Part 11 of the history of the Royal Aeronautical Society examines the many publications that the Society has produced since its foundation in 1866, including The Aeronautical Journal which has now been running for 119 years and is the world's longest continuously produced aeronautics journal.

The Society has published many publications but currently these include three journal titles: The Aeronautical Journal; AEROSPACE and the online only The Journal of Aeronautical History, plus many published proceedings of conferences and symposia organised by the Society.

A summary of the many publications of the Society includes:


Annual Reports of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain


The Aeronautical Journal (also published for many years under the title Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society)


Transactions of the Royal Aeronautical Society Nos 1-3


Anglo-American Aeronautical Conferences proceedings

1949-1983 The Aeronautical Quarterly


Aerospace (published in a newspaper format February 1969-May 1974, then a magazine format July 1974-May 1997)

1997-2013 Aerospace International

1999-2013 The Aerospace Professional


The Journal of Aeronautical History (online only)

2013-date AEROSPACE

In addition to these, the Society has published the proceedings of a large number of conferences that it has organised.

At various stages of its evolution the Royal Aeronautical Society has incorporated other aviation organisations which had their own publications that became amalgamated with those of the Society, the details of which are as follows:

Journal of the Institute/lnstitution of Aeronautical Engineers 1919-1927

Bulletin/Journal of the Helicopter Association of Great Britain 1946-1959

Journal of the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technologists 1952-1965 continued as Tech Air 1966-June 1987 then amalgamated with the aforementioned Aerospace.

Special issues of The Aeronautical Journal

On 17 December 1903 the Wright brothers achieved the world’s first manned, sustained, controlled, powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine. In 1953 on the 50th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ flight the Society devoted a whole issue of its Journal to the Wright brothers. 

In January 1966 the Royal Aeronautical Society celebrated the centenary of its formation and the issue of its Journal for that month was a large compilation of reminiscences and historical reviews of how aviation and the aerospace industry in Britain had developed during that time. At the same time the Society also looked forward with publications such as The Skyward Urge – Aviation 1866-2016: RAeS Graduates and Students Section Centenary Symposium 15-16 July 1966 and The Future of Aeronautics (London: Hutchison & Co, 1970) a compilation of the Second Century Papers contributed by various authors surveying potential future developments that could occur in aviation and aerospace in the second century of the Society’s existence. This forward-looking theme was echoed in the special 1,000th issue of The Aeronautical Journal published in December 1996 and again in the 100th anniversary of powered flight issue of June 2003.

To mark the Society’s 150th anniversary in January this year, a special issue of the Journal was published with papers from people who have made significant contributions to aeronautics. This was also the first issue of the Journal to be published in partnership with Cambridge University Press, which has also digitised the entire Journal back catalogue. This is now available for purchase and is accessible by visitors to the National Aerospace Library and No.4 Hamilton Place.

Delivering the Dream

Also to mark the Society’s 150th anniversary, the Society published a commemorative book, Delivering the Dream, by Richard Gardner, which explores aviation’s many milestones.

11 November 2016