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airship hangars at Cardington
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oldtimer
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:05 pm    Post subject: airship hangars at Cardington Reply with quote

I raise this thread with some trepidation since it is not strictly automotive but others have ventured here before.That is my excuse anyway.
During my brief and inglorious National Service days with the R.A.F. I was ,initially, summoned to appear at Cardington and was immediately impressed by the scale of the hangars constructed for the airships,R100 and R101 I presume.They were awesome structures and hinted at the hopes and aspirations of the times prior to the disastrous event of the Hindenburg crash,for example.
Surely the universal use of inert gas could have prevented this and,perhaps,delayed the demise of this form of aerial transport,perhaps where speed was not a prerequisite.In a tourist context,for example.
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3966
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
Only the R101 built by an incompetent MoT was actually built there although the R100 was taken there from Howden in Yorks. for the flight trials.
Stangely enough it is still a pefectly good topic for a motoring forum as they were, possibly still are, owned by the Ministry of Transport which also oversees the operation of their neighbours the equally incompetent Driving Standards Agency
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Riley Blue



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the 50s my Dad was Station Engineer at RAF Strubby in Lincolnshire. On one occasion he had to send a driver to Cardington to collect something from the stores which were in one of the hangars and, it being school holiday time, asked me if I'd like to go on the trip. So I went, in a beetle back Standard Vanguard (my Dad's transport at the time) and remember going into the hangar with the driver and being totally overwhelmed at the size of it - it was vast!

I also remember the car didn't have a heater and I shivered all the way there and back despite being wrapped in a blanket.
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Salopian



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 345
Location: Newport Shropshire

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was not Nevil Shute (Norway) one of the draughtsmen or design team on the R100??
I'm sure I have read his comments on this which resonate today so far as R101 is concerned.
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peterwpg



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: New Brunswick. Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salopian wrote:
Was not Nevil Shute (Norway) one of the draughtsmen or design team on the R100??
I'm sure I have read his comments on this which resonate today so far as R101 is concerned.


His autobiography is a fascinating account of what he saw as government blundering. He went on to form his own airship company.


Last edited by peterwpg on Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3966
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
peterwpg wrote:
Salopian wrote:
Was not Nevil Shute (Norway) one of the draughtsmen or design team on the R100??
I'm sure I have read his comments on this which resonate today so far as R101 is concerned.


His autobiography is a fascinating account of what he saw as government blundering. He went on to form his own airship company.


The autobiog is called Slide Rule and covers amongst other things his time with De Havilland, Vickers, the R100 and eventually Airspeed .
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5996
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject: Re: airship hangars at Cardington Reply with quote

oldtimer wrote:
They were awesome structures and hinted at the hopes and aspirations of the times prior to the disastrous event of the Hindenburg crash,for example.
Surely the universal use of inert gas could have prevented this and,perhaps,delayed the demise of this form of aerial transport,perhaps where speed was not a prerequisite.In a tourist context,for example.


It wasn't really the Hindenburg disaster that killed the British airship program but rather the R101 crash. The use of helium would have prevented the fire following R101's crash but the ship was already over weight even with the better lifting hydrogen. Apart from excessive loading and leaky gas valves the ship needed the insertion of a large additional central section to increase its inadequate lift prior to its ill fated maiden flight.

One of the incredible contributors to the R101's lack of lift was the five Beardmore Tornado diesel engines. There's one in the aviation section of the Science Museum. Strangely enough I just yesterday came across some drawings of it while looking for info on stationary engines.

http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/Duxford/Beard.htm

It's many years since I read it but I too would highly recommend Nevil Shute's "Slide Rule".

http://www.nostalgiatech.co.uk/symbols_of_optimism.htm

I've just finished reading George Rosie's book "Flight of the Titan". Another good read, covering the R34's successful flight to New York in 1919. Unlike the Cardington sheds, unfortunately the R34's giant sheds at East Fortune were demolished in 1922.

Peter
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Last edited by peter scott on Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scotty



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 887

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father was a Department Manager at the India Tyre Rubber Company in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire in the 1960's and I remember as a small boy him showing me the huge mooring rings set in the grounds beside the factory, which was all that remained of Beardmore's "Inchinnan Airship Constuction Company" who built 4 airships there, including the R 34.

The "India of Inchinnan" building that followed in 1928 was restored recently and the new extension's interior uses architecture mimicking the underside of these massive airships. A "drop-in" cafe for visitors is available if anybody wants to see this interior.
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