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PARIS AIR SHOW: Triumphant Fairoaks arrival for Vickers Vimy

Spirit of Brooklands, the replica of Alcock and Brown's First World War Vickers Vimy bomber, successfully re-enacted the originally planned finale to their pioneering flight on Monday, marking the 90th anniversary of their historic transatlantic jaunt.

Although the aircraft made its touchdown in Clifden in Connemara, Southern Ireland, the original "flight-plan" for the journey between St John's Newfoundland and "Great Britain or Ireland" called for the Vimy to arrive at Vickers's Brooklands factory near Weybridge, says Allan Winn, director of the Brooklands Museum.

"To mark the 90th anniversary, we flew the Vimy to Fairoaks airport, a few miles from Brooklands and about as near as we could get to the originally planned destination."


The Vimy's flight to Fairoaks followed a weekend in Ireland displaying at the Connnemara air show.

Monday's flight across from Ireland took just 4.5h, says Winn. "The Vimy made a triumphant landing at Fairoaks and then, after its departure back to Duxford, flew a couple of passes over Brooklands," he adds.

Although the twin-engined bi-plane is due to cease flying at the end of the year when it becomes a major exhibit at Brooklands, Winn assures us that it will be maintained in an airworthy condition.