Famous Vickers Vimy on the move

THE VICKERS Vimy flown from Hounslow Heath to Darwin, Australia by Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith, along with mechanics Wally Shiers and James Bennett, in 1919 is to be dismantled and removed from display at Adelaide Airport.

It will be carefully disassembled into sections – the fuselage, outer wings and the stub wings and engines – with scaffolding being built around the aircraft parts in order to carry the weight and protect the structure during the move. The 103-year-old bomber is to then be reassembled within the airport’s main domestic and international terminal where it will become part of a larger exhibition.

Author and aviation history specialist, David Crotty, has been appointed as the exhibition curator, while leading South Australian architecture firm Baukultur and exhibition design specialists Arketype have designed the new exhibition space for the Vickers Vimy.

Vickers Vimy G-EAOU
Vickers Vimy G-EAOU on display at Adelaide Airport prior to being dismantled Flickr Commons/Michael Coghlan

Brenton Cox, Adelaide Airport’s managing director, said: “We’ve completed construction of the new space for the Vickers Vimy within the Adelaide Airport terminal as part of our $200 million terminal expansion project – so we’re now able to commence the delicate work of moving the aircraft to its new home.”

He continued: “The Vickers Vimy is a treasured national asset and Adelaide Airport is proud to be its custodian. A significant amount of planning has already taken place to find the best solution to move what is an extremely fragile object.”

Famed for its 11,123-mile pioneering flight, which took 28 days to complete, the Vickers Vimy’s next journey is a little less ambitious. It is expected that it will make the 1.3 mile move to its new home in March. Construction of the exhibition space will follow with the exhibition due to open to the public later in the year.

The Vickers Vimy relocation project has been jointly funded by the Federal Government, South Australian Government and Adelaide Airport.