The R36 Airship

Initially designed as a military airship in late 1917 the short lived R36 was built by Beardmore at Inchinnan. Work was suspended for a while with the end of WW1 and the designs were later modified to convert the ship for commercial use. The R 36 was the first airship to have a civil registration - G-FAAF.

R 36 was completed in April 1921 and was flown to Pulham and in the following months undertook various test flights. By June she was carrying passengers from the press and members of parliament on demonstration flights and was used to help the police control traffic at Ascot races. She was very well equipped to carry passengers and had 25 double cabins for overnight flights.

Tragically the airship was damaged at Pulham on June 21 1921 and although repaired was not used again. A few months later in August 1921 the R38 crash with the loss of 44 lives was to dampen support for airships.

The R36 was scrapped in 1926.

Some of the crew attached to the R36

Major George Herbert Scott based at Pulham in 1921 commanded the R36. For more details of this very experienced man go to the Notable People section in this website.

Archibald Wann

Another commander of the R36 Flt Lt Archibald Herbert Wann had served at East Fortune, Kingsnorth, and Polegate airship stations and later at Pulham and Howden. More details about him can be found in the Notable People section of this website.

Flight Lieutenant H.C. Irwin, A.F.C., R.A.F

Flt Lieutenant Irwin AFC joined the RNAS Airship section in 1915 and served on numerous airships as captain and then commanded airships R33 and R36 and later captained the R101.


Maurice Alfred Giblett was Meteorological Officer on board the trial flight of the R36. He had also conducted tests on the R38 and R80 airships. He was also Meteorological Officer on the R100 flight to Canada and back in 1930. Sadly he lost his life in the R101 crash.

Assistant coxswain Thomas Hobbs joined the airship service in March 1915. He had served on P4 (non-rigid) and after HMA No 9 served on airships R31, R23, R24, R25, R36, and R33. He later worked on both the R100 and R101.

Flight -Sgt Thomas Greenstreet. Worked on No.4 Parseval, No.3 Astra SS Willows, SS4 & 5 Coastal 21. After serving on the R9, he worked in the R23, R31, R36, and was Second Coxswain on the R33. He was Chief coxswain on the R100.

Charge-Hand Engineer Thomas Arthur Auckland Key was born on 09.06.1896. He joined the RNAS in 1915 and served in WW1. He had extensive experience of non rigids. As well as the R36 he also served on the R33 but was to lose his life in Oct 1930 in the R101 crash.


W H King

Engineer William Henry King was born in Tonbridge on 02.08.1895. He joined the RNAS in WW1 and took part in airship patrols over the North Sea. After the war he became a f First Class Air Mechanic. William King served on the R29, R32 and R36 airships and was also on the breakaway R33. In October 1930 he lost his life when the R101 crashed in France.

Norman Mann

Engineer Norman Gerald Mann joined the Airship Service in July 1919 and served on the R32, R36, and R33. He later served on the R100 as Chargehand Engineer on that ships flight to Canada.

R36 rigger Martin Rampton joined the Royal Flying Corp in 1915 and served in the First World War. He also worked on the R32 and the R101. Sadly he too los t his life when the R101 crashed.

William Rose Gent

William Rose Gent joined the service back in 1915 and was the holder of an Air Force Medal. As well as a vast array of non-rigids he served on the R29, R32, R34, R36, and was part of the R33 breakaway crew. He was on the crew of the R34 on the flight to and from America in 1919. This widely experienced airship man was to lose his life in the R101 crash in 1930.


George Ryder Scott

Rigger George Ryder Scott joined the Airship Service in 1918 and served on airships HMA24r, R32, R34, and R36. In 1930 he was on the successful R100 flight to Canada.

Ted Stupple

Engineer E T Stupple joined the service in 1915 and worked on non rigids Astra 3, SS4, SS12, P1, SSZero 1&2. He later served on rigids R25, R29, R36, and was charge hand engineer on the R33. He flew on the R100 flight to Montreal. Canada.


Leonard Oughton

Assistant Coxswain Leonard Oughton joined the service in 1919. He served on HMA 24r, the R33 and R36. In 1929 he joined the R101 crew as and lost his life when that ship crashed in Oct 1930.

Albert Savidge

Chief Steward Albert Savidge had spent many years working as a steward on The White Star Line before and after WWI. During the war he served on submarines but in 1921 joined the airship service.

He went on to be Chief Steward on both the R100 and R101 and was one of only a handful of men who actually served on both ships. Albert Savidge was to lose his life in the R101 crash.

The R36 was built by Beardmore at Inchinnan.