Science & Technology
This group meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 2pm in the Leadon Bank Meeting Room
A talk, entitled “How a Helicopter Flies” was recently given by a group member who is a retired Military and Commercial pilot, and had flown helicopters for 34 years, prior to his retirement in 2004. The talk was illustrated by slides and covered a brief history of helicopters, their design and development since 1937. It explained the aerodynamics of helicopter flight, the effect of the flying controls and typical take off and landing profiles. Autorotation, the fixed wing equivalent of a glide and key flight safety element, was explained in some detail. Major developments and improvements to helicopters and their efficiency have been achieved using composite material and smaller and more efficient power units.
The talk prompted a lively discussion amongst the group who were looking forward to the bespoke visit to the Royal Navy Historic Flight at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, (known as HMS Heron) in September. Here we had a behind the scenes conducted tour of the Royal Naval Historic Flight where iconic aircraft of a bygone era are tenderly cared for in flying condition for use at Air Displays and special events. We were introduced to what is probably the best loved member of the collection the Fairy Swordfish renowned for its exploits in helping to cripple the German Battleship Bismark during WWII and starred in the film Sink the Bismark. We then passed on through the hangar and were introduced to the De Havilland Sea Vixen undergoing extensive restoration following a wheels up landing caused by mechanical failure. The repair works are well advanced and the aircraft will be ready for the display season in the near future. Further into the hanger there was a Sea Harrier Jump Jet and we were briefed by an ex aircrew member of the aircraft type who told us about his exploits flying the machine and his life saving adventure having to eject in an emergency and coming out unscathed. His flying overall sports a special badge alluding to the event. This brought our tour to a close with hand shakes and thank yous all round we moved on to the Restaurant for lunch. The afternoon was spent in the Fleet Air Arm Museum which displays a history of the service from early beginnings to present day. There are amphibious aircraft and examples of machines catapult launched from aircraft carriers. In the main display hall is an example of Concorde.The whole Museum display is a wonderful adventure into the history and development of Naval flying. A truly memorable experience with grateful thanks to all who made the visit possible
We have a full programme of events with presentations by Group Members on topics as "The Florida Bridge collapse"; a guest speaker on Crystals - Natural and Engineered and a local electric car enthusiasts group talk entitled: Four Years with a Leaf.
We have space for a limited number of new members so do come along and find out what's on offer.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.