September Lecture 2015

Forty Years of the Hawk

Thursday 10th September 2015

Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm

Speaker: Stephen Blee, BAE Systems Chief Airworthiness Engineer – Brough

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

Lecture Synopsis

The first Hawk T.Mk1, XX154, made its maiden flight on 21 August 1974. Over forty years later the aircraft is still in production, and on the brink of its 1,000th order.

The lecture will give an explanation of the history and development of the Hawk, followed by a detailed explanation of the latest – T.Mk2 – variant, its operation at RAF Valley and its importance as a trainer for the latest fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft such as Typhoon and the Joint Strike Fighter.

Steve joined the newly formed British Aerospace on 1 August 1978 having graduated from Salford University. Steve started in the Stress Office followed by a short attachment to New Business support then back to Structures, Structural Test then Airworthiness. Steve is currently Chief Airworthiness Engineer for Brough.

Visitors Welcome, No Booking Required.

May Lecture 2015

The use of composite materials in aircraft engines

Thursday 14th May 2015

Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm

Speaker: David Cook, President, ASM Consulting

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

Lecture Synopsis

In this lecture David Cook will start by asking ‘what is a composite material’ before looking at the increasing popularity of composite materials applications in the aerospace industry in recent years. He will then go on to look at specific applications within the current families of aircraft engines: the advantages, the limitations, the challenges, before going on to see how new composite materials may influence the design of future generations of engines and aircraft.

 Visitors Welcome, No Booking Required.

April Lecture 2015

“Voyager – An Unqualified Success?”

Thursday 9th April 2015

Lecture Starts at 6.00 pm to be followed by Buffet Dinner (admission by advance ticket)
Download Buffet Booking Form here

Speaker: AVM Keith Filbey (RAF Ret’d)

Venue: Canteen Conference Room, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Cambridge Airport, Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 8RX (SATNAV: CB5 8RY)

Advance notification of attendance required:
Please contact Branch Secretary Jin Yu via email at or call 01223 373129.

Parking is available in Cambridge Airport Visitors Car Park (including Disabled Parking in front of ‘Arrival and Departure’ entrance).

Public access to Conference Room is via Cambridge Airport ‘Arrival and Departure’ entrance situated in Visitors Car Park.

More information on venue can be found at

Lecture Synopsis

The Voyager Programme is the largest PFI contract ever let by the MOD.  Under the Contract, a consortium of 5 Shareholders (Airbus Defence & Space, Babcock, Cobham, Rolls Royce and Thales UK) will provide an Air-to-Air Refuelling and Air Transport Service to the MOD over 27 years.  The Shareholders have formed two Special Purpose Vehicle Companies, AirTanker Ltd (the holding Company) and AirTanker Services Ltd (the service delivery company).  AirTanker is in the process of purchasing 14 Airbus A330-200s and converting them into military tanker/ transport aircraft.  These aircraft, once delivered to RAF Brize Norton, will be operated and supported by a mixture of RAF, Sponsored Reservist, and civilian personnel; ‘Whole Force’ in action!  These operations will be overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority under the auspices of the European Aviation Safety Agency.

To date, 10 aircraft have been delivered to the RAF with a further 4 deliveries due in Jun and September 2015 and February and May 2016.  Of these, 9 are being operated on the Military Aircraft Register on a mixture of operational and training tasks and one is on the Civilian Aircraft Register flying on the South Atlantic schedule to the Falkland Islands; the 10th aircraft is having its military equipment removed so that it can be put on the Civilian Aircraft Register prior to being leased to Thomas Cook for airline operations, which commence in May 2015.

Keith Filbey has been involved with the Consortium for the past 11 years.  Initially, he headed up the operational side of the Bid Team then, following Contract signature in March 2008, he became the Chairman of AirTanker Services Ltd and the Customer Relations Director of AirTanker Ltd.  His lecture will cover, briefly, what the Voyager programme is and how it works.  He will then give an update on the current position, giving particular attention to the ‘Whole Force’ solution, and outlining what still lies ahead, before turning his attention to some of the challenges that have been overcome and the lessons that have been learnt.  Finally, he will attempt to answer the question he has set himself.