Templer Lecture: Drone Technology: the next revolution in Civil Aviation?

14 February 2017

BAE Systems Park Centre


Will autonomous systems technologies change the world of aviation in the same way as the development of the jet engine? Less than 10 years ago it was assumed that the civil market would follow the military trend of large vehicles being remotely and ultimately autonomously piloted. However, removing the restrictions on small vehicles or the pilot from larger aircraft is a non-trivial task. In this lecture, the challenges to designers, operators and regulators in realising the opportunities afforded by unmanned aircraft of any size in our airspace will be explained and the extent to which this can be achieved without any special infrastructure provisions or operating restrictions discussed. Some of the potential market opportunities will then be examined, not just in tackling tasks not possible or economical with manned aircraft, but also in developing technologies that will benefit the safety, security and efficiency of manned aircraft. The presentation will touch on the societal and legal issues and conclude with the steps that still need to be addressed and some thoughts on how we might use this opportunity for far greater integration between air, road, rail and sea transport.

The lecture will be followed by an informal reception and buffet.

£2 entry fee for non-members. RAeS members, Farnborough Branch ‘Friends’ and students: free


Speaker Details

Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, Ex-ASTRAEA Programme Director, BAE Systems

Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal worked for BAE Systems and its predecessor companies for 41 years, retiring as Engineering Director Systems and Strategy for Military Aircraft & Information in 2013. Graduating in 1972 with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, he joined BAe (then Hawker Siddeley Aviation) at Kingston as an Avionics Engineer, specialising in the design of cockpit control and display systems, which included the cockpit design for the Royal Navy’s Sea Harrier FRS1. Later he managed the systems development of Tornado and Typhoon before running the Military Aircraft research programmes and supporting the early developments of the Joint Strike Fighter. From 2006 to 2015 he was the independent Programme Director for ASTRAEA, a consortium of major UK aerospace companies undertaking a large research programme into the introduction of Civil Unmanned Aircraft into UK airspace. He currently sits on a number of committees examining issues such as engineering ethics, aerospace, transport and autonomous systems.


BAE Systems Park Centre

Farnborough Aerospace Centre
GU14 6XN