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Mon May 6, 2019, 05:32 AM

82 Years Ago Today; "Oh, the humanity!"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster



The Hindenburg disaster occurred on May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst. On board were 97 people (36 passengers and 61 crewmen); there were 36 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen, 1 worker on the ground).

The disaster was the subject of newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day. A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The event shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of the airship era.

<snip>

Disaster
At 7:25 p.m. local time, the Hindenburg caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames. Eyewitness statements disagree as to where the fire initially broke out; several witnesses on the port side saw yellow-red flames first jump forward of the top fin near the ventilation shaft of cells 4 and 5.[4] Other witnesses on the port side noted the fire actually began just ahead of the horizontal port fin, only then followed by flames in front of the upper fin. One, with views of the starboard side, saw flames beginning lower and farther aft, near cell 1 behind the rudders. Inside the airship, helmsman Helmut Lau, who was stationed in the lower fin, testified hearing a muffled detonation and looked up to see a bright reflection on the front bulkhead of gas cell 4, which "suddenly disappeared by the heat". As other gas cells started to catch fire, the fire spread more to the starboard side and the ship dropped rapidly. Although there were cameramen from four newsreel teams and at least one spectator known to be filming the landing, as well as numerous photographers at the scene, no known footage or photograph exists of the moment the fire started.

Wherever they started, the flames quickly spread forward first consuming cells 1 to 9, and the rear end of the structure imploded. Almost instantly, two tanks (it is disputed whether they contained water or fuel) burst out of the hull as a result of the shock of the blast. Buoyancy was lost on the stern of the ship, and the bow lurched upwards while the ship's back broke; the falling stern stayed in trim.

As the tail of the Hindenburg crashed into the ground, a burst of flame came out of the nose, killing 9 of the 12 crew members in the bow. There was still gas in the bow section of the ship, so it continued to point upward as the stern collapsed down. The cell behind the passenger decks ignited as the side collapsed inward, and the scarlet lettering reading "Hindenburg" was erased by flames as the bow descended. The airship's gondola wheel touched the ground, causing the bow to bounce up slightly as one final gas cell burned away. At this point, most of the fabric on the hull had also burned away and the bow finally crashed to the ground. Although the hydrogen had finished burning, the Hindenburg's diesel fuel burned for several more hours.


The fire bursts out of the nose of the Hindenburg, photographed by Murray Becker.

The time that it took from the first signs of disaster to the bow crashing to the ground is often reported as 32, 34 or 37 seconds. Since none of the newsreel cameras were filming the airship when the fire started, the time of the start can only be estimated from various eyewitness accounts and the duration of the longest footage of the crash. One careful analysis by NASA's Addison Bain gives the flame front spread rate across the fabric skin as about 49 ft/s (15 m/s) at some points during the crash, which would have resulted in a total destruction time of about 16 seconds (245m/15 m/s=16.3 s).

Some of the duralumin framework of the airship was salvaged and shipped back to Germany, where it was recycled and used in the construction of military aircraft for the Luftwaffe, as were the frames of the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II when both were scrapped in 1940.

In the days after the disaster, an official board of inquiry was set up at Lakehurst to investigate the cause of the fire. The investigation by the US Commerce Department was headed by Colonel South Trimble Jr, while Dr. Hugo Eckener led the German commission.

</snip>


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Reply 82 Years Ago Today; "Oh, the humanity!" (Original post)
Dennis Donovan May 6 OP
VOX May 6 #1
hlthe2b May 6 #5
GoCubsGo May 6 #6
CareerGuyMA May 6 #7
Spider Jerusalem May 6 #2
Dennis Donovan May 6 #4
rownesheck May 6 #3
mahatmakanejeeves May 6 #8
Blue_Tires May 6 #9

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2019, 05:49 AM

1. In 1967, the Hindenburg disaster seemed so long ago.

Yet it was only 30 years before 1967. The radio announcement, the film footage— all of it seemed like ancient history when I was a teenager.

It wasn’t just my youth that evoked that feeling. Think of all massive shifts— scientific/technological (good and bad), cultural and political— between 1937-1967.

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Response to VOX (Reply #1)

Mon May 6, 2019, 07:37 AM

5. I thought of it as ancient history, really, until that episode of 'the Waltons brought it back years

ago... If you missed it, or don't recall, the episode had John Boy Walton striking out as a free-lance journalist and ends up covering it. The episode could easily have been overly schmaltzy, but it really just brought history back.

I've seen some horrendous things "live" in my lifetime, but that event had to stick with the onlookers forever... So sad.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #5)

Mon May 6, 2019, 08:04 AM

6. "The Waltons" now seems like ancient history, too.

It stopped production 38 years ago. That was one of the episodes I remember most. It did a pretty good job of depicting the trauma that the onlookers must have experienced.

I feel like anything that was filmed in black and white seems like ancient history. But, when you think about it, those days were really not that long ago in the grand picture. It's amazing just how much technology has advanced since that tragedy.

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Response to VOX (Reply #1)

Mon May 6, 2019, 08:27 AM

7. Let this sink in.

Grandma born 1898 died 1988. Born in time of horse and buggy. Passed in time of space shuttle. 1 lifetime.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2019, 05:52 AM

2. 82 years? It's still 2019.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #2)

Mon May 6, 2019, 05:55 AM

4. Shit! Fixed...

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2019, 05:53 AM

3. I'm surprised

not everyone on board died. I always assumed everyone did. It's painful to watch that video.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2019, 01:41 PM

8. I was all set to post this. Thanks for remembering.

Earlier that day. This is just about where the World Trade Center was.

The Hindenburg Disaster in pictures, 1937



The German zeppelin Hindenburg flies over Manhattan on May 6, 1937. A few hours later, the ship burst into flames in an attempt to land at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
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The Hindenburg dumps water to ensure a smoother landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 9, 1936. The airship made 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, transporting 2,600 passengers in comfort at speeds up to 135 km/h (85 mph). The Zeppelin Company began constructing the Hindenburg in 1931, several years before Adolf Hitler’s appointment as German Chancellor. For the 14 months it operated, the airship flew under the newly-changed German national flag, the swastika flag of the Nazi Party.
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The giant German zeppelin Hindenburg, in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in May of 1936. The Olympic rings on the side were promoting the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics.
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The Hindenburg floats over Manhattan Island in New York City on May 6, 1937, just hours from disaster in nearby New Jersey.
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Inside the Hindenburg


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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2019, 02:00 PM

9. I've always been fascinated by those giant airships just put-putting along

I would have loved to experience the luxury, service and comfort of that time...

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