Film footage of the British dirigible R101, which crashed in the early morning hours of October 5, 1930 in Beauvais, France during its first commercial flight. The crash and ensuing hydrogen fire killed 48 of the 54 passengers and crew.
The immediate cause of the accident was the deterioration of defective fabric covering the ship’s bow, but the ship was overweight, poorly designed, and insufficiently tested.
R101 was known as the “Socialist Ship,” since it was built by the British government in competition with the so-called “Capitalist Ship,” R100, built by the private firm of Vickers.
Duralumin salvaged from the wreckage of R101 was used in the construction of the Hindenburg.
More information about R101, R100, and other British airships is available at the website of the Airship Heritage Trust.