R100

R100

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R100

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HM Airship R100 was a privately designed and built rigid airship made as part of a two-ship competition to develop new techniques for a projected larger commercial airship for use on British empire routes. The other airship, R101, was built by the UK Air Ministry.

One goal was to eventually offer a regular and comfortable trans-Atlantic service, akin to that eventually offered by the German Graf Zeppelin. Soon after 1920, Vickers' experts had calculated that the fare on an airship journey might be £45 (around US$215 at the time), compared to a contemporary fare for the journy by ship of £115 (about $550), making the journey quite competitive.

R100 was built by the Airship Guarantee Company, a company created solely for the purpose, as a subsidiary of the armaments firm, Vickers-Armstrongs. The managing director was Cdr Dennis Burney, and the design team was led by Barnes Wallis, then a well-respected airship designer. He later became famous as the designer of the Vickers Wellington and the inventor of the bouncing bomb. The design team also included, Nevil Shute Norway as senior stress engineer.

Design and development

The R100 was constructed at the former RNAS Air Station Howden in Yorkshire, a remote location from Howden and from Hull. Design work began in 1925 while at the same time the somewhat...
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