Mayfly - First UK Rigid Airship

  Woolwell 16:44 24 Sep 2013

This may interest those who have a liking for early aviation history. An organisation that I belong to has an article and links about the first rigid British air ship Gracesguide Mayfly and Airships online. It was called Mayfly but perhaps more accurately Won'tFly. A lot of money was wasted - nothing new there then.

  woodchip 18:43 24 Sep 2013

Interesting read

  Aitchbee 00:14 25 Sep 2013

Woolwell: I was interested and surprised to read [ in your first link ] that '3 tons' of excess weight was shed [during trials] to improve matters.

BTW, Led Zeppelin, the famous heavy metal rock band are still going strong ... but, whatever happened to The Mayflies?

  Quickbeam 07:00 25 Sep 2013

My dad often told me of the day when the whole of his school in Coventry was turned out to watch a flyover by the R101, and how they all marvelled at the magnificent achievements of the age they were lucky to be born into.

Todays technology must rank as black magic compared to pre-war inventions!

  Diemmess 08:57 25 Sep 2013

"Slide rule" is the title of Neville Shute's autobiography and well worth a read if you can find a copy.

Before becoming a popular novelist he was a design engineer for Vickers during the construction and trials of the successful R100 which made a return trip across the Atlantic.

The Government built rival (R.A.E.) en route to India, made it no further than Northern France.

  sunnypete 09:17 25 Sep 2013

That was the R101, would that have been the one seen over Coventry? Or Shute's R100?

  Diemmess 09:38 25 Sep 2013

Over Coventry? - I've no idea, but more likely the R100 which flew several times.

My memory of the history is that R100 had petrol engines, but the 101 fitted diesels for safety! This made the whole thing overweight and an extra bay had to be inserted for better lift. There were also unsubstantiated rumours that the outer skin had a bad reaction with the paint and became very friable.

  Quickbeam 15:29 25 Sep 2013

You may well be right on the R100.

  Woolwell 15:34 25 Sep 2013

From the Flight log it was R100 over the Midlands. R101 is not recorded as going that way.

  Quickbeam 15:41 25 Sep 2013

...but we had a Vauxhall Victor 101!

  sunnypete 17:32 25 Sep 2013

Was that the whole flight log? I must re-read Slide Rule, have it tucked away somewhere...

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