SATURDAY MARKS THE 75th ANNIVERSARY OF
THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE AVRO LANCASTER BOMBER
Margaret Dove was the Bomber Command Museum of Canada’s honourary president from 1990 Until her death in 2008. She provided the museum with the following description of the day she joined her father, legendary aircraft designer Roy Chadwick, to watch the first flight of the Avro Lancaster.
“Would you like to drive to Woodford with me?” Roy Chadwick asked his eighteen year old daughter. “With luck, it’s going to be a special day because Sam is likely to fly the new big bomber.”Margaret recalled, “It was a lovely day, with blue sky and a few scattered white clouds, but very cold, so we were well wrapped up. All the way there we chatted happily in his car . . . We always turned down the small lane of Woodford Church that led directly to the Club House and the Avro hangars and tarmac apron where my father parked the car. A few hundred yards away stood the huge new Avro, its four engines already ticking over. Sam Brown and Bill Thorn, distinctive in white overalls, could be seen sitting side-by-side in the cockpit high above the ground.
“We strolled across to a crowd intently watching the proceedings and were greeted by Roy Dobson and Mr. Fielding with whom my father talked for a while as we stood together at the left-hand side of the group. Presently the engines began to roar, and as the plane moved forward my father turned and walked away with me for quite a distance. Though he seemed calm and expressionless, I’m sure he was very tense. Then the plane began its run and soared upward, climbing into the blue between the occasional large white clouds, and sailed away into the distance. Presently it returned and circled the aerodrome. Then with impressive din it flew low in front of us, climbed up again and made smoothly banked turns to left and right before magnificently rumbling in and landing. We all began to move across the field to where it rested. As we approached, the fuselage door opened, and Capt. Brown, his white overalls brilliant in the sun, appeared in the doorway. There was an eager cry, ‘How did it go, Sam?’ and smilingly he said, ‘It was marvelous -easy to handle and light on the controls.’ Then he descended the steps and everyone was talking to him.
“When we were in the car going home, I turned to my father and said, ‘Well Daddy, you must be very pleased that this new aeroplane is such a success.’ He replied, ‘Yes I am -but in this business one cannot rest on one’s laurels. There is always another and another aeroplane.'”
Source: Bomber Command Museum of Canada (https://www.facebook.com/Bomber-Command-Museum-of-Canada-101722206538665/)