11 Monday 11 February HQ Lecture

British Unmanned Aircraft: 1917 - Present

This presentation will consist of approximately 50 images of British unmanned aircraft from 1917 to the present day. From attempts at destroying Zeppelins in World War I, through unmanned target glider trials, to powered “Queen” aircraft, such as Queen Wasp, Fairey Queen and Queen Bee, in the lead-up to World War II.

This presentation will also cover post-war use of the Fairey Firefly, Meteor and Jindivik drones and the use of ship-launched aerial targets such as the Shelduck, Chukar and Mirach. Army target aircraft such as the MATS-B, Skeet and Banshee will be covered.

The myth surrounding the GEC-Phoenix surveillance UAV operations in Bosnia and Iraq will also be discussed as well as the UAV trials from 2001. Finally Michael will look at the current air vehicles, Desert Hawk, Hermes and Reaper.

All RAeS Lectures are free to attend and we welcome both Members and Non Members.

To RSVP, please click the Register button under Key Details and log in to your profile or create a user account. Alternatively, send your name and contact details to conference@aerosociety.com to reserve your place.



Michael Draper has tracked aviation history for almost 50 years. He is regarded as a consummate researcher and specialises in unearthing original and unpublished source material. He is also an award-winning author of a number of aviation books and articles.

He experienced first-hand flying in the late-1960s when he co-piloted a former RAF Avro Anson to West Africa and became involved in the massive relief airlift to Biafra. As a writer he was appointed an Editor of the British Aviation Research Group’s Journal, “Roundel”, specialising in British Army aviation history.
He collaborated on the book “Falklands – The Air War”, still considered by many to be the definitive work on the subject.

Michael’s experiences in Biafra, together with the contacts he made and his ability to dig out the full story has led to the highly-acclaimed book “Shadows – The Air War and Relief Airlift in Nigeria and Biafra”. “Shadows” led him to a Danish film producer who retained Michael as a consultant for a full-length documentary on the airlift, entitled “Jesus Christ Airlines”. He was also a consultant on a French television documentary “Histoires Secrètes du Biafra”.


Event venue:
Royal Aeronautical Society HQ

No.4 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7BQ


When:Monday, 11 February 2013 18:00 - 19:30

Type:HQ Lecture

Specialist Grp:Historical

Speaker(s):Mike Draper, Author

Location:Royal Aeronautical Society HQ view map

Related: British Unmanned Aircraft: 1917 - Present Lecture Flyer

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