R101 airship

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The larger of two rigid airships commissioned by the government in 1924. Designed by Barnes Wallis, it was built to carry up to 50 passengers to India. It set out on its maiden voyage from Cardington on 4 October 1930 with an official party, including the secretary of state for air. At 2 a.m. it touched the ground on its approach to Beauvais, caught fire, and exploded. Only four people survived. The disaster put an end to the use of airships in Britain.

Subjects: British History.

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