Q&A with Professor Holger Babinsky, the new Editor-in-Chief of The Aeronautical Journal
Q. What do you think is distinctive about The Aeronautical Journal?
A. The Aeronautical Journal (in its various previous forms) is the longest-running scientific journal devoted to Aeronautics. This gives it a unique sense of history while at the same time having a track record of always being at the forefront of applied science. The Royal Aeronautical Society is one of the largest professional bodies in Aerospace and many of its members are actively engaged in the Journal. Thus, it benefits greatly from a vast body of experience across all aspects of aerospace.
Q. What are some of the challenges facing the field today?
A. Aeronautics has to face the challenge of climate change. To make air travel sustainable, innovative engineering solutions are required in all areas of aerospace technology. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this challenge, developments in one technology field can have a significant impact on another. The Journal’s multidisciplinary nature, in particular, can play a key role here in helping the community develop the innovative solutions needed.
Q. In what new directions might the field go?
A. It is always difficult to predict the future. After almost a century of classic ‘tube-and-wing’ aircraft, the temptation is to assume that this layout is here to stay. But there are signs that some more radical steps and changes may be imminent. For example, we may see alternative fuels leading to very different solutions for propulsion which in turn would have an effect on the way aircraft are designed and shaped.
Q. What attracted you to the field of aerodynamics?
A. Fluid flow is all around us, whether it is the water running from your tap or the weather. Despite this familiarity, there are many counter-intuitive and puzzling processes. I have always found it fascinating that such fundamental physics has a direct impact on how vehicles are shaped and how they perform and this really is at the heart of aerodynamics.
Q. Why should authors publish in The Aeronautical Journal?
A. The Journal has a wide readership across the globe and is particularly well-established in the aerospace industry. Our Associate Editors are experts across the range of aeronautical topics and we have just seen several years of improving impact figures.
We would like to make the following article free to access until 30th November 2018: Chanzy, Q. and Keane, A. ‘Analysis and experimental validation of morphing UAV wings’.