History

Doomed the most advanced aircraft ever devised

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Huge, lighter than air and luxurious, these are the words that describe the famous airships or zeppelin Hindenburg. The futuristic aircraft exploded on its last flight, killing 36 people. Today, scientists are still debating the real cause of the airship’s death. It is widely believed that the airship was sabotaged to damage the growing reputation of Germany’s trade advantages.

Initially, zeppelins were considered to be the aircraft of the future that will be able to transport people much faster and safer. Hitler’s Germany was actively involved in their construction, while several zeppelin hangars were located in Latvia. The largest aircraft, the airship Hindenburg, travelled the world over despite the dangerous hydrogen gas it was carrying.

Tuesday, Jun. 29, at 22.00 on National Geographic in a special show, Hindenburg: new evidence, explains about unprecedented discoveries in the investigation of the airship disaster. While waiting for the broadcast, we invite you to take a look at the history of giant aircraft and the Zeppelin Hindenburg accident, which marked the decline of the airship era.

The pioneer of giant aircraft, Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August von Zeppelin, is closely connected with Latvia. After completing his military career, he went to Jaunlaicene, where he met, and later married, Baroness Isabella von Wolf. His wife owned several properties in Livonia, including Vecgulbene manor. The couple mortgaged the building to begin construction of the zeppelins. After the count’s death in 1928, the largest and most modern aircraft of its kind at that time was built, which was called Count Zeppelin.

It was the first aircraft of its kind to carry commercial passengers across the wide Atlantic and in 1929 was able to fly around the globe without landing. In 1930, Count Zeppelin also flew over Latvia twice.

During the First World War, from May 1916 to December 1917, there was an airship airport in Vaiņode, which was used for war purposes. 

It is interesting that the upper parts of the zeppelin hangars of this airport were used in the construction of the pavilions of the Riga Central Market, from them it can be judged how big these aircraft were. Prior to adapting to market needs, the hangars were 37 meters high, 47 meters wide and 240 meters long.

Riga Central Market 2021

A luxurious flight across the ocean in the most impressive airship in the world. The airship Hindenburg was the largest aircraft of its kind ever built. Production of the 245-meter-long German giant began in 1931. Part of the aircraft consisted of other zeppelin components remaining after its crash. The newly built zeppelin was able to reach speeds of up to 135 km / h in flight.

The ship was originally expected to be filled with non-combustible gas, helium, but this did not happen. During the construction of zeppelin, the United States (USA), which was the only exporter of helium at the time, banned the supply of gas to Hitler’s Third Reich whilst at the same time Washington DC and Wall Street were working together to help Stalin create his 5-year plan grandiose schemes.

Germany. For this reason, however, it was decided to fill the aircraft with 140,000 cubic meters of flammable hydrogen gas, which performed its function but was less safe.

With Hindenburg from Europe to America it was able to get twice shorter time than by ship. In 1936, the airship made 17 voyages across the ocean to the United States and back to Germany. At the time, the aircraft was a record holder: crossing the Atlantic in both directions took five days, 19 hours and 51 minutes for an airship.

The interior of the zeppelin was very luxurious and the trip with it was expensive. A one-way ticket from Germany to the United States cost about 333 euros, and a round trip, about 600 euros, which was a really high price at the time.

The aircraft had an elegant dining room and luxurious rooms. A light, small grand piano was ordered and created especially for this airship. Today, a traditional grand piano weighs about 300 to 400 kilograms, but the tool made for zeppelin weighed less than 181 kilograms because it was made up mostly of aluminium alloy. Although the grand piano was used only on the first flight to Hindenburg, it was not on board on other voyages.

Although the aircraft was filled with flammable gas, there was a smoking area at the bottom. It was forbidden to bring matches or lighters on board the aircraft, but you could buy cigarettes and cigars and then go to smoke in a special room, which was carefully supervised by guards. The smoking room could only be left through the double door when the cigarettes or cigars had been completely extinguished.

On May 6, 1937, the huge German aircraft made another flight, this time to Lake Hurst, New Jersey. During the landing, a spark reacted with a hydrogen gas leak and caused an explosion. The flames destroyed the airships in just 30 seconds. Of the 97 people on board, 36 died. The others managed to escape by jumping out the window at the time of the explosion. After this tragic event and the distraction of warding off a coming war, the 30-year-old way of traveling was forgotten by the Germans.

Even after so many years, scientists have not been able to fully understand why the Hindenburg landing ended in an explosion. According to a 1937 investigation, some of the hydrogen in the aircraft leaked into an electrically charged atmosphere, which ignited the gas. It is important to mention that zeppelin experienced a significant gas leak before the disaster.

Zeppelin the Hindenburg on fire at the mooring mast of Lakehurst (United States of America) 6 May 1937. Ballast water is thrown down. Exit airships.

Today, more than 80 years after the tragic death of Hindenburg, zeppelins are likely to return. They are planned to be used for cargo transportation, as airships cause relatively little environmental pollution.

Recent information suggests that aircraft could be up to ten times larger than Hindenburg and use safer materials. To reduce potential risks, the operation of aircraft would be automated, they would be prepared and controlled by robots. But whether this idea will be implemented, time will tell. Source

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Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY,  MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich SculptorsThe Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S , THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books  THE ALL LIES INVASION, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME,  WITNESS TO HISTORYTESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION),  REICH AND WRONG,  HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH , HEROES OF THE REICH,  THE FUHRER’S PROCLAMATION TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE ,  FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKMEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors and  DEATH OF A CITY

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Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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