R100 was a British transport airship at the beginning of the 1930s. It resulted in a transatlantic journey through Canada and back. After the accident, the R101, the equivalent model from the competition for the construction of large airships, it was sold and scrapped. There was a rumor that only the more successful of the two airships should serve as a model for further development. The ship was built at the former Air Force Base Howden in Yorkshire.

The ship

Planned and designed by Barnes Wallis, this was designed in parallel with the R101, but significantly under-funded compared to this, and was therefore more realistic than the later patched R101. Some circles attribute this to the sense of mission of Valais, which often tended to let you feel certain parts of the government [ of Great Britain ] and the Admiralty, that they were no match for his intellect.

The skeleton of the 216 -meter long airship consisted of duralumin. The 15 rings with 16 longitudinal beams mostly of triangular carriers with about 70 cm cross-sectional height possessed contrary to the zeppelins no auxiliary excipient or auxiliary rings. The sheath fields were therefore up to 14 x 8 m tall and gave, as the skeleton loomed heavily, the ship a distinctive appearance.

The passengers were inside the hull on three levels, similar to later in the LZ 129 "Hindenburg " housed. R100 and R101 were the first airships had this form of passenger terminal. The construction of the passenger terminal was not identical in the two ships.

At R100 in the upper deck 14 two- and 18 four -bed cabins were housed for the planned approximately 100 passengers. The middle deck housed on two floors of an extensive dining room with surrounding gallery, electric fireplace and promenade decks with large picture windows on the side of the hull. In the lower deck quarters for the officers and men as well as sanitary rooms, the kitchen and the radio station were located.


R100 led by only ten rides, although it turned its airworthiness to the test and had no major errors or design defects. His ID was G- FAAV.

As part of its testing R100 also made a transatlantic voyage in July 1930. The outward journey took about 78 hours. The faster trip began on August 13. After 58 hours, which corresponded to an average speed of 128 km / h was reached Cardington.

After the ship had been taken on August 17, back to the airship hangar and the time being taken out of service, the focus has been on the inspection of the vessel after the long drive and started for the journey ahead of R101 to concentrate, intended for the end. A large part of the crew went on both ships and moved now in the R101 team.


After the disaster of the R101 on 4 October 1930, decided to stop the movements of R100. On December 11, the ship was hung in the hall and discharged the carrier gas. In May 1931, the British Parliament and the Government deliberated on the fate and also about the costs that would cause the ship. It was found that the ship high technology represented. From the U.S. government was even the offer, very cheap in exchange for British technology, the airship - if not free - to be filled with helium. They discussed different approaches. The three main proposals were:

  • Continue the project
  • To reduce the project scope and strong to use for scientific and technical research
  • Discontinue the project.

After long discussion and debate, the British government came against the backdrop of the Depression and the huge financial burden for the airship project to the conclusion to scrap the airship.

In November 1931, the British Air Ministry therefore decided R100 for sale for scrapping. Scrapping began on November 16, 1931 and lasted until February 1932. Interiors and equipment was sold. For the skeleton of a price of 450 pounds was achieved.

The facilities and the airship hangar at Cardington, and an essential base of staff of about 300 people has been preserved for future developments.


  • Length: 216 m
  • Diameter 40.5 m
  • Volume of gas: about 141,500 m³ ( 5,000,000 cft ) hydrogen
  • Mass: 102 t,
  • Crew: 50 men 100 passengers

The maximum speed of the vessel was 130 km / h

The carrier gas was in 15 gas cells. They were delivered by the Berlin subsidiary of Air Zeppelin GmbH. This company also supplied the gas valves.

The drive was carried out with three engine nacelles, which housed two gasoline engines, one of which drive a train, the other an air screw. The rear-end engines were reversible, they could run forward and backward. It used Rolls- Royce Condor III B gasoline engines were used. They weighed 550kg each, had an output of 485 kW and were described as being accident-prone. Attempts to operate the motors, both with hydrogen and kerosene, were not successful. On board a fuel capacity of 40 m³ gasoline in 32 tanks could be carried to each 950 liters. The transport of the fuel from the storage tanks to the case of tanks on the engines was, unusually, with hand pumps.


The total travel time was 294 hours and 10 minutes ( about 12 days); there were 17,920 km traveled.