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Role Passenger airship
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Royal Airship Works
Status Cancelled project

The R102 (originally referred to as Project H) was a British airship planned in 1930 but never built.[1] The development of R102 resulted from the Imperial Airship Scheme, when it became apparent that the R100 and R101 airships then being built would not be capable of economic operation over the planned routes. After the crash of the R101 in October 1930, the project was reevaluated and further airship development abandoned.

Design and development[edit]

The design was to use seven (instead of the five used by R101) of an improved version of the Beardmore Tornado diesel engine with a maximum total output of 850 bhp (630 kW) and cruising output of 700 bhp (520 kW).

The 1930 proposal was, starting in 1931, to provide a scheduled airship service from Cardington to Karachi and Montreal using R100 and R101, the former to be lengthened like R101. In 1934 R102, which would have carried the registration G-FAAX, and a sister-ship, R103 would become available. By 1935 the airships would offer a weekly service to Ismalia in Egypt and monthly direct return services to Montreal and Karachi via Ismalia. The service was to be extended to Australia in 1936.

Following the loss of the R101 on 5 October 1930 and influenced by the economic climate of the Great Depression the Cabinet decided to abandon British airship development on 31 August 1931, although Cardington would still keep a watching brief on overseas developments.[2]

Specifications (provisional)[edit]

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Capacity: 50 passengers plus 5 tons of freight
  • Length: 822 ft 0 in (251 m)
  • Diameter: 134 ft 0 in (41 m)
  • Volume: 7,500,000 ft3 ( m3) each


  • Cruise speed: 69 mph (111 km/h)

See also[edit]

Imperial Airship Scheme


  1. ^ a b "R102". Airship Heritage Trust. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Masefield, Peter G.To Ride the Storm: The Story of the Airship R.101. London: William Kimber, 1982.ISBN 0-7183-0068-8 pp. 526-539


External links[edit]