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History of the RJ Mitchell lecture

The R J Mitchell lecture is the prestige named lecture of the Solent branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Held annually, the lecture was established in 1954. Since that first lecture given by Mr. Joe Smith, a colleague of Mitchell's, many well known names from the aerospace world have accepted the invitation to present this lecture. The event has assumed international status with speakers from the USA and Europe. Reginald Mitchell was the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire and the Schneider Trophy winning seaplane, the Supermarine S6B. Mitchell was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1895, and moved to Southampton in 1916 where he lived and worked until his death in 1937 at the early age of 42.

At the age of 24 he became chief designer and the following year was made chief engineer as well, for the Supermarine Aviation works which had it's factory in the city. By the time he was 33 he was director and chief engineer of the company, which was then owned by the famous engineering firm of Vickers.

As well as the legendary Spitfire which first flew from what is now Southampton airport, he designed a total of 23 aircraft in just 16 years.

 

Past lectures

View details of the RJ Mitchell lectures since 1954 here.