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Roy Chadwick
Personal information
Nationality English
Birth date 30 April 1893(1893-04-30)
Birth place Farnworth, England
Date of death 23 August 1947 (aged 54)
Place of death Woodford, Greater Manchester
Institution memberships Avro
Significant projects Avro Lancaster
Significant advance Aircraft
Significant Awards CBE

Roy Chadwick, CBE, FRAeS (30 April 1893 – 23 August 1947) was an aircraft designer for Avro. Born at Marsh Hall Farm, Farnworth in Widnes, son of the mechanical engineer Charles Chadwick, he was the Chief Designer for the Avro Company and was responsible for practically all of their aeroplane designs. He is famous in particular for designing the Avro Lancaster bomber, its follow-up Avro Lincoln and preliminary designs of the Avro Vulcan V bomber. He also converted the Lincoln into the much-used Shackleton.


Early life

He went to St Clements Church School in Urmston, then studied at night school from 1907 to 1914 at the Manchester Municipal College of Technology whilst working as a draughtsman at British Westinghouse in Trafford Park.

Avro years

From September 1911, he began work at Avro at Brownsfield Mill when he was 18. When starting to design entire planes, he was based at Hamble, near Southampton. In 1928, he moved back to the Avro factory in Woodford, Greater Manchester, used today by BAE Systems. In 1939, production of Avro aircraft was moved to a new factory at Greengate in south Chadderton, today owned by BAE Systems.

A portrait of Chadwick with an Avro Lancaster and the Avro logo is displayed in the Renold Building at the University of Manchester

After the war, he designed Britain's first pressurised airliner, the Avro Tudor, based around the Lancaster-derivative Avro Lincoln, though few were built. His final involvement with Avro was overseeing the initial designs of the Vulcan from 1946. He died on 23 August 1947 during a crash on take-off of the prototype Avro Tudor 2 G-AGSU from Woodford airfield, in the vicinity of Shirfold Farm. The accident was due to an error in an overnight servicing in which the aileron cables were inadvertently crossed.

He was honoured in 1943 with the CBE, after the Dam Busters raid. His daughter, Rosemary Lapham, is his closest living relative. He is commemorated by a blue plaque on the surviving office building of the Avro factory at Greengate. [1]


  1. ^ Manchester Genealogist Vol 43 No.3 2007 Pages 278-9

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