Britain’s largest airship R33 took off from North Yorkshire 100 years ago today

Exactly 100 years ago today the UK’s largest airship took off for its maiden voyage from its base near Selby, North Yorkshire.

Then: The British airship R33 in its hangar as it prepares for its first ever flight at an aerodrome in Barlow, North Yorkshire. Pic: R. Humphrey/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

The huge R33 airship took to the skies for the first time on March 6 1919 after being built at Barlow, next to what is now Drax Power Station.

It was the last of three giant airships to be built in the village, which was at the forefront of the British aviation industry for ten years from the First World War.

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To mark the 100th anniversary of its first flight, children will get the chance to build their own replica airship.

Now: Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power at the Drax Power Station, near Selby. Pic: Simon Hulme

On April 24 youngsters will be able to build a replica R33 airship at a special workshop being held at the Skylark Nature Reserve, which was created by power generator Drax, next to its power station, and which was the original site where the R33 was designed and built.

The event is part of the energy company’s efforts to encourage young people to consider studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power, said: “Barlow is a small village, but it played a vital role in developing and building these airships a century ago.

“We want to use this anniversary to inspire a new generation to consider studying STEM subjects and develop the skills businesses like ours need to continue to grow, helping to build a strong regional economy in the north.”