Cardington Hangars (AKA Sheds) - Moley took a tour

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Molehill_Mike
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Cardington Hangars (AKA Sheds) - Moley took a tour

Postby Molehill_Mike » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:19 am

For those that are interested, very local to me are the Cardington Hangars. Famously known for being the Royal Airship Works in the 1920s, the site is famously known for producing the R101 Airship (R100 was brought to Cardington and kept, but not built).

In preparation for the R101 project the No 1 shed was extended between October 1924 and March 1926; its roof was raised by 35 feet and its length increased to 812 feet. The No. 2 shed (Southern shed), which had originally been located at RNAS Pulham, Norfolk, was dismantled in 1928 and re-erected at Cardington.

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When I first moved to Bedford in 2008 I spotted these gigantic structures on the horizon, and couldn't help but take a look. At that point I couldn't get close, but an interest was sparked and since then I have kept close watch on the goings on.

Shed 2 was owned by the BSE for house testing. My knowledge here is limited, but basically they built, burnt and shook new house designs in order to test them. Warner Bros leased the hanagr 2 up to 2012 and has been the set for various films including all of the "newer" Batman movies (Gotham was built), Inception, and more recently the latest Peter Pan movie although I believe this is now under ownership of Cardington Studios.

Anyway, more recently Hangar 1 was bought by a company called Hybrid Air Vehicles. These guys took a de-classified USA Military project, and are hoping to revolutionise airtravel, delivery of goods, aid support and a few other interesting paths.

Hybrid Air Vehicles have been modifying the original US spec and making adjustments for what they need the ship to do. It was stripped down and brought to Cardington, not flown due to the various flight authorities and permissions required. They have called their design the Airlander, and you can find more about this on their website:

http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/


As I am a VIP club member, yesterday I was allowed to take a trip to the Hangar 1 for a tour around the aircraft. Now, I'll admit, my interest is split 60/40 between the hangards themselves, and the airship. No photos were allowed from within the hangars, so you'll have to google for those. I took some from the outside, they are below. A few fun facts about the hangars:

1) Nelson's column could stand inside
2) The Titanic would fit in the hangars, with just 10ft of her bow poking out the doors.
3) Hardhats are required when inside the hangars not just for general safety, but also as birds nest up high. They sometimes pick up all kinds of items for their nests and upon arrival occasionally throw them as unwanted. True fact.
4) You can actually fit 2 Airlanders inside the hangar. So not the size of R101.

Fact 4 above is not the only difference. The R100/101 were filled with Hydrogen, however Airlander is filled with Helium. The Airlander (I believe) has no rigid structure, where the R100/R101 had a metal frame. Airlander facts:

1) The Airlander material is a 3 layer composite, lots of words ending in 'lar' were used. A 4" strip could hold the wait of a family car.
2) The 'balloon' is filled with helium to just .15 PSI above atmosphere.
3) Airlander has 4 350bhp V8 engines, bolted to F1 gearboxes. Initially in the US these engines were diesel, but now run on standard aviation fuel.
4) Airlander will cruise at around 100mph... not a huge speed. It can however do this for long periods of time, weeks on end infact.
5) The model I saw yesterday was Airlander10, it can carry up to 10 tonnes. A larger version, Airlander50 is also being developed.


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[img]https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5755846/IMG_20160126_134620.jpg[/oimg]

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Hopefully I haven't bored you too much, :)

Moley

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Re: Cardington Hangars (AKA Sheds) - Moley took a tour

Postby cati » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:38 am

Very interesting minge . Any pics of the hybrid air vehicle ? Would be cool to see them flying again not seen one since they filmed for your eyes only in the eighties and it had a man hanging from it as it flew over school

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Re: Cardington Hangars (AKA Sheds) - Moley took a tour

Postby Molehill_Mike » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:58 am

cati wrote:Very interesting minge . Any pics of the hybrid air vehicle ? Would be cool to see them flying again not seen one since they filmed for your eyes only in the eighties and it had a man hanging from it as it flew over school


Cheers.

Here is a google search, I posted some pics from it below:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=airla ... cardington

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Re: Cardington Hangars (AKA Sheds) - Moley took a tour

Postby Twin Turbo » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:32 pm

Thanks for posting this, Mike. Those things are maHOOOsive :shock:


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