The age-old rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire has manifested itself in many ways — including, in October 1913, an air race. For aeroplane manufacturers Blackburn and Avro, the competitive opportunity was not to be passed up


The two challengers, their engines off but with all four seats occupied. The Avro 504 is in the foreground, the Blackburn Type I behind. ALL VIA PETE LONDON

On 20 September 1913, A. V. Roe & Company of Manchester took fourth place in the Aerial Derby, a 95-mile race flown around London, with its prototype Avro 504 biplane.

Created by a team under pioneer designer and pilot Alliott Verdon Roe, the aircraft had made its maiden flight only 48 hours previously. The contest was its first public appearance.

During the event, recorded Flight magazine, the Avro flew at an average speed of 66.5mph, for its time a most lively performance.

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