LIVESTREAM: Skybolt, Blue Steel & Politics!

Time and date: 15 August 2020 at 14:00 BST (Livestream)
Speaker: Rod Woodcock

Not long after the end of World War 2 the UK government put out a request to industry for an advanced new jet bomber.

This talk describes the development of the aircraft and eventual need to have a “standoff missile“ capable of allowing the aircraft to stay clear of the target area. Blue Steel was designed as a short-range missile to allow the bomber to release its weapon out of the range of enemy defences, whereas Skybolt was a long-range strategic missile. The eventual cancellation of Skybolt dealt a bitter blow to the UK strategic nuclear deterrent force. The talk describes the development of both Skybolt and Blue Steel including the bitter political row on both sides of the Atlantic and the protracted negotiations to obtain Polaris as a replacement which allowed the UK to keep its nuclear deterrent just as it does today. At the end of the talk Rod will tell a chilling tale of his experience first-hand at the time of the Cuban missile crisis.

Rod Woodcock is Vice President of the British Interplanetary Society and started his working life at Avro as an aeronautical engineer having worked on Blue Steel, Vulcan & Nimrod before leaving to set up his own business not connected with the aerospace industry. In 2008 he sold his business and now devotes his time to the British Interplanetary Society and volunteer work at the Avro Heritage Museum on the site he used to work at the start of his working career.

Timetable for 15 August

· 13:55 – The meeting is available to join
· 14:00 – Welcome
· 14:05- Skybolt, Blue Steel & Politics! A Personal View. By Rod Woodcock
· 14:35 Questions and Answers (we enable everyone’s microphone to allow an interactive Q&A session)

Here’s the plan/joining instructions:

1. Register for the talk using the link below

2. Before the event, we will send you an email with the joining link for the meeting.

3. On the day, click meeting link (and follow the on-screen instructions to install Zoom if prompted)

Please Note
The Conference Call and Q & A sessions will be recorded (which may capture your name, picture, voice or video) and made available via the West Midlands Facebook group and possibly via the BIS HQ website. You consent to this by registering for the Conference Call/Q & A sessions.

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