Science: Early Aviation 1890 – 1918 CANCELLED

Jim Lloyd Davies
Gosling Room
Mon 20 & Wed 22 June

This course has been cancelled

Monday 20 June and Wednesday 22 June, 10.30am - 4.30pm. Gosling Room

Includes visit to the Science Museum
Fees: Members: £80
Non-members: £100
Concessions: £10 per course (call the office 020 8340 3343)

Booking for Short Courses opens 27 April Members / 04 May Non-Members

The course will cover first experiments in the development of flying machines by Clement Ader in France and the Wright brothers in the USA leading to the invention and early development of heavier-than-air aircraft.  We will examine basic ideas of aerodynamics, the adoption and modification of the internal combustion engine and methods of controlling early flying machines.  We will also cover the use of novel materials in aviation and the risks and costs of developing embryonic flying machines.

The first two sessions will take place in the classroom, using both whiteboard and Powerpoint presentations in order to examine the theory of flight and the design and configuration of early aircraft. We will then discuss pre-war flying competitions and the contributions of pioneers like Charles Rolls as well as the difficulties and perils of early aircraft display flights.

For the third session, we will visit the Science Museum to look at the full-scale replica of the Wright Flyer as well as other early aircraft and aircraft engines - both air and liquid-cooled designs.  For the final session at the HLSI we will examine the impact on the development of aviation of the First World War, the organisation of specialist air arms, including reconnaissance and the use of bomber and fighter aircraft, and the development of an independent air force, including the problems of recruitment, supply and career structure, and the extrapolation of a separate military philosophy designed to embrace the overall impact of the third dimension on the course of the war.

The course requires no formal scientific knowledge, but some understanding of basic physics would be useful.

Recommended Reading
The First World War novels of Derek Robinson:  War Story, Goshawk Squadron, Hornet's Sting

Tutor: Jim Lloyd Davies has been Chair of the Science Group at HLSI for the past three years.  He has academic qualifications from Cambridge and the Ecole Militaire.  He served thirty years with the RAF before becoming a tour guide specialising in London, Paris and military museums and battlefields.