In the September Chapter 240 Newsletter (copy available here) John Downey, a friend and long-time aviation fan based in the UK, detailed the restoration work being done on the ‘Vimy’.
The Vickers Vimy was a british heavy bomber of the first world war and set notable records in long-distance flights, the most celebrated of which was the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic by Alcock and Brown in June 1918.
In this update from John, we learn that the Vimy is being retired:
Mike – If you and/or your members are interested, the Vimy has now been retired to Brooklands Museum.
On 15 November it was flown into the grass strip (see the video below). On 19th the team dismantled it so it could be moved into the Brooklands hangar, just in time for a big fundraising event on 21st – ‘Vimy Day’.
This aircraft had been dismantled on a number of occasions in the past during the time it was being flown on the re-creation flights and transported in a C5A.
However, on this last occasion we did not have the hands-on expertise of the previous operators, only some guidance notes from the builder John LaNoue (he came for the 21st event). Nevertheless, the operation was successful after some 17 hours of work which meant taking a few shortcuts (cutting, but marking, some electric wires) as it is extremely unlikely it will fly again. It was separated just aft of the wing trailing edge but we had to overcome the fact there was a fuel tank in the aft section. Even though a hand pump had been kindly lent from nearby Fairoaks airport (and delivered by helicopter!) it failed to work properly and we had to resort to draining the tanks from underneath, a rather slow process.
When the two sections eventually arrived in the hangar, being delayed for an hour or so whilst a road was closed, only two of the four linking bolts could be found. This resulted in some consternation (!) from the tired team whilst alternatives were sought in the museum stores! The re-assembly and positioning was eventually completed at midnight!
This classic aicraft can now be seen alongside Concorde and may other classics at the Brooklands Museum, Surrey, UK.
Photographs of the Vimy work can be found here. Thanks, John Downey