies bathroom. Two South Australian aviators who contributed to the global aviation industry.

The graphics were installed in December 2016 and were developed by Nicknack, Adelaide Airport’s creative partner. The graphic consists of two components: a portrait illustration of the personality which is superimposed on an old map of Adelaide, to show the South Australian connection.

Nancy-Bird Walton (1915-2009)

A pioneering Australian aviator and the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association. Defying the traditional role of females of her time, she became a fully qualified pilot at the age of 19, and became the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s licence.

Sir George Hubert Wilkins (1888-1958)

Born at Mount Bryan East, South Australia, Sir Hubert was knighted for making the first ever trans-Arctic flight, soon after which he completed the first Antarctic flight. Skilled with a camera, he is also the only Australian official photographer from any war to have received a combat medal (the Military Cross).


Vickers Vimy - History

Dartford played an important role in the early history of a mode of transport which has revolutionised the lives of people throughout the world. Powered flight has transformed our world into a 'global village'.

DARTFORD SALT MARSH

Following on from Hiram Maxim's experiments with flight, the Crayford based firm of Messrs Vickers Ltd decided, in 1910, to get more actively involved in the pioneering field of aviation. The company purchased land at Dartford Salt Marsh in 1911, with a view to constructing a rudimentary airfield suitable for the testing of prototype aeroplanes. The site they chose comprised a number of small fields, separated by drainage ditches. It was bounded on the west by the River Darent, and on the east by Joyce Green Lane which led to the embankment of the River Thames and Long Reach Tavern. No proper runway was constructed: instead, aeroplanes were expected to take off from grassy fields. Drainage ditches which constituted dangerous obstacles were boarded over, opening up a large expanse of grassland for take-off and landing.

FIRST TEST FLIGHTS

The first aircraft tested at this river-side airfield was a monoplane (single-winged plane) built under licence at Vicker's Erith works to a design by the French aviation pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie. Unlike most aircraft of this period, very little timber was used in its construction timber was restricted to the skids, which formed part of the undercarriage, and the wings. This radical design feature proved unpopular with a number of potential customers, including the Admiralty. Vickers offered to supply one Pelterie-type monoplane, at a cost of £1,500, with a framework initially constructed of steel they intended to substitute a much higher alloy, Duralumin, in subsequent versions. Admiralty chiefs were not impressed with this proposal, and did not place an order. However, Vickers failed to be disheartened and continued to construct aircraft using these 'advanced' methods.

The maiden flight of the No 1 Monoplane - as it was called - took place in July 1911 under the skilled control of Captain Herbert F Wood. Wood had been appointed Manager of the Aviation Department of Vickers in March 1911. His inaugural test flight was the first of many carried out from this Dartford airfield until 1919.

Experimental work was not devoid of danger. The first victim was claimed on 13 January 1913 when a Vickers No 6 Monoplane, which had been converted into a biplane, crashed into the River Thames. Both the pilot, Leslie McDonald, and his mechanic, Harry English, were killed. At the official inquest held at Dartford, the Coroner concluded that the accident had occurred as a result of a sudden loss of power to the engine.

Seven different types of monoplane were produced by Vickers before the company decided to build its first biplane. This was known as the Experimental Fighting Biplane 1, or EFB1 for short, exhibited at the Olympia Air Show in February 1913. The appearance of this prototype attracted a great deal of interest, particularly since it was the first purpose -built plane to be armed with guns, and to fulfil a 'fighter' role. The plane earned the nickname 'Destroyer'. It was designed as a 'pusher type ' aircraft: the engine and propeller were positioned behind the pilot at the rear of the aeroplane, thus pushing it forward. This configuration greatly resolved the problem, later solved by the invention of an 'interruptor' mechanism, of how to fire through the arc of the propeller without destroying it! The EFB1 (eventually abbreviated to FB1) was the forerunner of the well-known Vickers 'Gunbus'.

Among the many designs initiated by the Drawing Office at Vickers was one that became known as the 'Hydravion', based on the notion that an aeroplane should be able to take off from water as well as from land. Floats, made of the alloy known as Duralumin, were apparently made at the company's Dartford works and tested in the nearby River Darent. Archives retained at company headquarters imply that the Hydravion would be constructed at Dartford. In reality this would be difficult given that at that time the Dartford factory was only producing explosives and projectiles.

AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION IN WORLD WAR ONE

Experiments with variants of the Fighting Biplane continued apace. The last of these variants - the FB5 - eventually emerged as the Gunbus. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the works at Crayford took over the production of Vickers aircraft. Two of the first batches of FB5s were sent to Joyce Green to be based at the Royal Flying Corps airfield, established close to the Thames at Long Reach. The Gunbus first saw action on Christmas Day 1914, when one of the planes took off from Joyce Green airfield to intercept and presumably destroy a German Taube monoplane. It is believed that the Gunbus successfully completed its mission. Experimental work continued during the war. Perfection of the basic Gunbus led to the emergence of the FB9, known as the 'Streamline Gunbus'.

Picture credit:
Dartford museum

In 1917 Vickers were approached to produce a twin-engined bomber. This was achieved by utilising designs produced in 1915 by Rex Pierson, who worked in the Drawing Office. The prototype aircraft FB27 flew at Joyce Green on 30th November 1917, piloted by Gordon Bell. Various types of engine were used to power the prototype before a decision was made in April 1918 to utilise the Rolls -Royce Eagle engine. The aeroplane went into production that month and was known as the Vickers Vimy. Ironically, it was never used operationally in the First World War.

On 14th/15th June 1919, in a Vickers Vimy, Captain Jack Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten-Brown made the world's first non-stop trans-oceanic flight, across the Atlantic. Ross and Keith Smith flew a Vimy all the way to Australia at the end of 1919, thus highlighting the possibility of organising scheduled flights to far-off lands.

COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION

Possibilities stemming from civilian flights had been considered by Vickers as early as January 1919. Consequently a civilian version of the Vimy was designed, with a larger capacity fuselage than the military version. The fuselage was oval in section. No less than ten passengers could be carried in the new 'Airliner'! The test crew objected to the idea of an enclosed cockpit which impaired their vision and deprived them of fresh air, so the 'Vimy Commercial' had the same kind of open cockpit as the military version. The plane first flew from Joyce Green at Dartford on 13th April 1919. It was designed to double as a freight carrier and once the seats were removed it was possible to carry 2,500 lbs of cargo.

The Vimy Commercial was the last plane to be test-flown at Joyce Green, because in 1919 Vickers transferred their aircraft operation to Weybridge in Surrey and the adjacent airfield at Brooklands. Joyce Green had been used for eight years to test aircraft built at Bexleyheath, Crayford, Dartford and Erith. In the early days, aircraft built in the various factories were dismantled, taken by road to Joyce Green, re-assembled and tested. By 1916, finished aeroplanes were flown from open land at Crayford to Joyce Green. The fields used by Vickers at Joyce Green still exist today but are now used for farming.


The crossing

The first non-stop transatlantic crossing was not an easy flight. The overloaded aircraft had difficulty taking off the rough Newfoundland airstrip and only barely missed the tops of the trees.

At 17.20pm, the wind-driven electrical generator failed, depriving them of radio contact, their intercom and heating. An exhaust pipe burst shortly afterwards, causing a frightening noise which made conversation impossible without the failed intercom.

They also had to fly through thick fog. This was serious because it prevented Brown from being able to navigate using his sextant. Alcock twice lost control of the aircraft and nearly hit the sea after a spiral dive. He also had to deal with a broken trim control that made the plane become very nose-heavy as fuel was consumed.

At 12.15 am, Brown got a glimpse of the stars and could use his sextant, and found that they were on course. Their electric heating suits had failed, making them very cold in the open cockpit.

Then at 3am they flew into a large snowstorm. They were drenched by rain, their instruments iced up, and the plane was in danger of icing and becoming unflyable.

The carburettors also iced up it has been said that Brown had to climb out onto the wings to clear the engines, although he made no mention of that.

They made landfall in਌ounty Galway, crash-landingਊt 8.40ਊm on June 15, 1919, not far from their intended landing place, after less than sixteen hours&apos flying time.

The Vickers Vimy pictured after its crash landing following the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

The Vickers Vimy pictured after its crash landing following the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

Sir John Alcock did not live long to enjoy his fame.

Employed by Vickers as a staff pilot to test and deliver aircraft, on 18 December, 1919, he set off to ferry a Viking amphibian to a display in Paris: he had intended to land it on the Seine. Instead he crashed in fog in northern France, and died of a head injury a few hours later.

In this, one of the last letters he wrote, he invited an engineer to accompany him on the flight. Pressure of work forced Mr Chorlton to decline.

Brown lived until 1948, working for Vickers and Metropolitan-Vickers and rejoining the RAF during the Second World War to train navigators and engineers. The transatlantic Vimy aircraft – repaired after its crash-landing – was donated by Vickers to the Science Museum in London, where in later life Brown used to visit it on the anniversary of the flight.

In the years immediately after the flight, airships seemed to hold more promise than heavier-than-air craft for long-distance journeys by air, despite their slower speed: only the following month, in July 1919, the R34 airship made the round-trip to America and back.

It wasn’t until 1927 that the next transatlantic flight was made with an aeroplane, and regular, scheduled flights came later still.

Alcock and Brown’s achievement stands as a pioneering effort and a singular feat of airmanship at a time when air travel of any kind was still at a relatively primitive state of development.


The First Nonstop Flight Across the Atlantic Lasted 16 Harrowing Hours

When it was all over, Captain John Alcock, an English pilot, telegraphed his story to newspaper reporters around the world. He was exhausted by a recent in-air ordeal that had culminated in a risky plane crash in Ireland along with his navigator and flying partner, Arthur Whitten Brown. “We have had a terrible journey,” wrote Alcock. “The wonder is that we are here at all. We scarcely saw the sun or the moon or the stars. For hours we saw none of them.”

If you𠆝 have stopped reading there, you might think that Alcock and Brown’s journey had ended in failure. For 16 fraught hours, they𠆝 been trapped in a rudimentary airplane in abysmal weather, their only means of navigation a sextant, an instrument that measured celestial objects in relation to the horizon. Their journey had been beset with blunders, and more often than not, fog and clouds had covered the stars, making it nearly impossible for Brown to determine their location.

John Alcock (center) holds a model of their biplane alongside Arthur Whitten Brown (center right), who is holding a mailbag after completing the first nonstop transatlantic flight. They carried several items of mail with them and in doing so, effectively transported the first transatlantic airmail to Britain. 

Yet their journey was a triumph. Despite their graceless landing in a bog on June 15, 1919, Alcock and Brown were the first people ever to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly a decade before Charles Lindbergh caught the world’s attention with his own transatlantic flight, the flying duo made history. Their adventure paid off: The pair not only became pioneering aviators, but beat out a group of other pilots vying for a huge cash prize in a cut-throat competition to be the first transatlantic aviators.

The prize was the brainchild of Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, a British newspaper tycoon who owned Die Daily Mail, one of England’s most influential newspapers. Like many magnates of his day, Lord Northcliffe was fascinated by new modes of transportation. Air flight was still a novelty, and a group of pioneering aviators, funded by rich patrons like Northcliffe, wanted to know just how far the technology could be pushed.

Northcliffe was a founding member of England’s Aero Club, a group of aviation enthusiasts interested in expanding and popularizing air flight. In 1906, he offered a 10,000-pound purse to the first balloonist to fly from London to Manchester. Ten thousand pounds was an enormous amount of money at the time—worth over 600,000 dollars today.

Northcliffe continued offering prizes for aviation accomplishments, which brought attention to his newspaper as well as stimulated competition among aviators. The prize purses were also part of a larger trend of widely publicized technological competitions that rewarded people who adopted new technologies like air flight.

The public followed along as intrepid motorists, cyclists and pilots set new milestones in their fields, slowly pushing the new technology to its limits. Air prizes were handed out to pilots who broke records in everything from speed to distance, and those who competed and won became celebrities.

Northcliffe’s most ambitious prize offering was for a transatlantic flight. The prize offered 10,000 pounds to a pilot who not only crossed the Atlantic from somewhere in North America to Great Britain or Ireland𠅊 feat that had yet to be accomplished𠅋ut who did it within 72 hours.

The planes of the 1910s were so primitive that the prize seemed almost impossible to win. World War I changed that. The Great War put a temporary stop to the competition, but it also pushed plane technology to new heights, as air flight became a tool of war. In turn, the aviation industry grew and the technology behind flight improved dramatically. By the end of the war, a group of war-hardened pilots𠅊nd planes that had been weapons of war—were ready to vie for the prize.

Among them were Alcock and Brown, both military pilots and prisoners of war during World War I. During his imprisonment, Alcock dreamed of crossing the Atlantic via plane. Once the war ended, he set about making his dream come true.

Vickers Vimy twin-engined biplane, a converted WWI bomber, flown by former RAF fliers John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown on their nonstop transatlantic flight. 

Time Life Pictures/Mansell/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

His aspiration was shared by other aviators. Multiple teams of pilots and aircraft manufacturers vied for the prize, and failed again and again. In May 1919, a group of Navy and Coast Guard airmen flew across the Atlantic in the NC-4, a seaplane that took three weeks, and multiple stops, to get across the ocean. But since Northcliffe’s contest was only open to non-military flyers, and required the journey be completed in 72 hours with no stops, the NC-4 made history but didn’t win the prize.

Another team backed by British aircraft company Handley Page wanted to beat Alcock and Brown, and shipped a plane to Newfoundland in preparation for the flight. Alcock and Brown were there, too, with a Vickers Vimy bomber that had been modified for transatlantic flight. On June 14, 1919, while the Handley Page team languished as its leaders conducted flight tests, Alcock and Brown started their flight attempt.

It was a disaster. The takeoff was bumpy and treacherous. Then the radio failed. Fog overwhelmed the pilots, making navigation𠅌onducted by sextant—next to impossible. Soon, the plane was covered in ice. Sitting in an open cockpit, the men began to freeze. At times, Alcock lost control of the plane entirely, plunging toward the sea. At another, their engine stopped working, choked by ice.

“We looped the loop,” Alcock recalled. “We did some very comic stunts, for I had no sense of the horizon.”

Blinded by the weather and uncertain of their exact location, the men flew and flew. Fueled by sandwiches, coffee and whisky, they passed the time by singing and worrying about whether the punishing weather would destroy their fuel tanks.


Kyk die video: Vickers Vimy Flight by Museum Volunteers on Top Gear Circuit Dunsfold 2008 (November 2021).