On Monday 20 June the Royal Aeronautical Society hosted a lunch for 24 of its most senior members. The occasion was a 150th Anniversary celebration, and a tribute to our guests’ long-standing loyalty to the Society.

The senior members in attendance at this event all joined the Society between 1939 and 1947, and the majority of them have held continuous membership for over 70 years. The most senior member was Professor John Allen FRAeS who joined on 16th February 1939, and has therefore been a member for over half the lifetime of the Society. Professor Allen joined as a young man of 18 and went on to forge a distinguished career in aeronautics. He was responsible for designing the Hawk, later becoming Chief Engineer, and even today he remains very active in developing and promoting novel ideas.

In the spirit of inspiring young people and stimulating innovative ideas for future endeavour, the Society also invited some of its young members who were able to share the memories and remarkable achievements of the more senior attendees. In attendance was the Society’s MoD Secondee and Schools Build a Plane Project Officer, Sam Bancroft ARAeS who said “this event demonstrates the Society’s unique ability to facilitate progress by bringing together people from across the aerospace community. In this case it was the old and the young and I feel privileged to have met some extraordinary gentlemen in their eighties and nineties who made their careers in aerospace and still remain passionate about aircraft, flying and the future of our great industry”.

It was a great pleasure for the Society to reunite some of its most senior members, all of whom have contributed to the exceptional growth and development of aerospace from wartime Britain into the 21st century.

Gail Ward
23 June 2016