Royal Aeronautical Society

Has Operated from Jan 1866 to Present

Headquarters – Hamilton Place, London

Founders – The Duke of Argyll, Frederick Brearey, James Glaisher & Francis Wenham

Starting out as The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain, The Royal Aeronautical Society or RAeS as it came to be known from 1918 onwards, retains the honour of being the oldest aeronautical society on the planet. Its founding principles involved the promotion of professionalism within aviation while encouraging the growth of aeronautical knowledge throughout the industry as a whole. It also attempts to engage with other similar industries and the general public alike to promote a wider understanding and appreciation of aviation both in Britain and worldwide. Quite naturally, being the oldest society of its kind in the world, it has made incomparable contributions to the advancement of aeronautical science and technology.

The ideals of the RAeS eventually spread across the UK and as such, the organisation became too large to manage from its London H.Q. Thus, the very first branch was opened in Manchester during 1918. By the end of 1956, these branches had grown to a total of 29, with Southend’s own chapter finally being formed in January of the following year. To this very day, society continues to promote its work through conferences and lectures which are designed to stimulate debate and encourage innovation within the industry while over the years, several printed journals and publications have been produced, the first of these in 1897, starting with The Aeronautical Journal which is still being printed in 2017.

By 2013, the number of UK branches had grown further still to 36 with a multitude of branches also having been opened in a number of countries around the world as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. At the present time, these overseas offices now total 24. Where several branches are located relatively close together both in the UK and abroad, the RAeS has formed divisional headquarters which have a considerable level of autonomy and are largely responsible for arranging and promoting their own conferences and lectures. Last but not least are the specialist groups each of which are dedicated to a specific area of the aviation industry and much like the branches and divisions, promote and maintain the high levels of professionalism that is demanded by the society.


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