Getting a hint from Serge – there has been “Hindenburg – The New Evidence” factual/documentary airing on SBS last night. Document came with a new footage of Hindenburg landing in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States on May 6, 1937. Sort of 52 minutes of a nice recapitulation of all known evidence on this event plus few short shots on Hindenburg in flames.
Overall it came with quite a confident resolution that all disaster got caused by a static electricity discharge between Zeppelin’s envelope and its skeleton due to the envelop getting wet + skeleton getting grounded with wet ropes + a substantial hydrogen leak. Well, that sounds like a plausible explanation, while also not bringing anything too new.
What was, at least for me, much more interesting were some of general characteristics they went through. So with a little help from my favourite Wikipedia here they come:
Crew: 40 to 61
Capacity: 50–70 passengers
Length: 245 m (803 ft 10 in)
Diameter: 41.2 m (135 ft 1 in)
Volume: 200,000 m3 (7,062,000 cu ft)
Powerplant: 4 × Daimler-Benz DB 602 (LOF-6) V-16 diesel engines, 890 kW (1,200 hp) each
Maximum speed: 135 km/h (85 mph, 74 kn)
The really interesting part came where they were describing the comfort passengers had when being on-board. I did bit of Googling on this and found an excellent compilation of all that on the airships.net website. I hope they won’t mind that I’ll borrow some of their most interesting pictures & texts.
The passenger accommodation aboard Hindenburg was contained within the hull of the airship (unlike Graf Zeppelin, whose passenger space was located in the ship’s gondola).
Hindenburg’s “A Deck” contained the ship’s Dining Room, Lounge, Writing Room, Port and Starboard Promenades, and 25 double-berth inside cabins.Airships.net
Picture below shows the dining room. Notice all being spacious and with an excellent view, plus all passenger areas on Hindenburg were apparently heated, using forced-air warmed by water from the cooling systems of the forward engines.
It all was beautiful and clearly wasn’t perceived as a cheap travelling option. A one-way ticket on the Zeppelin airship between Germany and the United States in 1937 cost $450 – the equivalent of $8,000 USD today. But that clearly had to be unforgettable experience. 🙂