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AeroSociety Podcast

The Royal Aeronautical Society is the world's only professional body dedicated to the entire aerospace community. Established in 1866 to further the art, science and engineering of aeronautics, the Society has been at the forefront of developments in aerospace ever since.

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The Introduction of the RAF Jet Aircraft: Engineering and Supply Issues

This lecture explores the categories of influence against the build-up of jet aircraft in the period from 1945 -1955. It will cover the significant contribution made by Sir Frank Whittle to in-service jet engine reliability and maintainability, the issues of new types of fuel and lubricants, flight line hazards and handling, aircraft support and aircrew survival systems, trade skills and technical organisation as the RAF entered the jet age.

48mins

9 Jun 2014

Rank #1

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British Overseas Airways Corporation: 1940-50 and its Legacy

This lecture covers the first ten years of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) up to 1950 when Civil Aviation in the UK was about to dispense with the age of Flying Boats and was shortly to move into the Jet Age with the Comet 1.

1hr 8mins

14 Oct 2013

Rank #2

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The Sir Barnes Wallis Interview

Sir Barnes Wallis Hon FRAeS takes listeners through his technical life story. Starting with his time designing airships, he moves into talking about the Second World War when he designed the dam-destroying Bouncing Bomb and 22,000 lb ‘ten-ton’ bomb. He also discusses his contribution towards the geodetic structure of the Vickers Wellington bomber.The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a donation from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

46mins

24 Nov 2017

Rank #3

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Classic Lecture Series: The V-Bomber Force, an Overview of its Operational History and Effectiveness

The V-bombers were the UK’s nuclear delivery system from 1957 to 1969. In this lecture, author and former Vulcan pilot with the V-Force, Wg Cdr Andrew Brookes, tells us the story of the characters who established the Force before going onto judge its effectiveness by taking us through the processes of launching and carrying out a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union and by telling the story of how the V-Force took part in a mission to test the US’s nuclear defence system in 1961. He then concludes on the impact that the V-Force had in raising the profile of the UK abroad.The podcast includes a fascinating post-lecture question and answer in which former members of the V-Force and other raise points and questions on the design and operation of the Vickers Valiant, Handley Page HP80 Victor, and Avro Type 698 Vulcan. The lecture was presented to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on the 21 November 2002. The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 35mins

9 Feb 2018

Rank #4

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The Wright Brothers : the United Kingdom connection by Gordon Bruce

In the concluding paper of The beginnings of powered flight conference, Gordon Bruce explores the relationship between the Wright Brothers and the land of their ancestors. Starting off by looking at how UK aeronautical figures shaped Orville and Wilbur’s thinking, Bruce tells the story of the UK Government’s reaction to their invention, how the Wrights worked with Shorts to manufacture the Short-Wright aircraft for the civil market, how a disagreement with the Smithsonian led to the 1903 Wright Flyer spending a quarter of a century in London’s Science Museum and how Orville’s life-long work on protecting their patents was interrupted by a “noble act” of not renewing their basic UK patents in the heat of the First World War.The lecture concludes with a general question and answer session with speakers from across the day.The lecture was part of a seminar, “The beginnings of powered flight: The Wright Brothers contribution to aviation”, which was organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on 10 May 2003. The podcasts were edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and they were digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 4mins

19 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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Audio: Classic Lecture Series: The Evolution of the British Aircraft Industry by Dr Ron Smith

The story of the rapid expansions and retrenchments in our industry are explored by Ron Smith’s investigation into the six phases of the British industry after the Wright Brothers first flew in 1903. Starting with the period of exciting experimentation before 1914, Dr Smith gives us a snapshot of the major firms that were part of the industry in 1910. He then moves onto the second stage, the rapid developments brought World War I and gives a flavour of the larger and more diverse companies that made aeroplanes during the period. Smith goes onto discusses the deep retrenchment after 1918, a period where manufacturers had to diversify and compete for each requirement issued by Government, and which led to the first phase of rationalisation in 1928 and 1934-35. The fourth phase looks at the increase in production brought about the preparations and then fighting the Second Wold War. Smith concludes by briefly looking at the industry up to the second period of rationalisation of the industry, with the formation of the British Aircraft Corporation & Hawker Siddeley, and then modern times with the establishment of British Aerospace and beyond. These last two sections of the lecture were bolstered by the question and answer sessions, which prompts questions and comments from those who worked and shaped post-war projects.Dr Ron Smith gave the lecture to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on 2 February 2004. The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 59mins

22 Jan 2019

Rank #6

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The D. P. Davies Interview on his service in the Fleet Air Arm.

The D. P. Davies Interview on his service in the Fleet Air Arm and the Handling Squadron during the 1940s.“The test pilots’ test pilot”, former CAA Chief Test Pilot D. P. Davies talks about his early career first training and then serving in the wartime Fleet Air Arm, including reminiscences of the naval test pilots course, the Empire Central Flying School at Hullavington and the Handling Squadron.The interview was conducted by Rodney Giesler in 1992 and edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS.

1hr 14mins

15 Sep 2017

Rank #7

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Classic Lecture Series: Looking ahead with hindsight by Sir George Edwards Hon FRAeS

From the bouncing bomb to Concorde, one of the towering figures in post-war aeronautics gives a tour-de-force on his careers and the lessons that he learned along the way or, as he put it, “it is a great temptation when you are my age…to blather away about all of the things that you did in the past and it is a temptation quite frankly that I didn’t resist”. In 1934 Sir George fancied “a dabble in the aeroplane racket” and started as a draftsman at Vickers, before working with Barnes Wallis, Sydney Camm and Rex Rex Pierson. He discusses such projects as Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb, before moving onto the projects that he was involved in such as the Vickers Valiant and the BAC TSR2, as well as the collaborative projects of SEPECAT Jaguar and Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde, whether as Chief Designer or Managing Director or Chairman on the Board. He then goes on to explore the forces that affected the aerospace industry during his career, before looking into his crystal ball to predict the future and make a number of suggestions with the hope that “younger members of the community…. can discern any sort of a message here or there…. and have the courage to do something about it”.The 62nd Wilbur & Orville Wright Lecture took place on 6 December 1973, the podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 16mins

23 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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The D. P. Davies Interviews on Concorde and the V-bombers.

“The test pilots’ test pilot”, former CAA Chief Test Pilot D. P. Davies talks frankly about the civil aircraft that he put through his paces before being certified as safe in the UK.In the last of four podcasted interviews the author of commercial pilots bible “Handling the big jets”, recalls the time he was asked to fly the Avro Vulcan, the Vickers Valiant and the Handley Page Victor V-bombers.The interview was conducted by Rodney Giesler in 1992 and edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS.

41mins

15 Sep 2017

Rank #9

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Classic Lecture Series - The Brabazon Committees by Sir Peter Masefield

The Vickers Viscount, the de Havilland Comet, the Airspeed Ambassador and many other civil aircraft designs of the 1940s and 1950s were specified by the recommendations made by three wartime government committees; two chaired by Lord Brabazon, affectionally known as ‘Brab’ and a third by Lord Beaverbrook.Sir Peter Masefield, secretary to the Beaverbrook Committee and later Chief Executive of BEA gives us an insider view of the work of the Committees, the projects they inspired and the personalities of those who shaped the post-war civil aircraft industry.The lecture took place on 28 September 1995, the podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

59mins

25 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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Classic Lecture Series: Chris Yeo on the Eurofighter Typhoon

British Aerospace’s first Typhoon pilot and then Director of Flight Operations for BAe’s Military Aircraft Division, Chris Yeo, gives an insight into the development of the multi-role combat aircraft when it was about to start its flight demonstration programme and eighteen months after the first flight of BAe’s Development Aircraft 2. Then known as the Eurofighter 2000, Yeo tells his audience what had been achieved in the first two phases of the project by the three flying prototypes, together with a brief history of the aircraft, a description of the operational systems, aerodynamic shape, structure, flight control systems and cockpit control systems. He also discusses the long series of research programmes that led to the Typhoon, before going onto show the importance of the requirements produced by the four customer air forces and how the aircraft design evolved to meet those requirements. The podcast concludes with a question and answer session.The Lecture took place on 5 September 1995. The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 30mins

8 Jun 2018

Rank #11

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Tupolev Post World War II Airliner Projects

Tupolev Post World War II Airliner Projects by AeroSociety Podcast

56mins

5 Sep 2018

Rank #12

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Ups and Downs - 10 Years Flying with the Red Arrows

Squadron Leader Mike Ling MBE RAF, discussed:- His background in the Royal Air Force- A brief history of the Red Arrows- Team constitution/pilot selection- Who makes up the entire Red Arrows unit and what does it take to become a pilot?A- The Red Arrows Hawk TMk1- An explanation of the Hawk and how those Hawks used by the Red Arrows differ- Flying the Red Arrows display- The techniques involved and how the display sequence is designed- Highs and lows during Sqn Ldr Ling's 10 seasons in the Team- Experiences (good and bad) as a Red Arrows display pilot and supervisor

58mins

19 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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Brabazon Named Lecture 2013

Richard Deakin, CEO, NATS speaks about the anticipated arrival of the Single European Sky, where air traffic is managed according to operational efficiency rather than national boundaries. What are the challenges and how do we find solutions that Europe can sign up to?

57mins

6 Nov 2013

Rank #14

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History And Development Of Sailplanes

Howard Torode, Chairman, Tehcnical Committee, British Gliding Association and Afandi Darlington, Senior Inspector of Air Accidents (Engineering), AAIB speak about gliding and soaring having held a mutual relationship with mainstream aviation developments ever since the experiments of Sir George Cayley in 1852, through to the birth of modern aviation in the 1900’s and to the present day. This lecture discussed the experiences of sailplane designers throughout the twentieth century, in pursuit of higher aerodynamic performance, and compare these with parallel application of similar technologies in mainstream aircraft design. Howard and Afandi drew on well known aerospace design philosophies, and showed examples of how they have been equally applied to the design of sailplanes, including the benefits and lessons learnt. The lecture also demonstrated how the continuing technological developments have enabled sailplane pilots to continue to expand their wide soaring horizons. The speakers concluded with a forward look at how sailplanes might be developed into the future using both evolutionary and disruptive technology.

1hr 2mins

16 Mar 2015

Rank #15

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The rise, fall & rebirth of UK commercial aircraft development 1945-78 by Keith Hayward

Keith Hayward takes us along the corridors of Whitehall and into aero industry boardrooms to chronicle the false dawns and missed opportunities of the first thirty-three years after World War II. Starting with the Brabazon recommendations, he illustrates the competing interests of politicians, the aircraft industry and the airlines by examining project such as de Havilland’s Comet and Trident, the Vickers VC10 and the Airbus programme. The story ends when he reaches the “vale of tears in the early 1970s”, from which, in the end, the British aviation industry came up “reasonably happy”. Prof Hayward told his “sad stories of the death of aeroplanes” to the Royal Aeronautical Society's Historical Group Lecture on 17th October 2002. The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 38mins

17 Sep 2019

Rank #16

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Cierva Named Lecture 2017

Helicopteres Guimbal was founded as an independent company in order to develop and manufacture the Cabri G2 as a modern, certified helicopter. The goal was to bring new technologies to the personal and training market.Bruno Guimbal, President, Guimbal Helicoptérès delivers the 2017 Cierva Named Lecture.

43mins

10 Oct 2017

Rank #17

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From the archive: Sir Geoffrey de Havilland on his early days in aeronautics

Sir Geoffrey tells the stories of his first aeroplanes, the de Havilland Biplane No. 1 and how he improved it to become the de Havilland Biplane No. 2, before turning the story of how he created the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.1 and the work of Edward T. Busk to improve the aircraft’s stability.The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

4mins

25 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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Classic Lecture Series: The V/STOL Wheel of Misfortune, a survey of V/STOL aircraft by John Farley

The Hawker Harrier test pilot John Farley, gives his views on each of the 45 V/STOL aircraft projects before 2006. Farley based his survey on the work “The V/STOL Wheel of Misfortune” which was put together by Mike Hirschberg of The American Helicopter Society.John Farley was one of the country’s foremost experimental test pilots. After time in the RAF and Royal Aircraft Establishment Aerodynamic test flight, he joined Hawkers and became heavily involved in the development of V/STOL aircraft such as the P1127, the Harrier and the Sea Harrier. The podcast also contains a fascinating Question and Answer sessions where Farley gives further insights into the MiG 29, safety in V/STOL aircraft and the use of fly-by-wire in modern aircraft.The Lecture was presented to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on 23 November 2006. The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.

1hr 14mins

21 Sep 2018

Rank #19

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An interview with…… Mike Savage on selling with Handley Page & his de Havillands apprenticeship

Aerospace public relations legend Mike Savage tells stories about his apprenticeship at de Havillands, including his interview that ended up with Mike, Geoffrey de Havilland and the entire interview board firing off toy rockets and being part of a recording-breaking team to break the long-distance record for driving a lawnmower from Edinburgh to London. After his time at Hatfield and a spell in the RAF, Mike’s move to Handley Page's public relations department created more anecdotes including a bid to sell Handley Page Heralds to Air Bremen was spectacularly lost during a dinner reception and a plan to dig a swimming pool for Sudan Airways. Mike Savage FRAeS was interviewed in January 2019 by Bill Read FRAeS and the podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS.

48mins

23 Apr 2019

Rank #20