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Airship Sheds
Malta


Country : Malta Location: Possibly Luqa (current International Airport site)
Location (Proposed)
Facilities
Actual
Proposed
None
1 Mast
-
Base Facilities
Malta had always been seen as a strategic location for an airship mooring station, whether as an emergency base or a full refuelling stop. It's perfect location being 60 miles south of Scilly, and a gateway route in to the eastern part of the Mediterranean. The island benefitted for stable weather conditions, and enough resources for a site. Initially the British Government had looked at Malta as one of the key "friendly" emergency landing sites for the route down to Egypt.

 

Due to it's unique and historically strateagic location, the island proved a safe harbour in case an airship was to get in to trouble. It also had an existing military contingent, and all of the facilities and resources required for an airship base and mast site. As early as 1925, plans for the refurbished R36 would be used for a route down to Egypt, with the original idea of the plan to be seen as a "non stop" flight. However the disposable lift for the R36, of some 16 tonnes was not deemed enough for the ship to make it, and so the trip was cancelled and the focus was put in to the larger ships of the Imperial Airship Scheme. The location of Malta would be perfect for an emergency or actual stop off. In the 1927 proposals, a landing site at Malta was only deemed in case of possible emergency. However in view of the lower than expected performance in lifting and therefore passenger capacity, of both the R100 and R101, due to the very high specification requirements, it was decided by September of 1930 that to run a proper commercial service a requirement for full mast to be built at Malta as a stop off for the fully loaded R100/R101 before reaching the Ismailia mast. It would also include limited base facilities and also refuelling and re-gassing facilities if required.

In the September 1930 plans, funding was granted as part of the budget for the Maltese facilities to be constructed during the next phase of Airship Development, with the R102, and extension to the Cardington facilities.

No details of the actual location of the site on Malta have been found however is is suspected that the site of the International Airport at Luqa

 

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