Jump to content

Cardington Airship Sheds

Recommended Posts

On the way to the Shuttleworth Collection from the M1 southbound, you (should, taking the fastest route) pass the enormous Cardington air sheds, visible from miles around. The oldest looking shed (Hangar One) was completed in 1917, with the more modern one (which has been re-cladded) completed in 1928. Each hangar is 247 metres long and 59 metres tall.


Hangar One was home to the post-WW1 R101 airship which crashed in France killing all on board. Nowadays, it's home to a company still making lighter than air vehicles, although nowhere near the size the shed was built to hold. Hangar Two is used for filmwork, including scenes from Batman Begins (and presumably the new one, Dark Knight, as well)


Apologies for the bad shots, the ones of Hangar One were taken from a moving car (I wasn't driving, i'd like to add!)




Hangar Two




Hangar One



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both are listed buildings. I thought the tatty one was owned by a telecoms company which is in dire straights. Apparently needs about 4 million to put right. I spent 4 weeks at DSA Cardington, just next door.

For anyone who has failed a driving test....DSA stands for 'Dont Stand A chance'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Some scenes from the film Batman begins were filmed there, parts of Gotham City were built inside, the film was codenamed 'the intimidation game', I think Warner Bros restored the hanger before filming.


A pic of inside.



Oops, just read post above :-/

Edited by Tunnel_Rat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If i rember correctly the hanger with the buildings inside is owned and operated by/for the BRE (Building Research Establishment).

It gives them some where to test various buiding design concepts in a contro;;ed environment.

I also rember that it was not just a house built inside but a 6 storey "office" building to test slab design principles.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several years ago, probably around 1990, there was an open day at Cardington which I went to. At that time, one shed was used for storing cars for distribution and the other (the open one) was used for fire research. There was a five story (IIRC) block of flats built inside it at that time for fire research, which didn't even approach the roof of the structure.


I did take quite a lot of photos of both the inside and the outside of the sheds which I will try to find. Unfortunately this was in the pre-digital age so it will take a while to sort through many boxes of prints.


In you ever get the chance to visit these structures then jump at it - the sheer size will take your breath away!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got a notification about one of the survey companies we work with doing some rebranding and updating their website.

Thought I would post the link here as they have recently surveyed No 1 hanger for refurb work.

Includes a PDf of elevations and section which may be of interest to some.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Antarmikes old Antar used to be used to pull open the hangar doors at Cardington, I think it was because the motor / drive mechanism for the doors was broken. I think the doors weigh in excess of a 100 tonnes each.

Each door of number 2 hanger weighs 470 tons.

One coat of paint on the hanger is 4 tons......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...