The Work at RAE Bedford and its Publication
Early research themes at Bedford included how to launch
fast heavy jet aircraft from ships and then how to recover them again;
control requirements for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL); the flying
qualities of highly swept supersonic aircraft; and how to achieve safe
landings in fog under automatic control. Later themes of research extended
to helicopter aerodynamics and manoeuvrability; advanced flight control
for combat jet aircraft and for VTOL aircraft; and flight management
systems to improve operations, including screen-based cockpit displays.
Whatever the topic, results were communicated to government, industry and other
beneficiaries such as ICAO via a range of reports and other documents. During the RAE
era, the principal publications were RAE Technical Notes and Reports,
often re-published by the Aeronautical Research Council (ARC) as Reports
and Memoranda or as Current Papers until the ARC ceased to operate in 1980. Papers were also presented to
conferences (such as those organised by AGARD, AIAA and ICAS, see
below) and published in journals, such as the Journal of the Royal
Aeronautical Society. Such journals are often available in academic
libraries but are not readily accessible on-line. Collections of RAE and
ARC reports are available from several organisations, but no single
organisation has a complete set. Organisations holding major collections
• Cranfield University, particularly its collection of
ARC reports at its
National Aerospace Library, part of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
AGARD, the Advisory Group for Aeronautical Research & Development, was
sponsored by NATO and operated through a variety of ‘Panels’ such as the
Flight Mechanics Panel. Many AGARD publications (such as Conference
Proceedings and AGARDographs) can be found at its successor, the
NATO Science & Technology Organisation.
AIAA, the American Institute for Aeronautics & Astronautics, held many
conferences and published papers in the Journal of Aeronautics.
ICAS, the International Congress for the Aeronautical Sciences, held a
congress annually. Papers were published in the book series: Progress in
Wings Over Thurleigh includes
an outline of many of the work programmes.