On May 6th 1937 the Hindenburg, a Nazi passenger blimp, as
large, grand and doomed as the Titanic fell from the sky. Herb
Morrison is quoted saying “it’s burst into flame … get out of
the way , please,oh my, this is terrible.. Oh, the humanity and
all the passengers. For more information on the Hindenburg
Click here. There are three theories as to what happened on
that awful day,for information on the three theories Click
here. There were witness’s watching the ship land and
reported many strange happenings to read about these Click
here. To see pictures of the ship Click here. There are
Essential words that can be tied to this project for
information click here.
May 6 th was the date of the disaster.
The ship was to land at Lakehurst airfield
It was filled with 804-foot 7millioncubic feet of hydrogen
36 passengers
92 navy and 139 civilian ground crew
36 people total died only one was a ground crew
It was the first trip of the 1937 season the blimp had already completed 10 trips
1,002 passengers had already completed the trip.
Round trip cost $720, one way $400
The ship had large common spaces, fine food, and a baby grand piano.
It was flown at an altitude of 650 feet .
With a Speed of 78mph
Lead by Captain Pruss
Lighting storms and strong head winds delayed the landing from
6am to 4pm. Winds of 25 knots made it dangerous for the lighter
than air ship to land. At 6:00pm it started raining by 6:12pm it
was clear. Captain Pruss tried to slow the blimp down in order to
lower its altitude, and than made a sharp left turn. At 7:21pm The
Hidenburg was still 300 ft in the air and 1000 ft away from the
landing site. At this point a mushroom shaped flame rose from in
front of the tail section. Around 7:25 pm witnesses heard a large
boom. After that it took 34 seconds for the blimp to go up in
smoke. Some passengers jumped or fell to their death but many
were rescued after the ship hit the ground.
•The first theory is that US helium prices were too high so the Germans
used hydrogen instead. The hydrogen had a gas leak and was ignited by a
spark of electricity. This theory is discredited because helium would not
have supported the blimps design.
•Second theory is that the air ship wasn’t grounded properly in one or
more sections allowing static electricity. This can be discredited because
the mooring lines were not conductors. So static electricity could not
have gotten close enough to the blimp to cause it to spark.
•The third and most believed explanation is that the “skin” of the ship
had aluminum powder, cellulose nitrate, and iron oxide which is similar
to rocket powder. This can be backed up because the Hidenburg did not
explode, it burned. The fire had color and a hydrogen fire isn't visible.
The airship didn’t crash immediately after the fire started but waited 32
seconds in the air. Also, the hydrogen was given the smell of garlic for
leak detection and there were no leaks reported.
One Essential word that relates to the Hindenburg is
Propaganda. This word relates because the nazi( they
funded the ship) put swastikas on the blimp and I
guess its negative propaganda for them because it
killed 36 people.
A Second word would be innovators. The Germans
made the first passenger blimp first and bigger than
anyone else.
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