With a one year gap between grammar school and university I opted into an undergraduate apprenticeship at Avro’s.

After a very full 9 months at Chadderton with 3 weeks experience in each production department I was moved to Woodford’s flight test department under Larry Trier. My main project was measuring wing tip deflection during in-flight pushover/pull-out on the Shackleton T mark3 which had been retrofitted tip tanks.

As a surprise bonus after a long day’s testing on the Shack I was given the empty co-pilot seat on an early evening Vulcan high altitude test flight out over Anglesey. The take-off was incredible but quieter than expected.

We climbed to 60k feet from where the Solway firth and South Wales were clearly visible. For me the best was to see the curvature of the Earth.

The whole flight was less than an hour but totally unforgettable for an awestruck 18 year old!