2016 Wilbur and Orville Wright Named Lecture and Presentation of the RAeS 2016 Honours

6 December 2016

No.4 Hamilton Place, London


Established to honour the successful and experienced mechanical engineers who completed the first successful controlled powered flight on 17 December 1903, the Wilbur & Orville Wright Lecture is the principal event in the Society’s year, given by distinguished members of the US and UK aerospace communities.

The 2016 Lecture will be delivered by ACM Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA FRAeS RAF, Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force.

Growing the Future RAF

The RAF is busier than ever on operations around the world. At the same time, the RAF is planned to increase significantly its front-line capability, as a result of the SDSR in 2015. Against this backdrop, in his first lecture at the RAeS since taking command Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, will discuss the challenges, risks and opportunities which he faces in growing the future RAF.

Presentation of the RAeS 2016 Honours

As the most prestigious and long-standing awards in global aerospace, the RAeS Honours, Medals and Awards honour achievement, innovation and excellence by both individuals and teams. They encompass exceptional contributions in all disciplines of the global aerospace industry.

Nominations for the 2017 round are now being accepted so if you are aware of an individual or team that you believe to be worthy of recognition you are warmly invited to complete and submit a Nomination Form at any time before 31 March 2017 to have your nominee considered for an award next year. Please note that anyone can make a nomination. 


17.30 hrs Refreshments
18.00 hrs Awards & Lecture
19.30 hrs Close

Speaker Details

ACM Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA FRAeS RAF, Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force

 Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier is the Chief of the Air Staff, in command of the Royal Air Force, leading a Whole Force of some 35000 Regular and Reserve personnel,  and 5000 Civil Servants, supported by thousands of contractors. He is personally accountable for the safe and effective operation of over 700 manned and unmanned aircraft  and for meeting the airpower needs of Defence, which currently means thousands of people and every front-line force committed to operations world-wide. In addition to  sustaining his people and this exceptionally high level of commitment, he is also responsible for delivering the significant growth in the RAF’s front-line capability announced  in the 2015 Defence Review.

 Prior to assuming his current appointment in July 2016, he was the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Capability) in the Ministry of Defence between 2012 and 2016,  responsible for strategic force design, balance of investment and capability coherence across all areas of UK joint military capability. He has significant other experience in  MOD capability planning, acquisition and programme delivery, and his most recent previous command appointment was as Air Officer Commanding 2 Group from 2008 to  2010, responsible for the RAF’s ISTAR, Air Transport, Air-Refuelling, Force Protection and Search and Rescue capabilities.

 A Tornado GR4 pilot and flying instructor, he has over 3500 flying hours and extensive operational and command experience, ranging from squadron pilot to theatre  commander of British Forces. He received his knighthood in 2014 and was appointed CBE in 2004. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for operations over Iraq in  1999, and the United States Bronze Star for Iraq operations in 2003.


All RAeS Lectures are free to attend and we welcome both Members and Non Members.


No.4 Hamilton Place, London

Royal Aeronautical Society Headquarters
No.4 Hamilton Place

Hotel Accommodation:

If you require hotel accommodation, we suggest you take advantage of preferential rates offered to RAeS delegates at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel. Alternatively, please click here for details of other hotels close to the venue.

For more information contact:

Gail Ward, Corporate & Society Events Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1491 629 912
Email: gail.ward@aerosociety.com