Item #29214 The Tragedy of "R 101" E. F. Spanner, Edward Frank ?
The Tragedy of "R 101"
The Tragedy of "R 101"
The Tragedy of "R 101"
INSCRIBED Twice to Prof Horgaard

The Tragedy of "R 101"

London: E.F. Spanner 1931. First Edition. 2 volumes complete. Vol I: xv, [1-(blank)], 327, [1-(blank)] pages + 3 folding plates (Figs 15-18) in rear. Vol II: xv, [1-(blank)], 344 pages + 9 folding plates in rear containing figures 3 through 14. 8vo (9 x 6 inches). Publisher's grey/blue boards with copper/gilt lettering. INSCRIBED by the author on each title page: "Prof. Horgaard Wtih the author's respectful compliments E. F. Spanner". (NOTE: these volumes also have printed reproductions of Spanner quotes - the inscriptions are real and not reproduced). A touch of wear and spine sunning, otherwise quite nice. Near Fine. Cloth. [29214]

This title explores the crash of the rigid airship R101 which occurred on October 5th, 1930 near Beauvais in France. The author, himself an accomplished engineer, found he could not agree with the findings of the Court of Inquiry set up to explore the disaster. Given the gravity of the program the R101 to the nation and the loss of life he felt compelled to publish his own work on the subject. There is a detailed and to our eye authoritative Wikipedia entry on the ship (a portion of which we have quoted below) for those who would like more background on the airship, its development and testing.

"R101 was one of a pair of British rigid airships completed in 1929 as part of the Imperial Airship Scheme, a British government programme to develop civil airships capable of service on long-distance routes within the British Empire. It was designed and built by an Air Ministry–appointed team and was effectively in competition with the government-funded but privately designed and built R100. When built, it was the world's largest flying craft at 731 ft (223 m) in length, and it was not surpassed by another hydrogen-filled rigid airship until the LZ 129 Hindenburg was launched seven years later.

After trial flights and subsequent modifications to increase lifting capacity, which included lengthening the ship by 46 ft (14 m) to add another gasbag, the R101 crashed in France during its maiden overseas voyage on 5 October 1930, killing 48 of the 54 people on board. Among the passengers killed were Lord Thomson, the Air Minister who had initiated the programme, senior government officials, and almost all the dirigible's designers from the Royal Airship Works.

The crash of R101 effectively ended British airship development, and was one of the worst airship accidents of the 1930s. The loss of 48 lives was more than the 36 killed in the much better-known Hindenburg disaster of 1937, though fewer than the 52 killed in the French military Dixmude in 1923 and the 73 killed when the USS Akron crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey in 1933. " (Wikipedia)

The author Spanner was a "member of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors, Fellow of the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors, Naval Architect Assessor ot the Board of Trade, Member Institution of Naval Architects, Member Institute of Marine Engineers, Member North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, Member Instituton of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, and Inventory of the 'Duct Keel,', 'Uniflex,' and 'Softended Ship' systems of ship construction."

Price: $750.00

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