2020/21 Lecture Programme

Unless stated otherwise,

meetings commence at 7.30 p.m.

in Room U020, Brockington Building,

Loughborough University.

Click here for directions

Downloadable lecture reports are posted on this page if and when they become available.  Click here for reports on earler lectures



November 17

The North American X-15, The Frst Hypersonic Aircraft into Space

Roger Allton, Branch Member

The X-15 was an experimental hypersonic rocket powered aircraft and the records it set in the 1960s for the highest speed and height of any manned, powered aircraft remain unbroken.

                               Joint lecture with IMechE

Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

November 3

Tempest – New Technologies, New Partnerships

Michael Christie, Director, Future Combat Air Systems, BAE Systems

The Tempest project timescales are challenging and will require a significant transformation in the approach to delivering such programmes across government(s) and industry.

Postponed until 02 November 2021

May 4

Air Race E – Propulsion Futures

Richard Glassock, Research Fellow, Hybrid and Electric Propulsion Systems for Aircraft, Nottingham University

Airbus is working with Air race E partners and Nottingham University to stage the world’s first electric race series in which eight electric-powered aircraft will race on a tight 5 km circuit, 10 metres above the ground and at speeds faster than any land-based motorsport.

Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

June 15   6.30 pm

Joint Event with the University Dept of Aero & Auto Engineering

Loughborough University MEng Final Year Aircraft Design Projects - short lecture series

This is an annual event in which a series of mini-lectures from groups of final year MEng students will describe the results obtained from their projects.

Session format to be confirmed

Page last updated 13 May 2021

January 19

The Business of Borrowing Bird Biology:

Understanding and Mimicking Avian Flight Mechanics

Dr Peter Thomas, Department of Engineering, School of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire

Recent biomimetic technology, materials, and control systems that seek to emulate avian flight stability and control in man-made aircraft will  be reviewed along with projects that aim to further our ability to replicate avian flight performance.

  Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

March 16

Reaction Engines: Making Beyond Possible

Robin Davies, Reaction Engines Ltd

Reaction Engines has spent 30 years developing the technology for an air breathing rocket engine capable of propelling a winged vehicle from a runway into orbit in a single stage.  The technology is now maturing and last year testing of the components began with a successful demonstration of pre-cooler technolgy at Mach 5 conditions.

Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

Originally planned events have been subject to change due to the coronavirus epidemic.  

Some lectures have been postponed until next season, some were presented online via Microsoft Teams and others

have been replaced by substitute online lectures. With the speakers' permission some lecture videos have been made available.



February 9

HM Airship R-100: a Barnes Wallis Innovative Design

Roger Allton, Airship Heritage Trustee & Branch Member

Long overshadowed by his 1943 'Dambuster' role whilst at Vickers Armstrong, Weybridge, work contracted for the government some 20 years previously yielded many innovations and patents that Barnes Wallis contributed to airship design.  This work inspired his renowned 'geodetic' structure in the 1930s that he  designed into the Wellesley and Wellington bombers - all prior to his 'Dambuster' role..

Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

October 13

Practical zero-emission aviation through hydrogen-electric propulsion

Julian Renz, ZeroAvia Project Manager, HyFlyer Project and Business Development Lead

The conventional piston engines of propeller aircraft are replaced by electric motors, hydrogen fuel cells and gas storage. Long-distance flights by 6- and 19-seater aircraft will follow.

Postponed until 12 October 2021

December 8

A View from 80,000 Feet: the SR-71 Blackbird

Col. Rich Graham, USAF (Retd.)

Col. Graham will describe the evolution and development of the SR-71.  Many of the unique features of flying the plane at Mach 3+ at 80,000 feet in a pressure suit environment will be thoroughly covered.

  Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

Watch video

February 23

Flying the F-4 Phantom in Vietnam

Col. Rich Graham, USAF (Retd.)

Col.Graham will describe his experiences in the USAF 'Triple Nickel' Squadron both as a fighter pilot and a 'Wild Weasel' pilot.  The Wild Weasel role was to destroy SA-2 surface-to-air missile sites to protect airborne strike forces.  Col. Graham  flew 205 combat missions in Vietnam and was awarded 3 Legion of Merit awards, 4 Distinguished Flying Cross medals and 19 Air Medals.  

Online presentation via Microsoft Teams

Watch video

Watch video

May 11

2020/21 Branch AGM (Online via MS Teams)

Watch video