Cardington Airships Sheds - GB
No. 1 Shed & No. 2 Shed in History The future of Hangars Aerohistory
No. 1 Shed

Airship Industries was a British manufacturers of modern non-rigid airships (blimps). It built AD500, "a new-generation airship making use of advanced materials and technology." It was 164 feet long and contained 181,200 cubic feet of helium. The AD500 first flew from Cardington on 3 February 1979.

The AD500 was succeeded by the Skyship 500 model (new envelope material, improved actuators, and an overall weight saving of around 310 lb). The first flight of a Skyship 500 proper took place from Cardington on 28 September 1981.

Five more 500s were subsequently built — one at Cardington, two in Toronto, one in Tokyo, and one in the United States.

Airship Industries followed the Skyship 500 with the similar but larger Skyship 600, 194 ft long with 235,400 cu ft of helium and seating for up to 18 passengers and two crew. The first Skyship 600 flew from Cardington on 6 March 1984. In all, ten Skyship 600s were built which two at Cardington.

The company Airship Industries tried to revive the fortunes of the airship industry in the hangar N°1, but after refinancing efforts failed, the company’s demise in 1989 brought another pause in activity at the site.

In 2006, for the past few weeks prior to its take-off, the airship The Spirit of Dubai was stored in this hangar to do all the necessary checks to ensure it is ready for the long journey that lies ahead. (picture on the right)
(see full report on the flight of the Spirit of Dubai to London to Dubai)

source: inknowned, waiting more info


source : wikimedia commons

A new Goodyear "Spirit of Safety" built at Cardington 2011. Goodyear has begun a tour of Europe with two airships, or blimps. The aim is to engage younger people with the Goodyear brand using a safety message.

Goodyear has leased two small airships from former Virgin company Lightship. They were built specially for Goodyear in Cardington.

The two new airships are named Spirit of Safety-1 and Spirit of Safety-2. Both can carry a pilot and three passengers. That compares with the 12-seater airships more familiar in the United States under the Goodyear Blimp brand.

2012, Shed 1 has come under the ownership of Fosbern Hangers, and the company undertook the restoration of the shed (In this time construction workers have painted 20 acres of steel work, removed and replaced 12 acres of sheeting, and replaced the 5 acre concrete floor.) , new roads and buildings are being built on and around the site. All this at a cost of around £10 million.

The shed was officially reopened on October 16th by the Mayor of Bedford.



In 2016, the site hosted the HAV 304 / Airlander 10. She is a hybrid airship designed and built by the British Company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV).

Comprising a helium airship with auxiliary wing and tail surfaces, it flies using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift and is powered by four diesel engine-driven ducted propellers. The Airlander 10 is the largest aircraft flying today.

The HAV 304 was originally built for the United States Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) programme. In 2012, the HAV 304 conducted its maiden flight at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in the United States. In 2013, the LEMV project was cancelled by the US Army.

HAV reacquired the airship and brought it back to Cardington. It was reassembled and modified for civilian use, and in this form was redesignated as the Airlander 10. On 17 August 2016, the first test flight took place at the aircraft's home base, Cardington and lasted 30 minutes.

On 18 November 2017, the airship broke free from its moorings, automatically pulling a safety rip panel so that it deflated and fell to the ground. Nobody was on board but two people received minor injuries in the incident. It is to be rebuilt.

Hybrid Air Vehicles hopes to be building 10 Airlanders a year by 2021, meaning Hangar 1 would once again be used for its original purpose as a base for making airships.

source : theneweconomy

No. 2 Shed

source : Mark Wargner-aviation-images
From 1970, No. 2 shed was used by the Fire Research Station for large-scale fire tests in sheltered conditions.

In 1990 the facility was transferred to the Building Research Establishment as “a whole building test facility”.

Multi-storey steel, concrete and wooden buildings were constructed and then destructively tested within the huge internal space available.

And this for many years until around 2001. Then this shed was repainted and maintained in comparison with Shed 1.
Shed 2 was sold to Warner Brothers and used as for filming, because the largest and most impressive indoor spaces in Europe.

Some of the films shot in shed 2: Pan | 2014 / Batman 3- The Dark Knight Rises / Inception | 2010 /
The Dark Knight Rises | 2008 / Fred Claus | 2007 / Batman Begins | 2005

Since the hangar was purchased by Mr Ronan Willson in June 2014 and the extensive refurbishment programme continues. Cardington Studios is fast becoming a favourite film location, whether it be additional photography or a full feature film. Cardington Studios is also perfect for TV shoots, stadium tour rehearsals, music videos.

Although it's not soundproofed (and therefore not a 'soundstage'), the shed is proving very useful for building massive sets, and as post-production sound technology improves, the need for soundproofed stages is reduced.

The total amount of floor space available (223,000 sq feet, or 5 acres) is over 5 times the size of the largest soundstage available in Hollywood (Stage 15 at Sony Pictures 41,985 sq ft), and is almost 3 times the size of the largest soundstage in the world, Stage 15 at Babelsburg Film Studio in Germany (78,954 sq ft).
No. 1 Shed & No. 2 Shed in History The future of Hangars Aerohistory