Rats leave a sinking ship, but in the smoldering wreckage of the British airship R-101 a host of rats was found swarming soon after the crash at Beauvais, France. Rats like the banana oil smell and taste of the "dope" (cellulose acetate or cellulose nitrate) used for coating aircraft fabrics. Question before the crash court of inquiry in London this week: Were the rats in the wreckage French rats or were they British stowaways in the R-101, had they gnawed a freshly doped balloonet of hydrogen until the gas leaked?


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