When the R101 first took to the skies, she was the largest aircraft ever to fly. What followed was a tragic finale to a tale of human folly on a grand scale.
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In 1929, the R101 was the largest object ever to take to the air. It was meant to dazzle the world with cutting-edge technology and awesome size. Better than a plane, more luxurious than an ocean liner, the R101 would connect the furthest reaches of the British Empire, tying together far-flung dominions at a time when imperial bonds were fraying. It was, however, not to be.
The spectacular crash of the British airship R101 in 1930 changed the world of aviation forever. Most have heard of the fiery crash of the Hindenburg, a German ship that went down in New Jersey seven years later. But the story of R101 and its forty-eight victims has largely been forgotten.
His Majesty's Airship recounts the epic narrative of the ill-fated airship and her eccentric champion, Christopher Thomson. S. C. Gwynne brings to life a lost world of aviators driven by ambition, and killed by hubris.