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Airships

Old 22nd Apr 2007, 00:35
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Airships

Anyone on here old enough to have flown on these in scheduled passenger service? I only go back as far as the Stratocruiser which on reflection was rather luxurious compared to today's cram them in and shut them up.

I still would go for an airship today with a two day crossing of the Atlantic being pampered all the way.
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Old 23rd Apr 2007, 20:59
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I believe a deceased second cousin of mine flew as a passenger in the Do X flying boat. I know that was hardly 'lighter-than-air', but does it count?
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Old 23rd Apr 2007, 22:07
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I met a chap who was part of the crew of the R100 on its transatlantic flight.
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Old 23rd Apr 2007, 22:59
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My father watched the R100 go by on it's way to Montreal.
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Old 24th Apr 2007, 00:38
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When I was with Big Airways at LHR we had a chap in American Aircraft Overhaul who, at the age of 63, was sent on a Concorde course and transferred to Concorde maintenance. We asked him what was the first aircraft he ever worked on - expecting something like Elizabethans or Lancastrians.

His first acquaintance with a flying machine was "The Hindenburg"!

As a Boy Scout he had been on the mooring ropes when the ill-fated airship visited Croydon. That's quite a span of transatlantic experience - Hindenburg to Concorde.
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Old 24th Apr 2007, 03:38
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My mother recalled seeing the R-101 go down Channel (presumably off Torquay) which would be just hours before it crashed in France. Family legend is that my father was borne in Woolwich during a Zeppelin raid (1917).

Last Summer, I was in Fort Lauderdale and one of the Goodyear blimps was churning up & down the coast doing advertising runs. It was pretty impressive but only a toy compared to the big dirigibles.
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Old 25th Apr 2007, 21:20
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Airships

Never got near one myself, but my mother saw the R101, R100 & Hindenburg when living near Chester, and father saw the Hindenburg - from a distance - and R101 while living near Pulborough, West Sussex.

I quite fancied the 'Skyhook' flying saucer type job mooted as an industrial lifter in the '80s - not to be confused with the Harrier Skyhook project.

Much more to the point, have you read 'Slide rule', the autobiography of Nevil Shute ?

Fascinating, and essential reading for anyone interested in airship history, as Nevil shute Norway was on the design team of the R100 working against / alongside the R101.

He of course later formed Airspeed.

If interested in the paranormal in any way ( open mind here ) there is a very readable book about the R101 crash and aftermath, " The airmen who would not die".

The author, whose name I forget, was so amazed by what he found that he went on to investigate the Tristar crash in the Everglades, " The ghost of flight 401".

By pure coincidence last week I met an ex- stewardess who was involved in all that - must say she seemed a perfectly straight, intelligent person ( no jokes about hosties at least this time please ! ) and was utterly convinced, also had been threatened at the time not to talk to the media.

Anyway I strongly recommend 'Slide Rule'.

DZ
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Old 25th Apr 2007, 21:49
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I saw the Hindenburg at Lakehurst NAS a few trips before the last. Unfortunately I was so young I don't really remember anything of it.
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Old 29th Apr 2007, 18:01
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Unashamed threadcreep, but...

There's a lot of discussion of how almost no-0ne involved in the First World War is still alive, although when I was a kid any old boy you met on the street had been on the Somme, etc. The man who ran our local model shop (naturally enough someone I met quite frequently) had flown in the RFC. And in only a decade or so that entire time will no longer be in living memory.

But this 'airship' question raises a further point. There can't be a huge number of people still alive who flew before the SECOND War. It seems that perhaps there is no-one still alive who could tell us what it was like to fly, or fly in, one of the great rigid airships.

The Imperial War Museum does a great job of recording 'aural history' from veterans, but who is doing this for 'old pilots'?
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 07:38
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Thought I would resurrect this thread as I stumbled across this very interesting video on the R101 and R100.


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Old 15th Jun 2021, 09:05
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Very good Foxxter. Thank you. I know that Dowding was affected badly by the whole R-101 affair.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 09:33
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Double Zero
John Fuller is the author you were looking for . I have also read both of these . In addition I do recommend "The Millionth Chance" on the R101 by James Leasor. He also adds a chapter on the Lady Medium's account .
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 10:15
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Even these days there are scheduled Zeppelin flights available.
https://zeppelin-nt.de/en/homepage.html
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 10:41
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https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/h...gbr/index.html

If you believe the hype, you can cruise on this in four years time.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 10:43
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The air lander? I thought it crash landed?
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 10:48
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The prototype got damaged in moderate winds when it broke from its mooring. Apparently they are pressing ahead with a slightly bigger production model.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 13:41
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They'll need a bigger hedge fund.....
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 20:21
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A distant cousin of mine was killed on the R.101 some years before I was born!

Any reports of this kind of craft that I have seen over the past decades, leads me to see this as niche markets only.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 20:37
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I ca remember my father telling me that one of his relations had a house hit by a Zeppelin when them bombed Great Yarmouth early in WW1.
Apparently it did several thousand pounds worth of improvements.....
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Old 16th Jun 2021, 13:39
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My Dad saw the R101 go over - he kept the newspaper cuttings of the accident.
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