HC Deb 24 July 1929 vol 230 cc1288-9
53. Rear-Admiral SUETER

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether his Department has information as to the cause of the latest German rigid airship's failure to cross the Atlantic; and whether the engines of the two experimental airships are considered perfectly suitable in all respects for the forthcoming trials, or whether new-engines of greater horse-power should be installed in these airships before extended trials to Egypt and India are made?


The answer being unavoidably of some length, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply.

As regard the first part of the question, from the information that has been published it would appear that the cause of the breakdown of the engines in the "Graf Zeppelin" in May last was mainly due to "torsional resonance." This is a form of trouble which is apt to develop in engines and the question of obviating it has been under investigation at the Royal Aircraft Establishment during the past few years. A method has now been devised as the result of that investigation for predicting the speeds at which resonance is likely to occur for any given type of engine, so that running at that particular speed can be avoided.

As regards the second part, R.100 and R.101 are fitted with engines which have passed the airworthiness type test and I am fully satisfied that the engines are perfectly suitable for the flying trials at borne. I should prefer not to make any definite statement in regard to the long distance flights which have always been contemplated upon the successful completion of the home trials; it is safer to await the result of these latter trials before a final decision is reached in regard either to the exact nature of the long-distance flights or the equipment necessary for them.

57. Mr. MANDER

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if an opportunity can be afforded to Members of this House to participate in the first passenger flights of the airships R.100 and R.101?


The hon. Member's suggestion will be considered when the trials of the airships are approaching completion.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Will the hon. Gentleman give special consideration to the Opposition in the first trials?


When are the trials expected to take place?


About the end of September.