The flight of Air
Ministry Airship R.100 to
Canada is being undertaken as part of the Ministry's development Policy
for airships with the object of testing out the reliability and behaviour
of the Airship on a long distance flight. Data will also be acquired which
will be of value in deciding upon future policy with regard to the development
of airships tor commercial purposes, with particular reference to speeding
up communications among the British Commonwealth of Nations. The flight
is an experimental one and in this regard it should not be forgotten that
when the airship was designed she was approimately twice the size of the
largest airship then built and incorporates many novel features.
This will be the second
flight of a British airship across the Atlantic, the flrst occasion being
in July, 1919, when R.34 made the frirst aircrart flight from East to
West. R.34 made a successful return flight a few days later.
The Largest and Fastest Airship
The R.100 and R.101 are at present, the largest airships in.the World.
The R.100 has a cubic capacity of slightly more than 5,000,000 cubic feet,
and a gross lift of over 156 tons. During her Speed trials she reached
a speed of about 81 m.p.h. She is 709 reet long, has a maximum diameter
of 131 feet and a maximun height of 133 feet.
She was built for the Air Ministry by the Airship Guarantee Company, a
subsidiary of Vickers Ltd, at Howden, Yorks, and was launched on December
16th 1929. Since then she has carried out flying trials amounting to over
100 hours, including a duration test of approximately 54 hours, mostly
in thick cloud. She has 6 of the latest Rolls Royce Condor IIIB engines
as used in the Royal Air Force. Each of these engines develops 650 H.P.so
that the airship will have a. maximwn available horse power of 3,900.
On the transatlantic flights the the airship will fly at various speeds
as ordered by the Captain.
A comprehensive descrition of R100 and of the development of the British
Rigid Airship programme is given in the seperate notes entitled "Air
Ministry Airship R100".
The flight will be made from the Royal Airship Works, Cardington, Bedford
to St. Hubert Air Station, Montreal, where a mooring tower, similar to
the one at Cardington, and refuelling and gassing facilities have been
provided by the Canadian Government. The great circle (or shortest) course
between these stations measures 3,242 statute milee (2,800 .nautical miles),
and lies from Cardington, near Birmingham, Dublin and Roscommon across
the Atlantic to the North of Newfoundland, over Anticosti and thence down
the St. Lawrence past Quebec.
The route which R.l00 will rollow will be dictated by the meteorological
conditions prevailing at the time of departuree and the anticipated changes,
and the Captain will naturally shape his course so as to take advantage
of any favourable winds. The distance which will actually be flown will
almost certainly exceed the great circle course.