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Pulham Airship Station, site of
Pulham, Norfolk
associated engineer
Not known
date  1912 - 1917, 1919
era  Modern  |  category  Airfield/Hangar/Aeronautics  |  reference  TM197839
Pulham Airship Station was an airfield designed specifically for airships. Work began in 1912. Two large sheds were added in 1917 and a mooring mast, the first of its type, in 1919. Although the station is no more, one of the sheds survives. It was moved to Cardington in 1928, where it became Shed No.2 and housed the airship R100.
The purpose of Pulham was to run an operating base suitable for the military uses for which airships were developed — primarily the protection of naval vessels. The station is associated with many of the early British airships, including the R33 and the R34, the designs of which were based on the German Zeppelin L33.
In 1919, the R34 became the first airship to cross the Atlantic east to west, and with the return flight — landing at Pulham — became the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic in both directions.
The hangar sheds at Pulham were 213m long, 55m wide and 34m high. The steel mooring mast was 37m high and constructed using lattice box beams. A series of guy-cables kept it standing. Unlike the mast at Cardington (1926), it was not a cantilevered design. The mast had no staircase nor servicing facilities at its head and was used for mooring only rather than embarkation.
In 1928, one of the sheds was dismantled and moved to Cardington to house the R100 airship. Although it was built at Howden, the R100 was delivered to its new home as a part of the government backed civil airship scheme.
When airship activities in the UK ceased following the loss of the R101 in 1930, Pulham Airship Station fell into disrepair and the site was eventually returned to agricultural use.
Research: ND
bibliography
"The story of Pulham and its Airships"
leaflet compiled by Jocelyn Rawlence and Norman Peake
Pulham Market Society, 1989
Location

Pulham Airship Station, site of