THE VIMY EXPEDITIONS  [9780983236207]

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Date Added: Tuesday 07. February, 2012
Inspired by the exploits of the trail-blazing flights of the Vickers Vimy in 1919 and 1920, Peter McMillan and Lang Kidby had the crazy idea to build a Vimy replica and emulate the flights of
Alcock and Brown. This book tells their story.

The adventure starts with the England to Australia flight. Funnily enough it took forty two days rather than the twenty eight by the original team, thanks to red tape, quarantine and a crash in Sumatra. This latter 'adventure' is explained within the pages. Suffice to say doing a forced landing on one engine in a rice field was fun.

It is obvious this is what is called 'a coffee table' book, owing to its massive dimensions. The photographs are unbelievable, (many of them stretch over two pages), but there is more to the book than that. It is divided into four sections - England to Australia, England to South Africa, Crossing the Atlantic and Touring North America. Each chapter starts by chronicling the original flight, complete with contempory photographs, then a map over two pages aces both flights, followed by the story modern flight in words and pictures. To complete the story, a chapter covers the evolution of the Vimy, again with many contempory photographs, which also include the Vimy Commercial.

This is a remarkable book covering a remarkable expedition and although the modern machine had up to date instrumentation, it was still a frail aeroplane and it is good to see that we still spawn men such as these to achieve what, on the face of it, looked suicidal.

But one word of warning – make sure you have a sturdy coffee table.

Ernie Lee – Model Aircraft Monthly
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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