HC Deb 07 August 1925 vol 187 cc1739-40W
Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether the new airships and the reconditioned airship are to be filled with hydrogen or a mixture of hydrogen and helium; and whether experience shows that it would be unsafe to discharge hydrogen in a thunderstorm?


As regards the first part of the question, it is proposed, for the reasons given in my reply to the hon. Member for West Willesden (Mr. Viant) on 9th July, to use hydrogen for the experimental flights contemplated in the present programme. As regards the second part, I understand that it is the practice among airship pilots to avoid discharging hydrogen in the neighbourhood of thunderstorms, but no actual evidence of the dangerous results of such discharge is available.

Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the great prevalence of thunderstorms in the neighbourhood of Java; to what extent R.33 deviated in her journey to America in order to avoid thunderstorms; and whether the tenders for the new airship, and the design of the Government airship, make specific provision for safety against lightning?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative; to the second, that the R.34 (the airship concerned) deviated a distance of approximately 50 miles to skirt a thunderstorm in her outward journey; to the third, that the position in regard to the contract airship was explained in my reply to my hon. and gallant Friend on 17th March last, and, as regards the Government airship, that the question of safety precautions against lightning is under consideration.

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