Airship on a Shoestring the Story of R 100
After the First World War, airships were seen as the only viable means of long range air transport for passengers and freight. In Britain, this gave rise to the Imperial Airship Scheme of 1924 to link the outposts of the Empire by an airship service. Conceived as part of this scheme, the R.100 airship, built by private enterprise, successfully flew to Canada and back in 1930. This is the story of R.100, Britain's most successful passenger airship. It is a tale of schemes and politics, over-optimism and rivalry. It tells the full story of its design and construction under difficult conditions, the setbacks and delays, personal antagonism and financial constraint. Two years late and massively over budget, R.100 flew and flew well, achieving her designer's ambition and fulfilling the contract specification. Her Canadian flight in 1930 was the culminating success, but her ultimate fate was dictated by the tragedy that befell her Government-built sister ship, R.101, and economic expediency at a time of national economic depression.