Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF A5 Vickers FB27 Vimy IV

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Vickers FB27 A Vimy IV (ex-F8630), with the civil registration G-EAOU (known by the crew as God 'elp All Of Us)was flown by Ross and Keith Smith along with J.M. Bennett and W.H.Shiers to victory in the 1919 England to Australia Air Race.

This was the first aircraft ever to fly from England to Australia and a prize of 10,000 pounds was paid to the crew who divided the winnings equally.

After arriving in Australia in 1919, the crew flew Vickers Vimy IV G-EAOU to Point Cook, Victoria.

On 19 March 1920 it was formally handed over from Vickers to Billy Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia, on behalf of the Commonwealth. The handover caused something of a stir as the Prime Minister in typical style turned out to be the only member of the Government who was aware of the arrangement.

The Prime Minister immediately gave the crew permission to fly the aircraft to their home town of Adelaide, and they duly departed on 23 March, arriving at 1.55 pm to great excitement and a cheering crowd of 20,000.

In 1921 the aircraft was entered on the RAAF Register as A5-1 and was the only Vimy to officially serve with the RAAF. The RAAF it seems dd not find a use for the unexpected Vimy and the aircraft was not used. The A5 serial range was reused for the Westland Wapiti when it came into service in 1929.

In the years that followed it was successively, stored, transferred to the War Museum, returned to the RAAF, dismantled, re-assembled, partially burnt, and finally rebuilt.

With the opening of the new Adelaide/West Beach Airport in 1954, the opportunity arose to create a fitting permanent home for G-EAOU. Although the aircraft was partially burnt during transfer, and had to be rebuilt, in 1958 it was installed in a purpose-built, fully enclosed shelter located adjacent to the airport Passenger Terminal.


Vimy G-EAOU, Point Cook, c.1920.via Mike Mirkovic. Vickers Vimy G-EAOU Vimy G-EOAU 
On display AWM Canberra 
Replaced in 1955 with Lancaster G for George The original Vickers Vimy is preserved at Adelaide Airport Vimy civil reg G-EAOU
(God 'elp all of us!)


The Authors of this page are Darren Crick and Brendan Cowan

Sources: RAAF Museum Website


Updated 09 October 2013


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