The Solent Branch was formed in 1935 and serves RAeS interests in the Southampton and Portsmouth regions. Non-members of the RAeS are also encouraged to attend and will receive a warm welcome at all Branch lecture evenings.
For more information about our Branch activities get in touch or visit the Branch website.
Chairman: Tim Coffey
Secretary: Mike Westby
Contact: Mike Westby
Tel - 01980 955998
The R J Mitchell lecture is the prestige named lecture of the Solent branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Held annually, the lecture was established in 1954 and since that first lecture given by Mr Joe Smith, a colleague of Mitchell's, many well known names from the aerospace world have accepted the invitation to present this lecture. The event has assumed international status with speakers from the USA and Europe. Reginald Mitchell was the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire and the Schneider Trophy winning seaplane, the Supermarine S6B. Mitchell was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1895, and moved to Southampton in 1916 where he lived and worked until his death in 1937 at the early age of 42.
At the age of 24 he became chief designer and the following year was made chief engineer as well, for the Supermarine Aviation works which had it's factory in the city. By the time he was 33 he was director and chief engineer of the company, which was then owned by the famous engineering firm of Vickers.
As well as the legendary Spitfire which first flew from what is now Southampton airport, he designed a total of 23 aircraft in just 16 years.
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Many lectures take place at the University of Southampton's Highfield campus, shown on the map below.
Most are held in the Murray Lecture Theatre, which is marked as building 58 on the map below. Access is gained from the South side of the building. Others are held in one of the physics lecture theatres in the Physics Building, building 46 on the map.
The annual RJ Mitchell lecture takes place in the neighbouring Turner Sims Concert Hall, which is marked as building 52 on the map.
Parking at the University is generally free and widely available in any of the marked car parks after 6PM.