Churchill History Lecture Series: Farnborough’s involvement in the development of nuclear weapons – Doug Bateman

22 Feb 2018
Location: Jock Colville Hall
Start time: 17:30
End time: 19:00

Throughout the secrecy of the cold war, the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, was discreetly involved in the ballistics, aerodynamics, trials and aircraft-release of Blue Danube, Yellow Sun, Red Beard and WE177. In fact the RAE was carrying out the necessary research for the free-fall bomb, Blue Danube, before the foundation of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.

Although referring to the above, the talk will concentrate on the long-serving WE177 and its variants, which only came out of service in the late 1990s. The emphasis will be on the non-nuclear components such as the arming unit, radar, parachute, and weapon release, together with some film clips of trials.

Doug Bateman

Doug Bateman spent most of his career in the Royal Aircraft Establishment with several years in the Ministry of Defence, London. When the weapon came out of service and the secure work-area was being closed, he prepared this lecture for the establishment as a whole, to show historically, something of which they could be proud.


Bookings are not necessary — all welcome.


For all enquiries please contact Amanda Jones, Archives Administrator. T: 01223 336166.

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