Here are four classic lectures’ audio recordings from the Royal Aeronautical Society
RAE and Fast Jet Test Squadron test pilot Clive Rustin, recounts stories from some of the 165 aircraft types he flew over half a century of “flying fun”. Clive starts this barnstorming lecture by explaining how he moved into test flying to pursue his love of flying and to ensure that his father, whose hard work paid for him to go through university, did not think he had wasted his Chemical Engineering degree. After a time flying Hawker Hunters and English Electric Lightnings, he passed through the Empire Test Pilot School in 1961 before flying over 70 types as an experimental test pilot and then OC Flying at the Aerodynamics and Research Flight at RAE Bedford. There his work included supersonic research for Concorde, V/STOL projects including the Hawker Siddeley P.1127/Kestrel evaluation flight and research into short-field landing; though he started on the Fairey Delta 2 simulator before a memorial flight on the real thing.
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In his fascinating and entertaining history of aeronautics, the son of Igor Sikorsky weaves his father’s story into the achievements of his fellow pioneers in the science and industry of powered flight. Sergei Sikorsky draws on his father’s views of figures such as Otto Lilienthal, the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh to tell the story of Igor Sikorsky’s career designing and building aircraft in Imperial Russia, France and the USA before moving back to his first love, the helicopter.
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The race to be the first man in the UK to fly a powered aircraft brought two towering figures to the fore; the former cowboy and showman S. F. Cody, and the man who went on to form and run one of the UK’s major aircraft firms, A. V. Roe. Philip Jarrett takes us through the evolution of each man’s aircraft up to the first UK flight in 1908, before exploring how they both adapted their designs during the early days of the new era. The lecture is followed by a wide-ranging question and answer session that covers the pre-1914 days of aeronautics in the UK and beyond.
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Water aircraft captain Tony Irwin gives us insights into the world of marine aircraft, both past and present. After giving a brief history of water flying he explores the aircraft he has experienced through his long career, discusses his work developing the Seawind water plane, highlights the challenges faced by those designing and flying water planes and how they have been overcome, whilst telling anecdotes along the way.