View Full Version : New airship book about to be released. Looks really good.

27th May 2012, 08:16
I was lucky enough to be able to have a sneak preview of the first pages of a new history of Airships hardback book. It goes in release in a couple of month apparently and is a must for all aviation history buffs or anyone that would like more information on a forgotten era! Please see the synopsis below:

Airship charts the history of lighter-than-air craft from the continental pioneers of the late 19th century through to European airship stations in the Great War, Germany's pre-eminent commercial and military zeppelins, the construction of British behemoths R100 and its sister ship R101 and the calamitous losses of USS Akron in 1933 and LZ129 Hindenburg in 1937, events which ultimately heralded the end of large-scale airship production. The historical development of airships is seen to be protracted and fractious, as the armed forces of leading European and US powers toyed with commercial propositions while trying to bend them to military uses. The book examines the axial role of Count Zeppelin, the development of the Zeppelin in Germany as bomber and reconnaissance craft, and the way the British Admiralty, French, Italian and American engineers attempted to imitate German design. The airship coincided with a time of international strife: mass unemployment, General Strikes, the Wall Street Crash and the growing shadow of fascist tumult. Airship draws on original sources, official documents and private letters including interviews with figures like Mary Stopes-Roe, daughter of the airship builder Barnes Wallis. It identifies and analyses the central themes and bold personalities of the era: forming a text that is readable, entertaining and authoritative. The book is fully referenced with newly discovered first-hand material and a detailed bibliography.

Can be found on Amazon: John Swinfield - Airships, development and disaster.

I know John Swinfield will be touring some of the flying clubs around the UK conducting talks, so he maybe worth trying to get hold of, let me know if you need anymore contact information. Well worth a read....

30th May 2012, 22:51
Thanks for the tip, I will most definitely check it out. As my handle suggests, this is right up my alley. Hopefully available here in the States too.


31st May 2012, 08:18
good tip.

It does make me think, why have they not gained in popularity again ?

For something like cargo use or remote observation areas in the middle of rain forests, Airships lend themselves very well.

The only regular airship flights in current operation are pleasure flights at Friedrichshafen near Lake Constance.

I am sure they could cover more roles.

Sir George Cayley
31st May 2012, 20:26
If you release an Airship Book does it float off into the sky?

Hat Coat Door Taxi!


31st May 2012, 21:11
As long as it doesn't go down like a lead balloon. ;)

1st Jun 2012, 11:12
Now, I read today that it took up to 1,000,000 cow stomachs to make the lining for one Shorts Airship in 1919.

http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/1152/img691s.jpg (http://img805.imageshack.us/i/img691s.jpg/)

7th Jun 2012, 14:21
Thats an amazing fact, I love the photo! I will forward it to John as he would really like this. If any of you know any clubs that would be interested please let me know.

7th Jun 2012, 16:36
Another book that includes a lot about airships and is little known is the autobiography of Neville Shute. He worked on them including the R100 etc.

7th Apr 2013, 13:58
Hello all again. Thought I would let you have the details on the book. Being sold globally and sales appear to be going very well. An extremely good read according to Flyer magazine and Pilot Magazine. Have included a link below, if anyone has bought please let me know your thoughts.....


7th Apr 2013, 15:29
That link didn't work for me.

This one does: Airship: Design, Development and Disaster: Amazon.co.uk: John Swinfield: Books

7th Apr 2013, 19:25
Schoolboy test: how long does it take a 60kt-capable airship to fly from London to New York against a 60kt headwind? Take your time.

7th Apr 2013, 20:11
Yes, but they make up the time on the way back. :O