Up the Nile in style: An adventure in a Vickers Vimy replica

Egypt’s luxury cruise boats can be delightful, but the only way to travel up the River Nile is by air in the Aeroplane-sponsored Vickers Vimy replica, said Michael Oakey, in the September 1999 issue of Aeroplane Monthly

Wearing only my underpants and socks, I am standing in front of the 1930s control tower at Embaba, a local airport in western Cairo. Is this some weird aviation nightmare? Am I about to wake up in a cold sweat?

This is no nightmare; it is real. It is also the realisation, for me, of a personal dream. To fly up the Nile in Vickers Vimy replica NX71MY Silver Queen.

Why the state of undress?

The Giza Plateau, with Sphinx visible near the bottom of the picture just to the left of the black road, and Cairo's outskirts lapping at its feet.
The Giza Plateau, with Sphinx visible near the bottom of the picture just to the left of the black road, and Cairo's outskirts lapping at its feet. Aeroplane/Michael Oakey

“I’ll be flying in just coveralls, which I’ll change into when we get to Embaba,” Vimy captain Mark Rebholz had told me back at the hotel. “I’d rather be a little cool than too hot.” With ground temperatures in the 90s and with the prospect of 110° F or more at Luxor it seems wise advice, which I have decided to follow.

“Hey, look

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