Airships built at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, United Kingdom by Vickers or descendant companies. Please note the list below is incomplete, and only has the names of airships with information stored on Wikipedia.
Airships built at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, United Kingdom by Vickers or descendant companies. Please note the list below is incomplete, and only has the names of airships with information stored on Wikipedia.
1. Barrow-in-Furness – Barrow-in-Furness is a town and borough in Cumbria, North West England. Historically part of Lancashire, it was incorporated as a borough in 1867. At the tip of the Furness peninsula, close to the Lake District, it is bordered by Morecambe Bay, the Duddon Estuary, in 2011, Barrows population was 57,000, the second largest urban area in Cumbria after Carlisle. Natives of Barrow, as well as the dialect, are known as Barrovian. In the Middle Ages, Barrow was a hamlet with Furness Abbey, on the outskirts of the modern-day town. The iron prospector Henry Schneider arrived in Furness in 1839 and, with investors, opened the Furness Railway in 1846 to transport iron ore. Further hematite deposits were discovered, of sufficient size to develop factories for smelting and exporting steel, by the late 19th century, the Barrow Hematite Steel Company-owned steelworks was the worlds largest. The original iron- and steel-making enterprises closed down after World War II, leaving Vickers shipyard as Barrows main industry and employer. Several Royal Navy flagships, the vast majority of its nuclear submarines as well as numerous other vessels, ocean liners. Today Barrow is a hub for energy generation and handling, Offshore wind farms form one of the highest concentrations of turbines in the world. The name was originally that of an island, Barrai, which can be traced back to 1190 and this was later renamed Old Barrow, recorded as Oldebarrey in 1537, and Old Barrow Insula and Barrohead in 1577. The island was joined to the mainland and the town took its name. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Barrow was nicknamed the English Chicago because of the sudden and rapid growth in its industry, economic stature, more recently the town has been dubbed the capital of blue-collar Britain by the Daily Telegraph, reflecting its strong working-class identity. Barrow is also jokingly referred to as being at the end of the longest cul-de-sac in the country because of its isolated location at the tip of the Furness peninsula. Barrow and the area has been settled non-continuously for several millennia. Several areas of Barrow including Yarlside and Ormsgill, as well as Barrow, the Domesday Book of 1086 recorded the settlements of Hietun, Rosse and Hougenai, which are now the districts of Hawcoat, Roose and Walney respectively. In the Middle Ages the Furness peninsula was controlled by the Cistercian monks of the Abbey of St Mary of Furness and this was located in the Vale of Nightshade, now on the outskirts of the town. Founded for the Savigniac order, it was built on the orders of King Stephen in 1123, soon after the abbeys foundation the monks discovered iron ore deposits, later to provide the basis for the Furness economy
2. Cumbria – Cumbria is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbrias county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county, the county of Cumbria consists of six districts, and in 2008 had a population of just under half a million. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, a large area of the south east of the county is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park while the east of the county fringes the North Pennines AONB. Much of Cumbria is mountainous, and it contains every peak in England over 3,000 feet above sea level, with Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet being the highest point of England. An upland, coastal, and rural area, Cumbrias history is characterised by invasions, migration, notable historic sites in Cumbria include Carlisle Castle, Furness Abbey, Hardknott Roman Fort, Brough Castle and Hadrians Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. D. Based on inscriptional evidence from the area, the Roman civitas of the Carvetii seems to have covered portions of Cumbria, the names Cumbria, Cymru, Cambria, and Cumberland are derived from the name these people gave themselves, *kombroges in Common Brittonic, which originally meant compatriots. In the Early Middle Ages, Cumberland formed the core of the Brittonic kingdom of Rheged, for the rest of the first millennium, Cumbria was contested by several entities who warred over the area, including the Brythonic Kingdom of Strathclyde and the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. Most of modern-day Cumbria was a principality in the Kingdom of Scotland at the time of the Norman conquest of England in 1066, in 1092 Cumberland was invaded by William II and incorporated into England. There were at least three sieges of Carlisle fought between England and Scotland, and two sieges during the Jacobite risings. In particular, the west-coast towns of Workington, Millom and Barrow-in-Furness saw large iron and steel mills develop, Kendal, Keswick and Carlisle all became mill towns, with textiles, pencils and biscuits among the products manufactured in the region. Later, the childrens writer Beatrix Potter also wrote in the region and became a major landowner and its strategic authority is Cumbria County Council. Local papers The Westmorland Gazette and Cumberland and Westmorland Herald continue to use the name of their historic county, other publications, such as local government promotional material, describe the area as Cumbria, as do the Lake District National Park Authority and most visitors. Cumbria is the most northwesterly county of England, the northernmost and southernmost points in Cumbria are just west of Deadwater, Northumberland and South Walney respectively. Kirkby Stephen and St Bees Head are the most easterly and westerly points of the county, at 978 metres Scafell Pike is the highest point in Cumbria and in England. Windermere is the largest natural lake in England, the Lancaster Canal runs from Preston into South Cumbria and is partly in use. The Ulverston Canal which once reached to Morecambe Bay is maintained although it was closed in 1945, the Solway Coast and Arnside and Silverdale AONBs lie in the lowland areas of the county, to the north and south respectively. Cumbria is bordered by the English counties of Northumberland, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, the boundaries are along the Irish Sea to Morecambe Bay in the west, and along the Pennines to the east
3. United Kingdom – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index. It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
4. Vickers – Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 1999. Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a foundry by the miller Edward Vickers. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor & Sanderson and Vickers brother William owned a steel rolling operation, edwards investments in the railway industry allowed him to gain control of the company, based at Millsands and known as Naylor Vickers and Company. It began life making steel castings and quickly became famous for casting church bells and its great architects, the historian Clive Trebilcock writes, Colonel T. E. and Albert Vickers. Both men were autocrats by temperament, but neither shunned advice or avoided delegation, each, in 1863 the company moved to a new site in Sheffield on the River Don in Brightside. The company went public in 1867 as Vickers, Sons & Company and gradually acquired more businesses, in 1868 Vickers began to manufacture marine shafts, in 1872 they began casting marine propellers and in 1882 they set up a forging press. Vickers produced their first armour plate in 1888 and their first artillery piece in 1890, Vickers bought out the Barrow-in-Furness shipbuilder The Barrow Shipbuilding Company in 1897, acquiring its subsidiary the Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company. At the same time, to become Vickers, Sons & Maxim, Ordnance and ammunition made during this period, including World War I, was stamped V. S. M. The yard at Barrow became the Naval Construction Yard, with these acquisitions, Vickers could now produce a complete selection of products, from ships and marine fittings to armour plate and a whole suite of ordnance. In 1901 the Royal Navys first submarine, Holland 1, was launched at the Naval Construction Yard, in 1902 Vickers took a half share in the famous Clyde shipyard John Brown and Company. In 1911 a controlling interest was acquired in Whitehead and Company, in 1919, the British Westinghouse electrical company was taken over as the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company, Metrovick. At the same time came into Metropolitans railway interests. In 1927, Vickers merged with the Tyneside based engineering company Armstrong Whitworth, founded by W. G. Armstrong, to become Vickers-Armstrongs, armstrongs shipbuilding interests became the Naval Yard, those of Vickers on the west coast the Naval Construction Yard. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft was not absorbed by the new company, in 1928 the Aviation Department became Vickers Ltd and soon after acquired Supermarine, which became the Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd. In 1938, both companies were re-organised as Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, although the former Supermarine and Vickers works continued to brand their products under their former names. 1929 saw the merger of the railway business with those of Cammell Laird to form Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon. In 1960 the aircraft interests were merged with those of the Bristol, English Electric Company and this was owned by Vickers, English Electric and Bristol. BAC in turn owned 70% of Hunting, the Supermarine operation was closed in 1963 and the Vickers name for aircraft was dropped in 1965
5. HMA No. 1 – His Majestys Airship No.1 was designed and built by Vickers, Sons and Maxim at their works in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, as an aerial scout airship for the Royal Navy. It was the first British rigid airship to be built, and was constructed in a attempt to compete with the German airship programme. When it was moved from its shed in Cavendish Dock to conduct trials on 24 September 1911. Although Mayfly never flew, its brief career provided valuable training and experimental data for British airship crews, Mayfly was intended to be an aerial scout, and was similar in design to contemporary Zeppelins, but with some major differences. It was 66 ft longer than the contemporary LZ6 and had a 50% larger volume, Zeppelins of the time had a useful load of around 10,000 lb and were capable of flying at 37 mph. The Vickers design, designated HMA No,1, was intended to be moorable on water, carry wireless equipment, be capable of 40 kn for 24 hours, have a ceiling of 1,500 ft, and carry a crew of 20 in comfort. Before construction began an experimental section was constructed and this used a variety of construction techniques, one end used hollow timber spars, the centre frame used a combination of timber and aluminium, while the other end used aluminium only. Although wood proved the most satisfactory, the Admiralty preferred metal, in late 1909 duralumin became available, and it was decided to use this new alloy, which would allow a considerable weight saving while also forming a stronger structure. The frames were connected by 12 longitudinal girders and a triangular section keel below the main structure, the hull shape was based on work by the American aerodynamicist Albert Zahm, and its head resistance was claimed to be 40% of that of contemporary Zeppelins. A fully streamlined shape had been proposed, but was rejected by the Admiralty as being too difficult to construct and it was not until 1917/18 that a truly streamlined airship, the R80, was constructed. Experiments were also carried out to determine the most suitable material for the outer cover, the covering of the upper half was additionally treated to reduce heat absorption by adding aluminium powder to the coating. This resulted in the underside being yellow and the top aluminium coloured. The two gondolas were constructed of mahogany using the Consuta process to make them watertight so that the craft could be operated off water, the rear engine drove a single 15 ft two-bladed propeller mounted at the rear of the gondola. Equipment to recover water from the exhaust gases was fitted to replace the weight of fuel as it was consumed and so avoid the necessity to vent lifting gas. The construction shed was designed by Vickers and built from the wall of Cavendish Dock at their Naval Construction Yard in Barrow and it contained a float on which construction of the airship took place and which could be taken out of the shed together with the airship. Beginning in 1909, the work was due to be completed in August that year, consequently, the shed was not completed until June 1910, at which point the actual construction of HMA No.1 could begin. A screen was erected in the dock together with a newly designed 38 ft -high floating mooring mast that was capable of withstanding a steady pull of 80 tons. A large safety margin had been allowed, the load the ship would exert on the mast was calculated to be approximately 4 tons in a wind of 80 mph
6. SS class airship – The class proved to be versatile and effective, with a total of 158 being built in several versions. Soon after the outbreak of World War I, the threat to British shipping from German submarines became increasingly apparent, with numerous losses occurring during October and November 1914. Then, on 4 February 1915, a communiqué issued by the Imperial German Admiralty declared that, All the waters surrounding Great Britain, from February 18 onwards every enemy merchant vessel found within this war zone will be destroyed. The type was to have a speed of 40–50 mph, carry a crew of two,160 lb of bombs, wireless equipment, fuel for eight hours flying, and capable of reaching an altitude of 5,000 ft. It was ready for evaluation trials within a fortnight of approval being granted for the scheme, the whole process had taken less than three weeks, and voicing his approval, Admiral Fisher made the famous comment, Now I must have forty. The officer commanding the Kingsnorth facility was Wing-Commander N. F. Usborne, far into the night and the early hours of the morning this scientific officer worked to make these airships a success and due to him in large part their wonderful success was due. The external surface had five coats of dope applied to it to protect it from the elements, the first two coats were of Delta dope, followed by two of aluminium dope and finally one of aluminium varnish. To stiffen the nose of the envelope and to prevent it blowing in,24 canes were arranged radially from its centre, the envelope contained two ballonets of 6,375 cu ft each instead of just one as used on the prototype. The fins were identical in size and shape, and were constructed of spruce, aluminium, similar to the prototype, the production car was a wingless B. E. 2c fuselage stripped of various fittings, and equipped with two ash skids in place of the wheeled undercarriage. Mounted at the front of the car was an air-cooled 75 hp Renault engine driving a 9 ft diameter four-bladed propeller, the pilot was seated behind the observer, who also served as the wireless operator. A camera was fitted, and the armament consisted of bombs carried in frames suspended about the centre of the undercarriage, the bomb sight and release mechanism were located on the outside of the car on the starboard side of the pilots position. The Airships Ltd. design initially used 60,000 cu ft, dual controls were fitted for the pilot and the observer/wireless operator. Occasionally a third seat was fitted to carry a passenger or an engineer, Renault engines were normally fitted, mounted at the rear of the car in pusher configuration, but a Rolls-Royce Hawk proved effective in one instance. The type was slightly slower than the SS B. E. 2c, at the same time a number of new air stations were set up as well as a training station at Cranwell. The rigid airship programme was also gathering momentum, and these stations were joined by several more that together formed a chain all around the UK coast. However, construction at each of the facilities was hampered by aeroplane orders affecting the supply of envelopes, in total, some 60 examples of the three versions of SS class blimp were assembled, costing around £2,500 each. During the entire war there was one instance of a ship being sunk whilst being escorted by an airship. During the final 15 months of the war SS type airships carried out over 10,000 patrols, a total of 49 U-boats were sighted,27 of which were attacked from the air or by ships
7. No. 9r – 9r was a rigid airship designed and built by Vickers at Walney Island just off Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. It was ordered in 1913 but did not fly until 27 November 1916 when it became the first British rigid airship to do so and it was dismantled in June 1918 after being flown for around 165 hours, mainly for experimental purposes. Plans to build a rigid airship to follow the unsuccessful HMA No. Pratt had been working at Vickers while the Mayfly was being constructed and had predicted that it was not structurally sound, Pratt in turn hired Barnes Wallis, whom he had met while both were working for the shipbuilding firm of J. Samuel White, as his assistant. The initial order for the new ship was placed on 10 June 1913, with the plans being agreed at the end of the year. The hull was cylindrical for most of its length and was constructed from 17-sided transverse frames with a triangular section keel underneath, in addition there was a radio cabin and a mess space for the crew within the keel structure, which also contained the fuel and ballast tanks. Propulsion was provided by four 180 hp Wolseley engines, mounted in pairs in the gondolas, like Mayfly, it was designed with watertight cars so that it could be operated from water. The design was based in part on French plans of Z IV which had landed in France on 3 April 1913 following an accidental incursion into French airspace, construction was delayed by a number of circumstances. The construction shed at the Cavendish Dock at Barrow was too small for the new design so a new hangar was built at Walney Island, off the west of Barrow. The new shed was 540 ft long,150 ft wide and 98 ft high, as a safety measure the shed had eight fire extinguishing jets fed by a dedicated reservoir. A gasbag factory employing 100 staff was also set up beside the shed. The reasons given for this decision were that it was expected that the war would be finished in 1915, on 19 June 1915, after Churchill had been replaced as First Lord by Arthur Balfour, a conference was held at the Admiralty to consider all airship development. At that time the airship programme was proving to be successful. However, resumption of work was delayed by the necessity to retrieve Pratt, 9r left its shed and was moored outside for tests of the fittings and engines, the first test flight taking place on 27 November 1916. This was the first time a British rigid airship had flown, however, new, lighter, gasbags were also fitted. These modifications increased the lift to 3.8 tons. No. 9r was then sent to the RNAS airship station at Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire where it spent most of the time being used for mooring and handling tests. 23r R23X class airship R31 class airship R33 class airship R34 Higham, morpurgo, J. E. Barnes Wallis — A Biography, Longman,1972 ISBN 0-582-10360-6
8. R80 (airship) – The R80 was a British rigid airship, first flown on 19 July 1920 and the first fully streamlined airship to be built in Britain. Originally a military project for the British Admiralty, it was completed for commercial passenger-carrying purposes. R80 proved too small for this role and after being used briefly to train the United States Navy personnel who were to crew the ill-fated ZR-2 airship, R80 was retired and eventually scrapped in 1925. Construction was begun by Vickers in their shed at Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, in November 1917 to a design by Barnes Wallis. This had been used to build R27 and R29, and the size of the R80 was limited by the size of the shed. Work progressed slowly due to shortages, and with the end of the First World War. The Air Ministry stopped the work in the summer of 1919 as it was considered that the ship was no longer of military or commercial value, Vickers continued to fit out the ship with commercial objectives in mind but the scheme fell through. It is expected that the ship will fly at a height of 2,000 ft. The route will carry the ship over south England, the over the English Channel to Paris on a direct route, the ship will then deliver mail and passengers, and then pass down in a continued south easterly direction towards Lyon. Passing over Lyon, the ship will turn south through the Rhone Valley, at Nice on the French Coast, the ship will turn easterly and skirt the coast and head towards Rome over the sea. The return course will be via the same route, in April 1920, the outer cover was completed and by June the ship was finished. On 19 July, the ship emerged from its shed for its first flight, the ship was damaged on the trial flight as the ship had not been properly ballasted, and the lifting gas heated causing the ship to rise too fast. The result was extensive buckling of the framework, the ship was returned to its shed to be repaired, which took until January 1921. After further test flights the airship flew to the station at Howden. The US Navy made 4 flights in the ship totalling some 8 hours 45 minutes between 26 March 1921 and 1 June 1921, after these flights, it was flown to RNAS Pulham, Norfolk. There the airframe was used for analysis and destructive testing before being dismantled in 1925. In total, this small but well designed craft flew for only 73 hours. Although successful in trials the design was too small for the intended use, many lessons were learnt and incorporated in the design for the R100