Category Archives: Lecture

March Lecture 2015

Branch AGM followed by

Hybrid-Electric Propulsion for Aircraft – Watts the Story?

Thursday 12th March 2015

Branch AGM starts at 7.15 pm
Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm

Speaker: Dr. Paul Robertson, Cambridge University

Location: Lecture Theatre ‘0’, Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ.

Lecture Synopsis

Dr Paul Robertson is a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the Cambridge University Engineering Department. His research interests include sensors and electronics for medical, industrial and aviation applications and he runs a number of student modules and projects in these areas – including MEng and PhD projects on hybrid & electric aircraft propulsion systems. A twin electric propulsion system for the Lazair conversion, which first flew in 2009 at Sywell Aerodrome, was designed and built by Paul in collaboration with Flylight Airsports. He also designed and built the first hybrid petrol-electric power plant for a manned aircraft, an Alatus motor-glider, which flew in September 2010. Most recently, he led a research project in association with Boeing to develop a parallel hybrid-electric demonstrator aircraft, the first to be able to recharge its batteries in flight, which had its maiden flight in September 2014. Paul is also a qualified pilot and has built a 2-seater, fixed-wing microlight aircraft, which he flies regularly.

In this talk Dr. Paul Robertson will discuss the technical merits and drawbacks of electric and hybrid propulsion for light aircraft, based on theory and practical lessons learned from his experimental aircraft. The first part of the talk will introduce the merits of hybrid cars before moving on to outline the basic principles of flight, particularly with regard to propulsion power requirements, and will discuss the available energy density of various fuels and power sources. Practical details of his electric and hybrid-electric aircraft will also be described, culminating in his recent demonstration of a very economical parallel hybrid propulsion system for the carbon-fibre SONG – a single-seat microlight aircraft.”

The Sir Michael Marshall Lecture Competition

On the 12th March, two groups of participants will be giving presentations on the subject of their choice (related to Aeronautics) in front of a panel of judges and audience.

£200 Prize and Sir Michael Marshall Award Trophy for the overall winner

£100 Prize for the other age group winner

Date: Thursday 12th March 2015

Location: The Baker Building – Board Room, Cambridge University, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ.

Time: 13:45 to 16:45

Attendance is Free and Open to all. If you would like to attend these presentations, please notify organiser Jonathan Burnip at to be added to the guest list.

February 2015 – Sir Arthur Marshall Lecture

The Airbus A350 Flight Test Programme

Thursday 5th February 2015

Lecture Starts at 6.00 pm
Post-Lecture Reception at 7.30 pm

Speaker: Peter Chandler, Airbus – Chief Test Pilot A350.

Location: Wolfson Hall, Churchill College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge CB3 0DS.
NOTE: Parking is available all along Churchill Road and in the main car park at the end of that road.

Lecture Synopsis
The Airbus A350 Flight Test Programme. Peter Chandler has been deeply involved in all aspects of the cockpit development and flight testing of the Airbus A350. In this presentation he will explain some of the new features of the A350 cockpit and the validation and preparation work that was done before the first flight. However, the main theme will be a review of the highlights of the flight test campaign, from the first flight in June 2013 through to certification 15 months later and finally the delivery of the first production aircraft to Qatar Airways. This will include descriptions and video of tests such as flutter, minimum unstick, water ingestion, and crosswind, as well as a general overview of the test campaign which involved five test aircraft and over 2,500 hours of flying.

Visitors Welcome, No Booking Required.