Britain By Car - A Motoring History

Burney Streamline

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A car inspired by airship design.

Between the village of Spaldington and the B1228, approximately three miles north of Howden.  (OS grid reference SE748330.)

1928 - 1930.

For approximately two years, the airship station just outside Howden was the location for the development of the Burney Streamline, the brainchild of airship designer Sir Dennistoun Burney.

Experience in naval warfare and later airship design led Sir Dennistoun to incorporate streamlining into car design in more radical way than had been previously tried.  The benefits of this design, he believed, would be greater passenger comfort, a higher top speed, and improved fuel efficiency. 

His first car was produced at Howden in 1928, using a modified reversed Alvis chassis, with the engine at the rear.  Despite its large (but light) body) and the small engine size (1482cc) the car is reputed to have reached 80 mph in testing.

In December 1929 the R100 airship that had been built at Howden was moved to Cardington in Bedfordshire, and the Yorkshire airship station was closed - necessitating the need to move to a new manufacturing site - at Maidenhead in Berkshire.

Virtually nothing of the original airship station site remains today.

Other locations
Maidenhead, Berkshire

Further details 
• The Burney Streamline Car, Bernard J Nield, Howden Civic Society, 2008


A car inspired by airship design.

Close to the village of Spaldington. 

A car inspired by airship design.