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Encyclopedia > Hindenburg (airship)

LZ 129 Hindenburg was a German zeppelin. Together with its sister-ship LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II it was the largest aircraft ever built. In its second year of service it was destroyed by a fire while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey on May 6, 1937. A total of 36 people (about one third of those on board) perished in the accident, which was widely reported by film, photographic, and radio media. LZ127 Graf Zeppelin, one of the two zeppelins that carried passengers from Germany to the United States. ... The Graf Zeppelin (LZ-130) was the last of the great Zeppelins built by the Zeppelin Luftshiffbau during the period between the World Wars. ... Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst (NAES Lakehurst), New Jersey, formerly the Lakehurst Naval Air Station then the Naval Air Engineering Center Lakehurst. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... May 6 is the 126th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (127th in leap years). ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The Hindenburg

The Hindenburg on an earlier visit to Lakehurst, 1936
The Hindenburg on an earlier visit to Lakehurst, 1936

The Hindenburg was named after Paul von Hindenburg, the President of Germany (1924–1934). It was a brand-new, all-duralumin design: 245 m long (804 ft), 41 m in diameter (135 ft), containing 200,000 m³ (7,000,000 ft³) of gas in 16 bags or cells, with a useful lift of 112.1 metric tons force (1.099 MN), powered by four reversible 1,200 horsepower (890 kW) Daimler-Benz diesel engines, giving it a maximum speed of 135 km/h (84 mph). Image File history File links Hindenburg_at_lakehurst. ... Image File history File links Hindenburg_at_lakehurst. ... Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a German Field Marshal and statesman. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with President of Germany. ... Duralumin (also called duraluminum, duraluminium or dural) is the name of one of the earliest types of age-hardenable aluminium alloys. ... A tonne (also called metric ton) is a non-SI unit of mass, accepted for use with SI, defined as: 1 tonne = 103 kg (= 106 g). ... The newton (symbol: N) is the SI unit of force. ... The horsepower (hp) is the name of several non-metric units of power. ... Daimler-Benz AG was founded on May 1, 1924 by the merger of Benz & Cie. ... A Diesel engine built by MAN AG in 1906 Rudolf Diesels 1893 patent on his engine design The diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine; more specifically, it is a compression ignition engine, in which the fuel is ignited by being suddenly exposed to the high temperature...

The Hindenburg was longer than three Boeing 747s placed end-to-end. It had cabins for 50 passengers (upgraded to 72 in 1937) and a crew of 61. For aerodynamic reasons, the passenger quarters were contained within the body rather than in gondolas. It was skinned in cotton, doped with iron oxide and cellulose acetate butyrate impregnated with aluminium powder. Constructed by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin in 1935 at a cost of £500,000, it made its first flight on March 4, 1936. The Boeing 747, commonly called a Jumbo Jet, is one of the most recognizable of all jet airliners and is the largest airliner currently in service. ... Varnish is a finish applied to wood or other surfaces in order to provide a clear, hard, durable, protective finish. ... Iron oxide pigment There are a number of iron oxides: Iron oxides Iron(II) oxide or ferrous oxide (FeO) The black-coloured powder in particular can cause explosions as it readily ignites. ... Cellulose as polymer of β-D-glucose Cellulose in 3D Cellulose (C6H10O5)n is a long-chain polymeric polysaccharide carbohydrate, of beta-glucose. ... Acetate, or ethanoate, is the anion of a salt or ester of acetic acid. ... The butyrate (also butanoate) ion is C3H7COO- (butyric acid minus one hydrogen ion). ... Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH is a German company which, during the early 20th century, was a leader in the design and manufacture of rigid airships. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (64th in leap years). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...

The Hindenburg was originally intended to be filled with helium, but a United States military embargo on helium led the Germans to modify the design of the ship to use highly flammable hydrogen as the lift gas. This also gave the craft approximately 8% higher lifting capacity. General Name, Symbol, Number helium, He, 2 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 4. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ...

After the first season in winter 1936–37, several changes were made. Because of the greater lifting capacity, ten passenger cabins were added. Nine of them had two beds, and one had four beds. During the first year of service, LZ 129 had a special aluminium Blüthner grand piano on board in the music salon. The Blüthner grand was the first piano in flight and hosted the first broadcast radio "air concert". It was removed to save weight and was not on board in 1937. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A grand piano from Schiedmayer & Söhne, Stuttgart. ...

The Germans had experience with hydrogen, and no hydrogen-related fire accidents had occurred on civil Zeppelins, so this switch from helium did not cause alarm. Knowing the risks of hydrogen gas, the engineers used various safety measures, including treating the airship's coating to prevent electric sparks. Such was their confidence in their ability to handle hydrogen that a smoking room was present on the Hindenburg; it was pressurized to keep hydrogen out.

Successful first year

Hindenburg had been in commercial service for more than a year before the accident. It built upon the numerous achievements of its predecessor Graf Zeppelin which had already flown for nearly 1 million miles. During 1936, its first year of commercial operation, the Hindenburg flew 191,583 miles carrying 2,798 passengers and 160 tons of freight and mail. In that year the ship made 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean with 10 trips to the US and 7 to Brazil. It also completed a record Atlantic double-crossing in 5 days, 19 hours and 51 minutes in July. The German boxer Max Schmeling was a passenger. He was given a hero's welcome in Frankfurt after defeating Joe Louis. Graf Zeppelin, filled with abundant hydrogen, circumnavigated the globe. ... Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling (September 28, 1905 – February 2, 2005) was a German boxer whose two fights with Joe Louis transcended boxing and became worldwide social events because of their racial and national associations. ... Joseph Louis Barrow (either May 13 or May 14 (sources differ), 1914 – April 12, 1981), better known in the boxing world as Joe Louis and nicknamed The Brown Bomber, was a native of LaFayette, Alabama who became one of the greatest World Heavyweight Champions. ...

In May and June 1936 the Hindenburg flew twice over the United Kingdom, primarily the north of England. It has been suggested by the historian Oliver J. Y. Denton in the book The Rose and the Swastika (2001) that the Hindenburg was spying on the north of England.

On the first of August 1936, the Hindenburg was present at the opening ceremonies of the eleventh modern day Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Moments before the arrival of Adolf Hitler, the airship crossed over the Olympic stadium trailing the Olympic flag from its tail. (Birchall, 1936) The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, were held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. ... Berlin is the capital city and a state of Germany. ... Hitler redirects here. ...

This success led the Zeppelin Company ('Luftschiffbau Zeppelin') to start plans to expand its airship fleet and trans-Atlantic services. Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH is a German company which, during the early 20th century, was a leader in the design and manufacture of rigid airships. ...

The disaster

Historic newsreel coverage

Hindenburg (airship)
Oh, the humanity!
Hindenburg (airship)

—Herbert Morrison Image File history File links Cquote1. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... Herbert Morrison (May 14, 1905 – January 10, 1989), American radio reporter, was best known for his vivid description of the explosion and fire that destroyed the Hindenburg zeppelin. ...

The disaster is remembered partly because of extraordinary newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio witness report from the landing field. The crush of journalists was in response to a heavy publicity push about the first trans-Atlantic Zeppelin passenger flight to the US of the year. (The ship had already made one round trip from Germany to Brazil that year.) Morrison's recording was not broadcasted until the next day. Parts of his report were later dubbed onto the newsreel footage (giving an incorrect impression to some modern eyes accustomed to live television that the words and film had always been together). Morrison's broadcast remains one of the most famous in history — his plaintive words "Oh, the humanity!" resonate with the impact of the disaster. A newsreel is a documentary film that is regularly released in a public presentation place containing filmed news stories. ... Herbert Morrison (May 14, 1905 – January 10, 1989), American radio reporter, was best known for his vivid description of the explosion and fire that destroyed the Hindenburg zeppelin. ...

Herbert Morrison's famous words should be understood in the context of the broadcast, in which he had repeatedly referred to the large team of people on the field, engaged in landing the airship, as a "mass of humanity." He used the phrase when it became clear that the burning wreckage was going to settle onto the ground, and that the people underneath would probably not have time to escape it. It is not clear from the recording whether his actual words were "Oh, the humanity" or "all the humanity."

There had been a series of other airship accidents (none of them Zeppelins) prior to the Hindenburg fire, most due to bad weather. However, Zeppelins had an impressive safety record; the Graf Zeppelin had flown safely for more than 1.6 million km (1 million miles) including making the first circumnavigation of the globe. The Zeppelin company was very proud of the fact that no passenger had ever been injured on one of their airships. Accidents of significant historical importance 1921 British R38. ... Graf Zeppelin, filled with abundant hydrogen, circumnavigated the globe. ...

The Hindenburg accident changed this. Public faith in airships was shattered by the spectacular movie footage and impassioned live voice recording from the scene. It marked the end of the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airships. This news report is available in the old time radio circles as well. (Although many transfers of this show are very high pitched, there is a compact disc available of the show in its correct pitch.) Old-Time Radio (OTR) or The Golden Age of Radio is a term used to refer to radio programs that were broadcast during the 1920s through the late 1950s (with some outlying programs produced earlier and later) in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and Canada and... The Compact Disc logo was inspired by that of the previous Compact Cassette. ...

Death toll

Most of the crew and passengers survived. Of 36 passengers and 61 crew, 13 passengers and 22 crew died. Also killed was one member of the ground crew, Navy Linesman Allen Hagaman. Most deaths did not arise from the fire but were suffered by those who leapt from the burning ship. (The lighter-than-air fire burned overhead.) Those passengers who rode the ship on its gentle descent to the ground escaped unharmed. In comparison, almost twice as many perished when the helium-filled USS Akron crashed. [1] Allen Hagaman was a member of the US Naval linesman and the sole ground-crew casualty of the Hindenburg disaster, killed when the airship hit the ground. ... USS Akron (ZRS-4) was a rigid airship of the United States Navy. ...


As with many historic events, interpretations of the causes are often coloured by politics and polemics.

On the one hand, some speculate that the German government of that era placed the blame on flammable hydrogen in order to cast the U.S. helium embargo in a bad light. Others suggest that present-day proponents of hydrogen as a transportation fuel have forwarded a "flammable fabric" analysis of the fire in order to deflect public concern about the safety of hydrogen.

Nonetheless, there remain three major points of contention: 1) How the fire started, 2) Which material (fabric or gas) started to burn first and 3) Which material (fabric or gas) caused the rapid spread of the fire.

Cause of ignition

Sabotage theory

At the time, sabotage was commonly put forward as the cause of the fire, in particular by Hugo Eckener, former head of the Zeppelin company and the "old man" of the German airships. (Eckener later publicly endorsed the static spark theory — see below.) The Zeppelin airships were widely seen as symbols of German and Nazi power. As such, they would have made tempting targets for opponents of the Nazis. Hugo Eckener (May 10, 1868 - August 14, 1954) was the old man of the Zeppelin airship company. ...

Another proponent of the sabotage hypothesis was Max Pruss, commander of the Hindenburg throughout the airship's career. Pruss flew on nearly every flight of the Graf Zeppelin until the Hindenburg was ready. In a 1960 interview conducted by Kenneth Leish on behalf of Columbia's Oral History Research Office, he described early dirigible use as safe and felt strongly that the fire was caused by sabotage. Pruss stated that on trips to South America, which was a popular destination for German tourists, both ships passed through multiple thunderstorms with lightning striking the ship without any trouble whatsoever. Max Pruss was a surviving crew member of the Hindenburg zeppelin disaster. ... Graf Zeppelin, filled with abundant hydrogen, circumnavigated the globe. ...

Several theories as to who the alleged saboteur may have been have been put forward. In particular, some have alleged that Zionist agents working against increasingly anti-semitic Germany were behind the fire. A bilingual poster in Romanian and Hungarian promoting a film about Jewish settlement in Palestine, 1930s. ...

In 1962, A. Hoehling published a book entitled Who Destroyed the Hindenburg?. In the book, Hoehling considers all explanations, and rejects all but sabotage. He alleges that the most likely saboteur is one Eric Spehl, a rigger on the Hindenburg crew who was killed at Lakehurst. Rigger may mean: The modern usage of Rigger refers to a person or company which specializes in the lifting and moving of extremely large and heavy objects. ... Lakehurst is a borough located in Ocean County, New Jersey. ...

Ten years later, Michael MacDonald Mooney published his own book, The Hindenburg. He, too, alleges that Spehl was the saboteur.

Those putting Spehl forward as the alleged saboteur focus on several historic threads including: the course of Spehl’s own life, his girlfriend’s anti-Nazi connections (she was reportedly a suspected communist opposed to the Nazis); that the fire started near Gas Cell 4 (Spehl’s duty station); the discovery of a dry-cell battery among the wreckage; the fact that Spehl was an amateur photographer familiar with flashbulbs that could have served as an igniter (presumably wired to the above mentioned dry cells); and rumors about Spehl’s involvement dating from a 1938 Gestapo investigation.

However, opponents of the sabotage theory claim that no firm evidence, only suppositions, supporting sabotage as a cause of the fire was produced at any of the formal hearings on the matter. The opponents also claim that the sabotage theory rests on selective use of the available evidence. They point out that Spehl could be viewed as a convenient scapegoat as he died in the fire and was hence unable to refute the accusations made against him. These opponents also believe that the sabotage theory was fostered by the children of Max Pruss in an effort to exonerate their father. They also point out that neither of the postwar memoirs of Eckener nor von Schiller contained any support for the notion of "suppressed investigation findings" and, given the timing of the memoirs, there would be little incentive for these two airshipmen to perpetuate a cover-up of the then fallen Nazi regime. This is particularly true of Eckener who had been extremely vocal in his opposition to the Nazis during their rise to power.

And finally, opponents point to the fact that neither of the formal investigations (American and German) concluded in favor of any of the sabotage theories.

Static spark theory

Although the evidence is by no means conclusive, a reasonably strong case can be made for an alternative theory that the fire was started by a spark caused by a buildup of static electricity. Proponents of the "static spark" theory point out that the airship's skin was not constructed in a way that allowed its charge to be evenly distributed, and the skin was separated from the duralumin frame by nonconductive ramie cords. This may have allowed a potential difference between the wet Zeppelin and the ground to form. In order to make up for a delay of over 12 hours in its trans-atlantic flight, the ship passed through a weather front with a high electrical charge and where the humidity was high. This made the mooring lines wet and thus conductive. As the ship moved through the air, its skin may have become charged. When the wet mooring lines connected to the duralumin frame touched the ground, they would have grounded the frame. The grounding of the frame may thus have caused an electrical discharge between the skin and the grounded frame. Some witnesses reported seeing a glow consistent with St. Elmo's fire along the tail portion of the ship just before the flames broke out, although these reports were made after the official inquiry was completed. Electrostatics is the branch of physics that deals with the forces exerted by a static (i. ... Duralumin (also called duraluminum, duraluminium or dural) is the name of one of the earliest types of age-hardenable aluminium alloys. ... Binomial name Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaudich. ... In meteorology, a weather front is a boundary between two air masses with differing characteristics (e. ... St. ...

Puncture theory

Another popular theory put forward referred to the film footage taken during the disaster, in which the Hindenburg can be seen taking a rather sharp turn prior to bursting into flames. Some experts speculate that one of the many bracing wires within the structure of the airship may have snapped and punctured the fabric of one or more of the internal gas cells. They refer to gauges found in the wreckage that showed that the tension of the wires was much too high. The punctured cells would have allowed hydrogen out of the Hindenburg, which could have been ignited by the static discharge mentioned previously. Advocates of this theory believe that the hydrogen began to leak approximately eight minutes prior to the explosion, building up until the spark ignited the gas. This theory, however, remains speculation, because no concrete evidence has shown that the gas cells were punctured and no witness accounts back up this hypothesis.

Initial fuel for combustion

Most current analysis of the accident assumes that the static spark theory is correct. However, there is still a debate as to whether the fabric covering of the ship or the hydrogen used for buoyancy was the fuel for the fire.

Proponents of the "flammable fabric" or incendiary paint theory (IPT), first posited by Addison Bain in 1997, point out that the coatings on the fabric contained both iron oxide and aluminium-impregnated cellulose acetate butyrate dope. These components were potentially reactive. In fact, iron oxide and aluminium are sometimes used as components of solid rocket fuel or thermite (However, the oft-stated claim that the ship was "coated in rocket fuel" is a significant overstatement.) Addison Bain is a retired NASA technician and writer who is credited with postulating the Bain Incendiary-Paint Theory (IPT) that posits that the Hindenburg disaster was initiated by the electrical ignition of lacquer and metal based paints used on the outer hull of the airship. ... Look up dope in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Space Shuttle is initially launched with the help of solid-fuel boosters A Solid rocket or a solid fuel rocket is a rocket with a motor that uses solid propellants (fuel/oxidizer). ... A thermite mixture using Iron Oxide A thermite reaction is a type of aluminothermic reaction in which aluminium metal is oxidized by the oxide of another metal, most commonly iron oxide. ...

Opponents of the IPT point out that cellulose acetate butyrate dope is rated within the plastics industry as combustible but nonflammable. It will burn when placed within a fire but will not readily ignite by itself. It is considered to be self-extinguishing. While the coating components were potentially reactive, they were not only in the wrong proportion, they were separated by a layer of material (cellulose acetate butyrate) that would have prevented their mingling and reaction.

Proponents of the IPT also point out that, after the disaster, the Zeppelin company's engineers determined this skin material, used only on the Hindenburg, was more flammable than the skin used on previous craft and changed the composition for future designs. Opponents of the IPT counter that Hindenburg had flown for over a year (and through several lightning storms) with no reports of adverse chemical reactions, much less fires on the fabric.

Proponents of the IPT also point to fact that the naturally odorless hydrogen gas in the Hindenburg was "odorised" with garlic so that any leaks could be detected, and that there were no reports of garlic odors during the flight or prior to the fire. Opponents of the flammable fabric theory point out that odorized hydrogen would only be detected in the area of a leak. The fire started near the ship's top, an area devoid of personnel. Since any leaking hydrogen would have moved upward, away from any personnel, there could possibly have been a hydrogen leak in the area where the fire started with no odor detected. Binomial name Allium sativum L. Percentages are relative to US RDI values for adults. ...

Proponents of the IPT point out that Hindenburg was also seen to stay aloft for a relatively long amount of time after the fire started, instead of immediately tilting and falling as it would have if the hydrogen cells were ruptured. Opponents of the IPT reply that any delay in the ship's descent was the result of buoyancy forces and their effect upon the inertia of the ship's considerable mass. The total event, initiation of the fire and its near total destruction upon the ground, took scarcely 37 seconds. According to opponents of the IPT, burning hydrogen alone can explain the event. [1]

Rate of flame propagation

Regardless of the source of ignition or the initial fuel for the fire, there remains a third point of controversy with regard to the cause of the rapid spread of the flames along the length of the ship. Here again the debate has centered on the culpability of fabric covering of the ship vs. the hydrogen used for buoyancy.

The proponents of the "flammable fabric" theory also contend that the fabric coatings were responsible for the rapid spread of the flames. They point out that hydrogen burns invisibly (emitting light in the UV range), so the visible flames (see photo) of the fire could not have been caused by the hydrogen gas. The motion picture films show downward burning. Note: Ultraviolet is also the name of a 1998 UK television miniseries about vampires. ...

Opponents of the "flammable fabric" theory point out that once the fire started, all of the components of the ship (fabric, gas, metal, etc.) burned. So, while it may be that the combustion of the metal and fabric changed the color of the flame, the presence of color does not imply that hydrogen did not also burn. Also, while all fires generally tend to burn upward, including hydrogen fires, the enormous radiant heat from the burning of all of the materials of the ship would have quickly led to ignition over the entire surface of the ship, thus explaining the downward propagation of the flames.

Opponents also cite recent technical papers [2] which claim that even if the ship had been coated with typical rocket fuel (as is often stated in the press), it would have taken many hours to burn — not the 37 seconds that it actually took.

Additional support is found in a set of modern[3] experiments, recreating the fabric and coating materials of the Hindenburg, which contradict the "flammable fabric" theory. These experiments conclude that it would have taken about 40 hours for the Hindenburg to have burned if the fire had been driven by combusting fabric. These experiments, as well as other industrial tests of the coating materials, conclude that the covering materials were combustible but nonflammable. Two additional scientific papers[4] also strongly reject the "flammable fabric theory". For other uses see fire (disambiguation). ... Flammable or Flammability refers to the ease at which a substance will ignite, causing fire or combustion. ...

Cultural references


Led Zeppelin's First Album.
Led Zeppelin's First Album.

The War of the Worlds, a radio adaptation based upon H. G. Wells classic novel, was performed by Mercury Theatre on the Air as a Halloween special on October 30, 1938. ... Don Van Vliet in a 1982 promotional photo. ... Trout Mask Replica is a 1969 double album by Captain Beefheart (real name: Don van Vliet) and His Magic Band. ... Cover of the Led Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin. ... Cover of the Led Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi   - Water (%) Population... Rock band (or rock group) is a generic name to describe a group of musicians specializing in a particular form of electronically amplified music. ... Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, one of the most successful and influential groups in popular music history. ... An eponym is a person (real or fictitious) whose name has become identified with a particular object or activity. ... Led Zeppelin, released on January 12, 1969 (see 1969 in music), was the first album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. ... Keith John Moon (August 23, 1946 – September 7, 1978) was the drummer of the rock group The Who. ... The Arrogant Worms are a Canadian musical comedy trio that parodies many musical genres. ... Leadbelly (January 29, 1885 - December 6, 1949) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. ...


  • A Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps episode has the character Johnny inflate a condom to impress Louise, he then pops the condom with a cigarette lighter before shouting "It's the Hindenburg disaster - that's history! I am intelligent!", much to the disgust of Donna and Janet who call Johnny "insensitive".
  • A DuckTales episode features a dirigible named "The Uncrashable Hindentanic," a spoof of the Hindenburg and the Titanicon a disastrous voyage from Duckburg to London. In a broad parody of disaster movies, the Hindentanic in close order, catches on fire, blows up and crashes into an iceberg, ultimately sinking into the North Atlantic.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch from a season six episode (host: Robert Hays, musical guests: Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns and 14 Karat Soul) has Eddie Murphy as a professional "Space Invaders" player who shoots down a Goodyear Blimp, which sends sportscaster Joe Piscopo into a rant reminiscent of the Hindenburg disaster broadcast.
  • In The Simpsons episode, "Bart the Fink" (where Krusty the Clown fakes his death in order to escape punishment for tax evasion), Bart Simpson opens a checking account and shows off his first checkbook, which features a flip book animation of the Hindenburg disaster. Briefly on the cover page, there is a bit of text that says "Herbert Morrison series—Oh the Humanity!"
  • In another Simpsons episode, this time the season four episode, "Lisa the Beauty Queen", Barney Gumble rides a blimp that crashes into a radio tower like the Hindenburg during the opening of a Danish superstore. Kent Brockman (who is reporting live) shouts, "Oh, the humanity!" before announcing the opening of the "Severe Tire Damage" spikes by Amber Dempsey (the girl chosen as Little Miss Springfield before Lisa took over).
  • Yet another Simpsons episode, "Marge vs. the Monorail", has a scene where celebrities are drinking at a bar on the new monorail and the opening shot shows a framed picture of the Hindenburg disaster.
  • In "The Crest of Kindess" of Digimon Adventure 02 there is a scene where Ken's flying base (shaped like an airship) falls and hits the ground. As it does, one of the Digimon cries, "OH, the humanity!"
  • A first season episode of WKRP in Cincinnati relates a disastrous Thanksgiving promotion, which includes Carlson dropping live turkeys out of a helicopter. The scene is reported live on the air by the station's news director, Les Nessman (Richard Sanders), breathlessly describing the unseen birds plummeting to the ground, in the same manner as Herbert Morrison's coverage of the Hindenburg disaster, "It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it is a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"
  • In another Simpsons episode where Santa's Little Helper is now owned by Mr Burns, Burns shows the dog a film of what Dogs might find disturbing. One sketch is the Hindenburg disaster.
  • In an episode of Family Guy when Peter and Lois try to get Cleveland and Loretta back together after an affair, Peter shouts, "To the HindenPeter!" He runs outside and gets into a Zeppelin with his face on the front. But the Zeppelin blows up and crashes on the Swanson lawn. This also happened earlier in the episode with the Petecopter.
  • In the episode of The Waltons titled "The Inferno" (10 Feb 1977), John-Boy is a witness to the Hindenberg crash. Shots of a horrified John-Boy with bit of burning rubbish floating around him were inserted into the famous newsreel footage.
  • On I Love the '70s: Volume 2 comedians ponder what Goodyear was thinking when they launched the Goodyear Blimp. "Haven't we learned anything from a little thing called the Hindenburg?"
  • In an episode of The Fairly Odd Parents, "Smart Attack", just before Mr. Turner arrives to the scientists to show off Timmys 'super fish', the announcer is explaining one of the scientists "Hinden-shoes". They look like tiny zeppelins attached to the bottom of the scientists feet, but has a sort of giant needle on the nose.

Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is a BBC sitcom written by Susan Nickson and set in the British town of Runcorn, starring Sheridan Smith, Kathryn Drysdale, Ralf Little, Will Mellor, Natalie Casey and Hayley Bishop. ... DuckTales is an American animated television series produced by The Walt Disney Company starring characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe as largely created by Carl Barks. ... RMS Titanic was an Olympic class passenger liner that became infamous for its collision with an iceberg and dramatic sinking in 1912. ... Duckburg, as seen in the animated series DuckTales. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom. ... In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ... A disaster movie is a movie that has an impending disaster (e. ... For other uses, see Atlantic (disambiguation) The Atlantic Ocean is Earths second-largest ocean, covering approximately one-fifth of its surface. ... It has been suggested that Operaman be merged into this article or section. ... The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox network. ... Bart the Fink is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons seventh season. ... Bart with Conan OBrien Bartholomew Jojo Simpson (born April 1, 1981, remains 10 through the series), better known as Bart, is a fictional character featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. ... A flip book is a book with a series of pictures varying gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate, simulating motion or some other change. ... Herbert Morrison (May 14, 1905 – January 10, 1989), American radio reporter, was best known for his vivid description of the explosion and fire that destroyed the Hindenburg zeppelin. ... Lisa the Beauty Queen is an episode of The Simpsons fourth season (1992-1993) of the show. ... Marge vs. ... Digimon Adventure 02 (2000), also commonly written as Digimon 02/Digimon Zero Two, is a sequel to the previous season; three years later. ... The cast of WKRP in Cincinnati is pictured in this 1978 publicity photo. ... The Simpsons. ... Family Guy is an American animated comedy created by Seth MacFarlane for FOX in 1999. ... Cover art for the DVD release of The Waltons first season. ... The Spirit of Goodyear has a distinctive yellow stripe under the logo. ... The Fairly OddParents is one of the most popular cartoons on Nickelodeon The Fairly OddParents is an animated series created by Butch Hartman and was first aired in March 30, 2001. ...


  • In the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, a non-playable character (NPC) named "Hin Denburg" operates the zeppelin traveling to Grom'Gol.
  • In a Simpsons comic book, the Duff Blimp is shot at by police because it has the infamous El Barto (Bart Simpson) vandalising the side along with El Grampo (Abraham Simpson). The Blimp explodes, and Homer Simpson cries; "D'oh! the humanity!"
  • A major part in The Never War (the Pendragon Series by D. J. MacHale centers around the Hindenburg; the main character must allow the disaster to happen to save the world from a Nazi conspiracy.
  • The Hindenburg is the primary motif of the first section of Three Tales by Steve Reich and Beryl Korot.
  • In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy secures a zeppelin passenger flight for his father and himself out of Berlin from Tempelhof Airport. Set in the year 1938, it has to be Hindenburg's remaining sister ship Graf Zeppelin II, but the registration "D-138" suggests otherwise. Indy and his father escape in a biplane, when the zeppelin turns around (however, only US Navy airships like the USS Akron and USS Macon ever carried biplanes on board).
  • In the movie The Rocketeer, the registration "D-LZ130" suggests Graf Zeppelin II but the zeppelin carries the strange name Luxembourg (Luxembourg had never been a German state and is spelled "Luxemburg" in German). The fictitious airship is destroyed over Hollywood after an unsuccessful covert operation.
  • The opening scene of the film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which is set in 1939 (two years after the actual Hindenburg disaster) shows another fictitious zeppelin, named the Hindenburg III, docking at the mooring mast of the Empire State Building (which, in real life, was built, but never used).
  • When George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, the media called it a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic. In 2006, Stephen Colbert, in his keynote address to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, rebuked the media on that statement, saying, "This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!"
  • In the video game Timesplitters: Future Perfect a level on the Arcade mode is a Zeppelin and there is a picture of the Hindenburg flying next to the radio tower before it crashed.
  • U.S. film star Jan Sterling was scheduled to take the doomed flight on the Hindenburg, but was turned away for having too much luggage.

It has been suggested that World of Warcraft Forums be merged into this article or section. ... The Simpsons. ... Duff Beer (with Homer Simpson) Duff Beer is a fictional brand of beer in the animated series The Simpsons. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Never War is a book in the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale. ... // About the Series Pendragon is the name of a series of fantasy novels by D.J. MacHale. ... D.J. MacHale, or Donald James MacHale, (born March 11, 1956 in Connecticut) is the author of the fantasy Pendragon series. ... In literature, a motif is any recurring element that has symbolic significance. ... Three Tales is the title of multiple works: Three Tales, a novel by Gustave Flaubert Three Tales, an opera by Steve Reich and Beryl Korot This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Steve Reich Steve Reich (born Stephen Michael Reich, October 3, 1936) is an American composer. ... Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Julian Glover, Alison Doody, River Phoenix and John Rhys-Davies. ... Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones Dr. Henry Indiana Jones, Jr. ... Tempelhof Central Airport, a. ... The Graf Zeppelin (LZ 130) was the last of the great Zeppelins built by the Zeppelin Luftschiffbau during the period between the World Wars. ... Hs123 biplane. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... USS Akron (ZRS-4) was a rigid airship of the United States Navy. ... Two ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS Macon, named in honor of the city of Macon, Georgia. ... The Rocketeer (1991) The Rocketeer is a 1991 film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Joe Johnston. ... The Graf Zeppelin (LZ 130) was the last of the great Zeppelins built by the Zeppelin Luftschiffbau during the period between the World Wars. ... Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a film released on September 17, 2004 in the United States. ... The Empire State Building is a 102-story contemporary Art Deco style building in New York City, declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American businessman and politician, was elected in 2000 as the 43rd President of the United States of America, re-elected in 2004, and is currently serving his second term in that office. ... RMS Titanic was an Olympic class passenger liner that became infamous for its collision with an iceberg and dramatic sinking in 1912. ... Stephen Tyrone Colbert (IPA: ) (born May 13, 1964) is a four-time Emmy-winning American comedian, actor, writer, and satirist known for his dramatic style and deadpan comedic delivery. ... TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Categories: 2005 computer and video games | GameCube games | PlayStation 2 games | Xbox games | First-person shooters | Computer and video game stubs ... One of Hollywoods most talented and versatile stars, often cool and stunning blonde in Hollywood film noir movies of the 1940s and 50s, the actrees Jan Sterling ensured audiences of a real good time with her sexy roles in soaps, crime action and comedies. ...

See also

A crash cover, also known as an air accident cover or interrupted flight cover, is a cover (envelope) that has been recovered from an airplane or airship crash or other accident. ... Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage is a 1937 documentary film which shows the burning, explosion, and crash of the zeppelin Hindenburg. ... Herbert Morrison (May 14, 1905 – January 10, 1989), American radio reporter, was best known for his vivid description of the explosion and fire that destroyed the Hindenburg zeppelin. ... The Hindenburg (1975) is a movie based on the disaster of the German airship Hindenburg. ... Accidents of significant historical importance 1921 British R38. ... LZ127 Graf Zeppelin, one of the two zeppelins that carried passengers from Germany to the United States. ... Harold G. Dick was an American employee of Goodyear who flew on almost all of the Hindenburg flights. ...


  • Birchall, Frederick (August 1, 1936). "100,000 Hail Hitler; U.S. Athletes Avoid Nazi Salute to Him". The New York Times, p. 1.
  • Duggan, John (2002). LZ 129 "Hindenburg" — The Complete Story. Ickenham, UK: Zeppelin Study Group. ISBN 0-9514114-8-9.
  1. ^ Source for the cause of death is secondary. Found on page 35 of Hawken, P, Lovins, A & Lovins H, 1999, "Natural Capitalism", Little Brown & Company, New York. Their footnote references Bain, A, 1997, "The Hindenberg Disaster: A Compelling Theory of Probable Cause and Effect", Procs. Natl. Hydr. Assn. 8th Ann. Hydrogen Mtg. (Alexandria, VA) March 11-13 pp. 125-128.

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