R100 in Canada


128 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-919822-36-3





Reviewed by Peter Henderson

Peter Henderson teaches history at Douglas College in New Westminster,


This book really does deal with the truly Canadian aspect of a British concept and enterprise, that of the rigid airships intended to provide regular air service between the United Kingdom and the larger Imperial Dominions, in the 1920s.

Strange though it may seem today, these aircraft were seen as a far more practical means of long-range air transport than conventional winged aircraft, and great hopes were placed on them.

The book gives an excellently balanced account of the only wholly successful example of these British airships, the R100, and its only major success, the voyage to Canada and back. It was later scrapped as a result of the disaster to its competitor the R101, after which the whole British airship programme was abandoned.

Fully illustrated and very readable, the book is of wider interest than to aviation enthusiasts alone. It demonstrates how close the links — industrial, political, and psychological — remained between Canada and Britain at that time. An ingenious example illustrating the latter is the inclusion with the book of 45-rpm record of the “R100 Song,” a pop ditty composed and performed in Canada at the time of the visit.

An admirable account of an odd backwater of aviation and political history.


Countryman, Barry, “R100 in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 5, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38746.