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Vulcan designer's daughter writes

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: General

Stuart Davies daughter contacts us

Following our request for stories from those who had witnessed early Vulcan flights, we were delighted in the office to receive a lovely letter from Susan Kennett (nee Davies) daughter of Stuart Davies, Manager of Avro's Projects Department and later Chief Designer who oversaw the Vulcan design and development team.


I remember so well the first flight of the Vulcan when I was 12 years old.

My father was Stuart D. Davies, the chief designer and had lived and breathed the aircraft for several years - much to the annoyance of my mother. 

Some wives are golf widows - my mother was an aircraft widow!

All spectators assembled outside the clubhouse and waited, with baited breath, to see this beautiful plane lift off for the first time.

I was at school in Cheadle Hulme and whenever the Vulcan flew over, there was a rush to the classroom windows to watch. I think the boys in the class took a poor view of the fact that a girl knew so much about the aircraft.

Later, I remember going to the Farnborough Air Show and watching the Vulcan
fly past, with the smaller 707s flanking her and the spectators rising to their feet applauding. I have a picture that my father kept in his study showing the Vulcan and her companions flying in formation. Needless to say, there are lots of other pictures of her as well.

Sadly, I have been unable to visit and see XH558 in flight because for several years I was nursing my husband who was housebound. Although my grandchildren all live abroad (two in Florida, four in The Netherlands) I would love to let them see the great lady in flight.

Regards to all those working so hard - my father would have been so pleased.

Sue Kennett (nee Davies)



We have indeed invited Susan to come to visit XH558 in the Hangar or to a display this summer. We will keep you informed of any news and will certainly enjoy meeting her.



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