The Avro Vulcan, then known as the Avro 698, first flew on August 30th 1952

My father said at the time "It was a large aircraft and was, of course, unlike anything of its size which had flown before. From the start, the Vulcan was laid out with a view to simple operation, both on the ground and in the air. The cockpit was arranged in such a way that the complexity necessary in a modern aircraft was reduced as much as possible. For this reason, there did not appear to be any necessity for a crew of more than one in the early flights."


Roly has some fame for rolling the Avro Vulcan at Farnborough airshow in 1955. You can see a video on YouTube here.

Video 1

Video 2

A Wikipedia entry on Roly can be found here.

Roly in one of the Avro 707's, which were small scale research aircraft to test the design concept of the Avro Vulcan.


Avro Vulcans at Woodford, Cheshire in 1990. On the left is XH558 (celebrating its 30th birthday when this photo was taken) which was the last flying Vulcan and on the right XM603. Photo by Cliff Knox

XH558 is still flying after major restoration. All details, and the continuing need to raise money to keep flying, can be found here.  Please do support the cause!

XM603 is still at Woodford and hopefully it will be incorporated into a new park that is being created on the site that was the Avro aerodrome and factory. 

Well worth a visit is the Avro Heritage centre at Woodford, details at www.avroheritage.com

A site that that has information about the Royal Air Force V Bombers and their role in the cold war era can be found www.twittervforce.com

Peter Clegg has written a booklet on Roly's career as a pilot and can be bought here on the Vulcan to the Sky web site.

I can be contacted by email