Air Pilots' Frederick Tymms Memorial Lecture

Wednesday 28th September 2016

Air Pilots' Frederick Tymms Memorial Lecture; Royal Aeronautical Society

Meeting at the elegantly-appointed Royal Aeronautical Society off Park Lane at 6pm, I guess around two-thirds of the Citys Masters and Clerks attended this lecture which promised to be very interesting. We were graced with the presence of HRH Prince Michael of Kent so, minding our P's and Q's, we tripped down to the lecture hall. The Master, WC AIr Pilots Peter Bunn introduced the guest speaker, Chris Daniel who is ?running the Airlander project - the huge, double-hulled airship that's in testing now. Dealing first with "the incident" (where it crashed on its second test flight), the next 45 mins or so were quite fascinating as Chris explained the enormous potential of the thing. Obviously a test flight is just that and lessons have been learned. With technology moving so fast, it seems that if the idea takes off (sorry!), the globe will soon be covered with airships monitoring our every move - the initial idea is for protecting game reserves etc, but with one craft able to watch over at least 100 sq miles of the globe, and be remotely operated without crew and, perhaps even to be solar powered, these things could just potter about Big Brother style and watch over everything - I'm not sure if that's comforting or not, but there are clearly some benefits. As it uses inert helium (of which there's plenty - ignore the press!) it's almost impossible to shoot down and can fly higher than a lot of conventional aircraft... After some good questions, we went upstairs to a salon for wine and bits, and to my delight, found a great terrace for me to enjoy my pipe. Bumping into our newest Liveryman, Master WC Scientific Inst. Maker's, Chris Sawyer, he invited me back to his club, the RAC to find more substantive fodder and wine.. and two lovely Montecristo cigars... thank you Chris. I trotted home in reasonable time as I had strict orders to be at breakfast the next morning!