Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith delivers this lecture on Sir George Cayley to the Historical Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society on 9 October 1973.
Our thanks to Michael Stanberry MRAeS for editing and cleaning this lecture audio for release.
Now widely regarded as 'The Father of Aeronautics', Sir George Cayley (1773-1857) evolved the idea of an aircraft with fixed wings, in which the principle of lift was separated from the propulsion system, and in which inherent stability, as well as tail-unit control-surfaces, must be incorporated.
The Society is proud custodian of a collection of Sir George Cayley’s notebooks, which are held in the National Aerospace Library. These notebooks have now been digitised and are available for viewing via our heritage website.
About the speaker:
Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith Hon CRAeS
Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith (1909 - 1981) was a British polymath historian of aeronautics and aviation. Charles attended Westminster School in central London and earned a Master of Arts degree at Harvard University in 1932.
Between 1947 and 1971 he was Keeper of the Department of Public Relations at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In this role he arranged museum exhibitions, conducted scholarly research, and wrote on a variety of topics, including a study of the Bayeux Tapestry and a centenary collection of the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Starting in 1976 he had a Research Fellowship at the Science Museum in London. Upon retirement, he was chosen as the first Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum in 1978, for which he spent a year in the United States studying the papers of the Wright brothers