The LeBaudy Airship, bought for the war office by a fund organised by the Morning Post, was totally wrecked at Farnborough on May 4th 1911. This was the second flight of the giant army airship in England, and, like the first, it ended in disaster. On arrival from France in 1910 the envelope of the craft was ripped open after snagging a girder of the shed into which it was being towed. On this second flight all was well for the first hour and massed crowds watched the flight and associated display that included Samuel Cody and Mr deHavilland circling the airship in their aeroplanes. However, the airship began its descent without releasing gas and its speed was too great. Although towing ropes were dropped, soldiers on the common failed to catch them and she drove straight towards the balloon factory building. The ropes fouled but the airship then started toward trees on Farnborough plateau, the ropes tripping up scores of fleeing sightseers. On hitting the trees the enormous gas envelope was pierced, and the entire structure crashed, completely covering a house (see images 3 to 6).
This tiny section of fabric, approximately 5 x 4cm was cut from the wreckage and kept as a souvenir - possibly sold for fund raising purposes. It is printed with details of the crash. This sale is for the fabric alone. Stock code M19890.