Vickers Vimy IV G-EAOU - 1919-2009

This Vickers Vimy, G-EAOU (affectionately known as "God 'Elp All Of Us"), was flown by the brothers Ross and Keith Smith, together with mechanics Jim Bennett and Wally Shiers, to victory in the 1919 England to Australia Air Race. In the process, they became the first people ever to fly from England to Australia. The date and place of the photograph above are not known, though it was certainly taken in 1919-20.

Built as a Vickers F.B.27A Vimy IV for the RAF, serial number F8630, it was too late to see service in the Great War. However, Vickers were persuaded to enter it in the England-Australia Air Race and converted it with extra fuel tankage. The aircraft operated to a maximum weight of 13,000 lb (5,896 kg) and was powered by two Rolls Royce Eagle VIII engines of 360 hp each. It was said that the starboard radiator had already crossed the Atlantic on Alcock and Brown's famous flight!





After many years in the custody of the Australian War Memorial, in 1958 the aircraft was put on display in a specially-built enclosure at Adelaide Airport. The photo above shows the Vimy in 1969, while that below shows it 30 years later, in March 2009


(Photo: Top-Phil Vabre collection; Middle-CAHS collection 137/69; Bottom-Phil Vabre)

Back to the main Items of General Interest index

If this page appears without menu bars at top and left, click here