The objectives of The Royal Aeronautical Society include; to support and maintain the highest professional standards in all aerospace disciplines; to provide a unique source of specialist information and a local forum for the exchange of ideas; and to exert influence in the interests of aerospace in both the public and industrial arenas.
Throughout the world's aerospace community the name of The Royal Aeronautical Society is widely known and respected. Many practitioners from all disciplines within the aerospace industry use the Society's designatory post-nominals such as FRAeS, CRAeS, MRAeS, AMRAeS, and ARAeS (incorporating the former graduate grade, GradRAeS).
The Staff of the Royal Aeronautical Society are based at the Society's headquarters at No.4 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7BQ. Although centred in the United Kingdom, the Royal Aeronautical Society is a worldwide Society with an international network of 63 Branches.
In 1940 the RAeS responded to a critical need to expand the aircraft industry. It knew this expansion would require engineers from other industries who might lack the specialised knowledge required for aircraft design. To meet this challenge, the Society established a Technical Department to bring together the best available knowledge and present it in an authoritative and accessible form – a working tool for engineers. This Technical department became known as the Engineering Sciences Data Unit (ESDU) and eventually became a separate entity in the 1980s.
In 1987 the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technologists, previously the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers, was incorporated into the Royal Aeronautical Society.