Roy Chadwick BBC Broadcast

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Title

Roy Chadwick BBC Broadcast

Description

Transcript of broadcast 8 June 1942 in Manchester at 8.30pm. Tells of making model aircraft when he was a youngster and taking an interest in work of the Wright brothers, Codey, Roe and others. Relates when 18 getting to know A V Roe and joining him as his personal assistant. Mentions his early career at AV Roe. Mentions early days test pilot F P Raynham who taught Chadwick how to fly. Relates 1914-18 war work and finding himself in charge of 100 draughtsmen and design of a bomber and work on the 504. Carries on with career mentioning design of other aircraft, switch to metal aircraft and that he was responsible for design of over 30 types of aircraft. Concludes with discussion of his design philosophy and mention of the Lancaster. .

Creator

Publisher

British Broadcasting Corporation

Date

1942-06-08

Contributor

Rights

This content is property of Delphine S Stevens who has kindly granted the International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0) permission to publish it. Please note that it was digitised by a third-party which used technical specifications that may differ from those used by International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive. It has been published here ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre.

Format

Three page printed document

Language

Identifier

MChadwickR18930430-190215-01

Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Roy Chadwick’s Broadcast

BBC BROADCAST BY ROY CHADWICK
MONDAY JUNE 8th 1942
MANCHESTER. 8.30 PM

WHEN I WAS A YOUNGSTER, I STARTED TO MAKE GLIDERS, AND, LATER, ELASTIC DRIVEN MODEL PLANES. FOR A LONG TIME THESE MODELS WOULD’NT FLY, AND FRIENDS USED TO SYMPATHISE WITH MY MOTHER ABOUT HER STRANGE OFFSPRING. BUT SHE STILL HELPED ME TO MAKE MODELS, AND EVENTUALLY I GOT QUITE GOOD RESULTS; AND FINALLY, A MODEL WHICH WOULD MAKE LONG FLIGHTS.
THIS LED ME INTO MY FIRST SPOT OF BOTHER IN AVIATION: BEING RATHER SHY ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURS’ COMMENTS, I OFTEN FLEW MY MODELS ON MOONLIT NIGHTS IN A LARGE FIELD BEHIND OUR HOUSE. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS FIELD WAS A ROAD WITH A GAS LIGHT AT THE END. ONE NIGHT I FLEW A MODEL IN THE DIRECTION OF THE LIGHT, WITHOUT NOTICING A LADY AND GENTLEMAN TAKING AN AFTER DINNER STROLL ALONG THE ROAD. THE MODEL MADE A RECORD FLIGHT, AND TO MY JOY, I SAW IT CIRCLE ROUND THE LIGHT. THE NEXT INSTANT MY BLOOD WAS FROZEN BY A PIERCING SCREAM, AND THE LADY VANISHED DOWN THE ROAD, HURRIEDLY FOLLOWED BY HER ESCORT. AFTER A WHILE, I SUMMONED UP COURAGE TO GO AND SEARCH FOR THE MODEL, AND WHILST THUS ENGAGED, WAS HAILED BY THE GENTLEMAN …… WHAT HE TOLD ME WAS “NOBODY’S BUSINESS” PLAYING GHOSTS AND FRIGHTENING HIS POOR WIFE INTO HYSTERICS.
I TOOK AN INTENSE INTEREST IN THE PIONEER WORK OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS; CODY, BLERIOT, VOISIN, ROE AND OTHERS, AND COLLECTED EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I COULD FIND IN THE PRESS.
IN 1911, WHEN I WAS 18, I GOT TO KNOW A.V. ROE, THE PIONEER AVIATOR (NOW SIR ALLIOTT VERNON -ROE) AND HIS BROTHER HUMPHREY; AND TOWARDS THE END OF 1911, I JOINED A.V. AS HIS PERSONAL ASSISTANT.
THEN FOLLOWED STRENUOUS BUT HAPPY YEARS; THE ROE FAMILY WERE VERY KIND TO ME, AND I OWE MUCH TO THEM.
WITH THE ROE BROTHERS WAS YOUNG AND CLEVER ENGINEER: REGINALD JOHN PARROTT, WHO HAD JOINED A.V. BEFORE ME AND WAS A FEW YEARS OLDER THAN ME.
THIS WAS THE AVRO TEAM OF THOSE DAYS: A.V. WAS THE LEADING SPIRIT AND INVENTIVE GENIUS; H.V. WAS THE BUSINESS MAN AND PROVIDER OF CASH; R.J. PARROTT WAS IN CHARGE OF CONSTRUCTION, AND GAVE GOOD ADVICE ALL ROUND; AND YOUNG ME WAS THE DRAWING OFFICE STAFF. LATER I WAS JOINED BY H.E. BROADSMITH, WHO IS NOW THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SAUNDERS ROE.
WE HAD A SMALL STAFF OF SKILLED AND ENTHUSIASTIC WORKMEN; MEN WHO PRODUCED A BEAUTIFULLY FINISHED JOB FROM THE MINIMUM OF DRAWINGS.
WE ALL WORKED IN THE CELLAR OF AN OLD MILL IN ANCOATS, MANCHESTER.
WHAT A CONTRAST BETWEEN THOSE FEW MEN, AND THAT POOR CELLAR, AND AVRO’S HUGE, MODERN WORKS AND THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES TODAY!
AN INTERESTING SIDELIGHT OF THOSE DAYS IS THE FACT THAT AVROS BRIDGED THE GAP FROM THE EARLIEST ENGINEERING TO THE MOST MODERN: OUR POWER SUPPLY CAME FROM AN OLD BEAM ENGINE. I SHOULD THINK AVROS ARE THE ONLY AVIATION FIRM WHO HAVE EVER DRIVEN THEIR MACHINERY OFF AN OLD BEAM ENGINE.

IN 1913 A.V. ROE AND COMPANY LTD. WAS FORMED, AND WE MOVED INTO A SMALL WORKS IN NEWTON HEATH; THE FINANCE BEING PROVIDED BY MR JAMES GROVES. HERE, THE WORLD FAMOUS AVRO 504 WAS DESIGNED AND BUILT IN 1913. I BELIEVE THAT UNTIL THIS WAR, THE OLD “504” HELD AN ALL TIME RECORD FOR NUMBERS BUILT OF ONE TYPE, AND FOR LENGHTH [sic] OF TIME IN SERVICE: I ACTUALLY SAW ONE FLYING QUITE RECENTLY.

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Roy Chadwick’s Broadcast

OUR TEST PILOT IN THE EARLY DAYS WAS F.P RAYNHAM; CERTAINLY ONE OF THE FINEST PILOTS WHO EVER FLEW AN AEROPLANE, AND HE STILL FLIES (note, Freddie Raynham taught Roy Chadwick to fly) I MADE MANY FLIGHTS AS OBSERVER, WITH HIM, SOME OF THEM MORE EXCITING THAN PLEASANT, WHEN THINGS WENT WRONG WITH EXPERIMENTAL MACHINES.
WHEN THE 1914/18 WAR STARTED, AVROS SUDDENLY BECAME OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE: THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAD GAINED WAS THEN INVALUABLE, AND THE ADMIRALTY AND WAR OFFICE CALLED FOR AEROPLANES IN LARGE NUMBERS.
OUR STAFF EXPANDED ENORMOUSLY, AND I SOON FOULD MYSELF IN CHARGE OF A HUNDRED DRAUGHTSMEN, NONE OF WHOM KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT AEROPLANES, AND I HAD THE JOB OF TEACHING THEM ALL I KNEW IN THOSE DAYS.
MANY OF THESE MEN STAYED WITH US FOR YEARS, AND A NUMBER OF THEM NOW HOLD IMPORTANT POSITIONS IN THE AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY, AMONGST THEM, MY OLD FRIEND R.H. DOBSON, WHO HAS RISEN TO BECOME THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE COMPANY.
IN 1915, WE CONCEIVED THE IDEA OF A LARGE, TWIN ENGINED BI-PLANE, WITH A GUN STATION IN THE NOSE OF THE FUSELAGE, AHEAD OF THE PILOT; AND ANOTHER GUN STATION, AFT OF THE WINGS ON TOP OF THE FUSELAGE. THIS AEROPLANE ALSO HAD INTERNAL STOWAGE FOR BOMBS. WE PLACED THE DRAWINGS BEFORE CAPTAIN CLARK OF THE WAR OFFICE, AND WERE INSTRUCTED TO PROCEED WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN EXPERIMENTAL AEROPLANE ON THESE LINES. THIS MACHINE WAS CALLED THE AVRO “PIKE”, AND WAS THE FORERUNNER OF THAT ARRANGEMENT OF AEROPLANE WHICH WAS USED FOR MANY YEARS, BY ALL COUNTRIES.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE DEMAND FOR OUR TYPE “504” WAS SO ENORMOUS, THAT WE COULD NEVER PUT INTO PRODUCTION, THIS TWIN ENGINED WAR TYPE; ALTHOUGH WE DID CARRY ON WITH DEVELOPMENTS OF IT; PRODUCING ABOUT FOUR EXPERIMENTAL TYPES, EACH AN IMPROVEMENT ON THE LAST.
AFTER THE WAR I DESIGNED THE FIRST OF THE MODERN, LIGHT AEROPLANES: THE AVRO BABY; THIS HAD A 35HORSE [sic] POWER “GREEN” ENGINE, AND, FLOWN BY BERT HINKLER, MADE A NON-STOP FLIGHT ACROSS THE ALPS TO TURIN IN ITALY.
IN 1923 I DESIGNED THE AVRO AVA, WHICH WAS THE LARGEST, ALL STEEL AEROPLANE TO BE BUILT AT THAT TIME, AND FOR A GOOD WHILE AFTERWARDS.
IT HAD A SPAN OF 100 FEET, AND WAS POWERED BY TWO, NAPIER “LION” ENGINES.
IN 1926 I DESIGNED THE FIRST AEROPLANE TO BE FITTED WITH A 1000 HORSE POWER ENGINE; THIS WAS THE AVRO ALDERSHOT; WITH A NAPIER “CUB” ENGINE.
WHEN SENIOR JUAN DE LA CIERVA CAME TO ENGLAND WITH HIS AUTOGIRO, AVROS WERE GREATLY INTERESTED IN THIS DEVELOPMENT, AND I COLLABORATED WITH HIM IN THE DESIGN OF SEVERAL TYPES OF THIS VERY INTERESTING TYPE OF FLYING MACHINE.
IN 1926, AFTER STUDYING CAREFULLY THE VARIOUS TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION, THEN IN VOGUE; I DECIDED THAT THE FUTURE WAY OF CONSTRUCTING AEROPLANES WOULD BE THE ALL METAL, SRESSED [sic] SKIN METHOD. I INCORPORATED THIS TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION IN THE AVRO AVOCET, AN EXPERIMENTAL TYPE WHICH WE BUILT FOR THE MINISTRY; AND IN A SECOND TYPE IN 1927: THE AVRO ANTELOPE.
UNFORTUNATELY, I COULD NOT PERSUADE ANYONE THAT THIS METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION WAS THE BEST; AND I HAD TO ABANDON IT FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS. ALTHOUGH, AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, THIS TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION IS NOW ALMOST UNIVERSALLY EMPLOYED. AS YOU WILL SEE, THAT EVEN IN SUCH A RAPIDLY ADVANCING DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING AS AVIATION, ONE MUSTN’T TRY TO GO TOO FAR, TOO FAST!
ALTOGETHER, I HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESIGN OF OVER THIRTY TYPES OF AIRCRAFT (note, before his untimely death, at the age of 54 YEARS, on a test flight, Roy Chadwick had designed a further 6 aircraft: the York, The Lancastrian, the Lincoln, the Tudor, The Shackleton and the Vulcan) RANGING FROM A TINY MACHINE WITH A 2 1/2 HORSE POWER, CYCLE ENGINE, WHICH ACTUALLY FLEW TO

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Roy Chadwick’s Broadcast

A HEIGHT OF OVER 14,000FEET[sic]; TO A MODERN, MULTI ENGINED MONOPLANE OF OVER 6,000 HORSE POWER.
THOSE TYPES INCLUDE LANDPLANES, SEAPLANES, AND SHIP -BORN PLANES; MONOPLANES, BIPLANES, TRIPLANES, MILITARY MACHINES, AND CIVIL MACHINES. ITS ALL BEEN VERY INTERESTING.
THE DESIGN FEATURES IN WHICH I AM MOST INTERESTED, ARE CONTOL[sic], AND FLYING CHARACTERISTICS, AND METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION. ABSOLUTE SPEED HAS NEVER GREATLY ATTRACTED ME, ALTHOUGH I STRIVE TO OBTAIN THE THE [sic] BEST POSSIBLE, ALL-ROUND PERFORMANCE FROM EACH NEW TYPE.
THE DESIGN OF A COMPLEX, MODERN AEROPLANE CALLS FOR THE EFFORTS OF A LARGE NUMBER OF DESIGN ENGINEERS; AND I’M GRATEFUL FOR THE UNSTINTED HELP OF MY TEAM: MESSRS ROGERSON, CAMERON, TURNER, WILLIS AND ATKIN.
ALSO OUR STAFF OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANTS, DRAUGHTSMEN, AND TRACERS. ALSO OUR TEST PILOTS: CAPTAIN BROWN AND MR THORN.
AS A LANCASHIRE MAN, AND PARTICULARLY, A MANCUNIAN, I’VE ALWAYS STRIVEN TO MAINTAIN LANCASHIRE’S POSITION IN THE WORLD OF AVIATION; I HOPE, WITH SOME SUCCESS.
AVRO AEROPLANES IN THIS WAR ARE THE “ANSON”, AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN IN THE R.A.F. AS “OLD FAITHFUL”, AND THE “MANCHESTER” WHICH IS THE MOST POWERFUL, TWIN ENGINED BOMBER IN SERVICE, AND LASTLY THE “LANCASTER”, OUR NEWEST, FOUR ENGINED BOMBER, WHICH THE GALLANT PILOTS AND AIRCREW FLEW TO AUGSBERG, IN THAT EPIC, DAYLIGHT RAIID[sic]. I CANNOT, FOR REASONS OF SECRECY, GIVE YOU ANY DETAILS OF THIS NEW AIRCRAFT, IN WHICH I NATURALLY TAKE GREAT PRIDE; AND BELIEVE THAT IT WILL PROVE TO BE A DEADLY WEAPON, IN THE HANDS OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE.
I WOULD SAY TO YOUNG ENGINEERS, AEROPLANE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IS THE MOST FASCINATING, EXCITING, HEARTBREAKING BUSINESS IN THE WORLD. “GO TO IT” AND YOU WILL NOT REQUIRE ANY OTHER HOBBY TO KEEP YOU OCCUPIED IN YOUR SPARE TIME ….. YOU WON’T HAVE ANY. GOODNIGHT.

Collection

Citation

R Chadwick, “Roy Chadwick BBC Broadcast,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 4, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/23986.

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