The Hindenburg Disaster

Essay by COBRA88Junior High, 9th gradeA+, December 2003

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The Hindenburg Disaster

The Hindenburg disaster was one of world's most tragic occurrences ever. The Hindenburg was a rigid airship built by a firm in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The Hindenburg was completed and tested in 1936 passengers had already been travelling in airships for 27 years by this point. It was the world's first transatlantic commercial airliner. It had a length of 245 metres (804 ft) and a maximum diameter of 41 metres (135 ft). The Hindenburg was kept in the air by 200 000 cubic meters of hydrogen in 16 hydrogen cells. Hydrogen is the first element in the periodic table; it is an invisible, flammable gas that contains a single proton and one outer electron. The airship had four Daimler - Benz diesel engines that enabled the airship to travel at speeds of up to 132 kilometres per hour (82 miles per hour). In May 1936 the Hindenburg did it's first scheduled air service across the Atlantic between Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Lakehurst, New Jersey. More than 70 passengers were onboard.

The Hindenburg had a library, dining room and an exquisite lounge among other interesting features.

The Hindenburg was struck with disaster on May 6 1937. The hydrogen used to keep the airship in the air was ignited while it was manoeuvring to land at Lakehurst. It had ran into the gantry that it was meant to tie up to when it landed. The Hindenburg was completely destroyed by the fire and 35 passengers and crew died in the accident. People have said the Hindenburg was sabotaged but none of these claims have ever been sustained by evidence.

The explosion that destroyed the Hindenburg was caused by the following chemical reaction:

Airships are now filled with Helium the second lightest gas known to man. Helium is not...