VICKERS MACHINE HAS TRIAL TRIP
June 10, 1919
ST JOHN’S had the pleasure of seeing another airplane yesterday afternoon when the Vickers Vimy bi-plane, constructed at Pleasantville, made its trial trip over the city. It attracted every eye and it flew so low that many citizens thought it would drop at any moment. It did not descend, however, until it reached Lester’s field, Cornwall Avenue, where the new hangar is being erected and from where it will start on its transatlantic flight. It was not generally known that the trial flight would be made yesterday and consequently there were not many spectators but those present witnessed a very graceful ‘take off.’
At 4.30 Capt. J. Alcock, D.S.C., pilot, and Lieut. A. W. Brown, navigator, having donned their air clothes, started their flight, rising where the Martinside left the earth on her trial spin and near where she met with the accident a few weeks later.
She rose after a run of about 40 and continued eastward over Signal Hill. The machine then turned westward and after circling over the city continued west at a speed of 95 miles an hour until it reached the bottom of Conception Bay. Though very few were present for the take-off, as it I was not expected the Vickers would be ready to fly, the noise off the two Rolls-Royce engines quickly attracted the people, who watched with deep interest the movements of the machine as it gracefully swept over the town and out towards Holyrood.
Having reached the latter place the return trip was made, Capt. Alcock again circling the Vickers over the city and went out over the south side hills to beyond Cape Spear. After flying to and fro for about 47 minutes Capt. Alcock shaped his course flying at a very low altitude the new aerodome, Lester’s field, where a perfect landing was made, the machine being brought to a standstill before it covered 50 yards after taking the ground.
On her way to Lester’s field she flew so low that many thought she I would strike some of the houses, but Messrs. Alcock and Brown knew their business and reached the landing place without the slightest mishap.
The aviators expressed themselves as highly pleased with the satisfactory results obtained from the engines, scarcely any trouble being given during the 47 minutes’ flight. It will be necessary however, before they start the trans-Atlantic flight to make some adjustments and also to test their compasses, which means that the attempt cannot possibly be made before tomorrow. Besides they have to take on board 870 gallons of fuel for their engines and other equipment, but it is hoped that most of; this work will be accomplished today.
The airmen have decided to take; their departure from Lester’s field, which has been put in first class condition by a staff of men. The ground is perfectly hard and a better starting place it would be difficult to locate. Messrs. Alcock and Brown are confident that they will make the Atlantic flight without mishap.
They have not yet decided where they will land. It may be in Ireland but of everything goes as satisfactorily as they hope, they will continue on to London. The machine is now receiving the finishing touches and as soon as the compasses are tested and the weather conditions over the ocean are favorable the start will be made.
Last evening thousands of citizens visited the hangar and all were favorably impressed with the bi-plane. Messrs. Alcock and Brown have the best of St. John’s for a successful flight.
Source: St. John’s Daily Star, 1919-06-10
Recommended: Aviation Tour at The Rooms: Discover some of the gems in the collections at The Rooms. Take a self guided tour and find the mailbag carried on the flight by Alcock and Brown, the Marquette for the Alcock and Brown Memorial at the Manchester Airport and the Rooms is home to a large collection of Alcock and Brown related photographs.
Recommended: 2019 Alcock and Brown Celebrating 100 years: Celebrations Schedule https://aviationhistorynl.com/