January marks the start of the Society’s 150th anniversary year and we have an exciting programme of events and activities lined up to celebrate innovation in aerospace and aviation. Our activities span the Society’s network of regional and international branches and divisions so throughout the year we will be celebrating globally with members and corporate partners within the aerospace community.

Inspiring the next generation and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Our anniversary programme has been developed to meet the Society’s objectives of sharing knowledge and information so it offers CPD opportunities for students, young members in the early stages of their careers as well as middle and senior managers to develop their technical knowledge.

One of our primary aims is to highlight some of the exciting technology, projects and opportunities that exist to inspire younger generations to follow Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) study routes and consider a future career within our industry. Our Cool Aeronautics outreach programme is aimed at school children from 7 to 11 years old and introduces them to a fascinating world of flying, aerospace, engineering and space. Generous support from Airbus will enable us to extend this programme for 2016 and we aim to reach 150 schools during our anniversary year. The success of this initiative will depend on a collaborative approach and we are encouraging Branches, Corporate Partners and members to volunteer to run their own Cool Aeronautics events.

Global Networking
We also aim to celebrate key achievements and innovation throughout the history of aerospace with a series of lectures commemorating past achievements and innovative technology. These include events in locations such as Toulouse, RAF Cranwell and Canberra, Australia on a variety of topics including Rolls-Royce’s engine flight test programme, flying Spitfires, the Red Arrows and the Skylon Spaceplane.

In addition there will be plenty of opportunities to network with friends and colleagues in the aerospace community at dinners and receptions hosted by our branches and divisions around the world. The first event at the Society’s London headquarters will be a Black Tie Debate and Dinner on 12 January when we will debate the need for pilots in 40 years from now and also toast our forefathers who founded the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain on the same date in 1866. Later in the year the New Zealand Division will hold a Sesquicentenary Vice-Regal Dinner at Government House in Wellington on 1 April, and this will be followed by the Gala Banquet at Guildhall London on 18 May. The Bedford branch is hosting an aerospace innovation exhibition at the Shuttleworth Military Pageant on 3 July and members of the Society will be in attendance at Cosford Air Show, the Royal International Air Tattoo, and the Farnborough Air Show showcasing examples of innovative technology from our Corporate Partners as well as offering STEM activities to inspire the next generation.

Show your support for the Society

In addition to this extensive and varied programme of events around the world, the Society is working on many more initiatives for the benefit of its members, including a stamp collection depicting cutting-edge technology over 150 years, a range of commemorative merchandise and a commemorative book which showcases innovation in aerospace, to be launched at the 2016 Gala Banquet.

We are grateful to our sponsors for supporting the Society’s activities and initiatives during its 150th anniversary year.  Please click here for a full list of companies that have generously committed to partnering the Society in its drive to inspire future achievement, celebrate the contribution that aerospace makes to advancing progress and promote innovation across the breadth of aeronautical activity, involving young people as much as possible. There are further branding and sponsorship opportunities available and we are keen to work together with organisations across the aviation and aerospace industry, in particular our Corporate Partners. Please contact Simon Levy for more information.

The Royal Aeronautical Society is in a strong position to build on its aeronautical heritage so wherever you are and whatever your interest, please get involved , join with us to celebrate the Society’s role in 150 years of aerospace innovation and help inspire the next generation of aviation professionals to follow in our footsteps.

Please visit www.aerosociety.com/150 for further details on all of the exciting initiatives and events outlined above, plus many more.

Gail Ward
22 December 2015