Admiralty and Air Ministry: Naval Aircraft Works, Later Royal Airship Works, Cardington: Correspondence and Papers

AIR 11
Admiralty and Air Ministry: Naval Aircraft Works, Later Royal Airship Works, Cardington: Correspondence and Papers

The series contains the papers, etc, of this establishment and includes plans, memoranda and data referring to, and photographs of, various balloons, rigid and non-rigid airships, both British and foreign, and files on airship flights and tours.

Related Material:
Other related material can be found in AIR 38
Records of the Royal Airship Works are in: AVIA
Logbooks for airships are in AIR 3
For drawings of the airships and engines, see AIR 12
The papers of Balloon Command which was responsible for the deployment of balloons during the Second World War are in AIR 13
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Admiralty, Naval Aircraft Works, 1917-1919
Air Ministry, Naval Aircraft Works, 1919-1921
Air Ministry, Royal Airship Works, 1921-1936
Physical description:
255 files and volumes
Administrative / biographical background:

A Naval Aircraft Works, run by Short Brothers, was established at Cardington in 1917 under the control of the Admiralty. The Air Ministry took responsibility in 1919. In 1921 the works was renamed the Royal Airship Works. The Works was active in building airships for both military and civil customers during the 1920s, and this activity is reflected in the records in this series. After the R101 disaster in 1930 the Works rapidly wound down, most staff being reappointed to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough. The Royal Aircraft Works was finally disbanded in 1936 and simply became known as RAF Station Cardington. With the approach of the Second World War the Balloon Development Establishment was set up in 1938. The Balloon Development Establishment was in turn absorbed into the Ministry of Supply as the Research and Development Establishment, Cardington in 1945.

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