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Founded in 1866 "for the purpose of increasing by experiments our knowledge of Aeronautics".
The first and founding members were:
The first public meeting was held in the rooms of the Society of Arts on 27 June. A lecture was given by F. H. Wenham on "Aerial locomotion and the laws by which heavy bodies impelled through air are sustained".
1868 The Aeronautical Exhibition was held at the Crystal Palace.
In 1876 the membership had reached 100.
1896 F W Brearey died; Captain B F S Baden-Powell became Honorary Secretary. He initiated publication of a quarterly journal and started to build up a library by buying books - because of a shortage of funds, Baden-Powell offered to put up the money to start the journal, The Aeronautical Journal.
1897 Membership had declined to about 40 but including people of standing such as Sir Hiram Maxim, Lawrence Hargrave in Australia, Horatio Phillips and Percy Pilcher; Octave Chanute, Graham Bell and Samuel Langley in America, and Alphonse Penaud in France.
1899 Baden-Powell, a serving officer, was sent to South Africa and so had to resign the Secretaryship but was immediately elected as President. His successor as Hon. Secretary was E. S. Bruce.
1902 Baden-Powell made his address as President.
1902 The first premises for the Society were rented at 53 Victoria Street, London,
1908 Established flying grounds at Dagenham, on the marshes so it was surrounded by water
1910 At a meeting organised by the Lord Mayor in support of the Aerial League of the British Empire, it was agreed that the Aeronautical Society should be the scientific authority and the Royal Aero Club the authority in matters of sport in aviation