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Sir A. Verdon-Roe

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Pioneer British Aeronaut

Aircraft Designer

Aero Industrialist

Born Patricroft, England

April 27, 1877—January 4, 1958


Sir Alliott Verdon-Roe entered into the design of airplanes in 1907 through the development of flying model planes and the development of his designs to full size machines. In 1908 he became one of the first in Great Britain to fly a powered aircraft.

His struggle against adversity and ridicule was overcome through his undefeatable optimism. Progressing from short flights in delicate and under-powered machines, he became a leading producer of combat aircraft in World War I, and the managing director of a premier British aircraft manufacturing company.

The great Avro Company, which bore his name, was incorporated in 1910. Today it continues in the traditions he established as the Manchester Division of British Aerospace. Among his advanced concepts and innovations were the world's first enclosed cabin aircraft, the first British hydroplane, and the combining of separate flight controls into a single steering column.

Although initially plagued by the adversities of fire, shortage of capital, and inadequate engines, his perseverance prevailed and the Avro trademark was to be seen throughout the Empire on civil and military aircraft of every type. None was more famed and of greater impact than the rugged training plane of the First World War, the Model 504, which served Britain and the Allies so valiantly.

A distinguished aviation career of 45 years was most appropriately recognized in 1929 when a grateful Government conferred knighthood upon him for service to aviation.

Invested 1980 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984

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Updated: March 12, 2004