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Airship Sheds
New Zealand - Ohakea


Country : New Zealand Location: Ohakea
Facilities
Actual
Proposed
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1 Mast
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1 Shed

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Base Facilities
The Imperial Communications Commission arrived in Auckland on SS Aorangi from Sydney, Australia in August 1927. So eager were the New Zealand reception committee that the group were offered a plane to investigate the area from the air, with a minimum of delay, as many potential sites for an airship base were available

 

Along with the aeroplane, the group were granted by the NZ railways "all lines" passes for the period 29th August to 28th September 1927. During this time a site in the Bulls Sanson area offered greater potential than any other for a base.

As with the South African bases, the area had to be free from mountains, with good communications and supplies. A site was located at Ohakea, an area of approx. 1200 acres to the west of the Main Highway and south of the Rangitikei River near Bulls was selected as a suitable site for initially one mooring mast, for the demonstration flight, and with potential for expansion to a full Airship base with three mooring towers, Airship Sheds and hydrogen production.

The Australian government were accused of procrastination over the establishment of the eastern mooring tower base, which caused the New Zealand Government to also delay on their decision. With reluctance they had to advise their British counterparts that they were unable to commit to the additional expenditure until such time as the Australian authorities confirmed their willingness to construct a mooring tower in either Melbourne or Sydney.

Without a refuelling base in the eastern area of that country, a non-stop flight from Perth to Ohakea could only be made under the most perfect weather conditions and would be at best, a marginal operation. It was seen, as with all other projects of this magnitude, whether the local governments could be able to raise the hundreds of thousands of pounds in the depression of the 1930's was one of the conditions which impeded and curtailed all airship activities from the British and it's dominions at that time. It can been seen as this mission was in fact proved valuable later on as the information gathered for the locations were used in expanding the sites in to airbases used later in the century in both South Africa and New Zealand.

 

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