Asked by: Hapuc Wei
television science fiction tv

What caused the Hindenburg to explode?

Last Updated: 7th April, 2020

42
Hugo Eckener argued that the fire was started by an electric spark which was caused by a buildup of static electricity on the airship. The spark ignited hydrogen on the outer skin. Seeking the quickest way to ground, the spark would have jumped from the skin onto the metal framework, igniting the leaking hydrogen.

Click to see full answer.

Simply so, why did the Hindenburg burn so quickly?

The airship was designed to be filled with helium gas but because of U.S. export restriction on helium, it was filled with hydrogen. Hydrogen is extremely flammable, and the official cause of the fire was due to a "discharge of atmospheric electricity" near a gas leak on the ship's surface, according to History.com.

Additionally, what actually happened to the Hindenburg? On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg airship became engulfed in flames and crashed to the ground as it attempted to land at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The disaster killed 35 people and became a symbol of the end of the airship era.

Also to know, what was the Hindenburg made of?

The frame was built of duralumin, an aluminum alloy. The Hindenburg was wider than other airships, which made it more stable. Four engines powered the Hindenburg. Sixteen gas cells made from gelatinized cotton kept the Hindenburg aloft.

How many people died on the Hindenburg?

Anyone who has seen the graphic newsreel video of the Hindenburg plunging to earth in flames may be amazed to know that of the 97 passengers and crew on board, 62 survived. The disaster's 36 deaths included 13 passengers, 22 crewmembers and one worker on the ground.

Related Question Answers

Guiomar Enkirch

Professional

Do zeppelins still exist?

Zeppelins still fly today; in fact the new Goodyear airship is a not a blimp but a zeppelin, built by a descendant of the same company that built Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg.

Brisa Calles

Professional

Is water flammable?

Water is made up of two elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is flammable, but oxygen is not. You can't burn pure water, which is why we use it to put out fires instead of starting them. You can, however, break it down into hydrogen and oxygen by putting energy into it, in the form of an electric current.

Nicefora Ruepp

Professional

Is helium gas flammable?

As helium is lighter than air it can be used to inflate airships, blimps and balloons, providing lift. Although hydrogen is cheaper and more buoyant, helium is preferred as it is non-flammable and therefore safer.

Vitaly Peltsman

Explainer

Why are blimps no longer used?

Blimps are non-rigid lighter-than-air airships. The main reason is that they are very , very , very slow. They're also limited in lifting power. Hydrogen, which has the strongest lifting power is a mercurial gas to deal with because it is so reactive and it is hard to contain and store.

Latricia Meifarth

Explainer

What is the difference between a blimp and a Zeppelin?

Zeppelin is another noun. A zeppelin is also an aircraft. A zeppelin is like a blimp, save one crucial difference: while blimps are basically giant balloons, zeppelins have an internal metal framework that maintains its shape even when not filled with gasses.

Mouha Artero

Explainer

When was the last Zeppelin flight?

An attempt to complete the 24-hour trial flight ended when LZ 4 had to make a landing at Echterdingen near Stuttgart because of mechanical problems. During the stop, a storm tore the airship away from its moorings on the afternoon of 5 August 1908.

Abidine Elorz

Pundit

How long can a zeppelin stay in the air?

Most large modern airships only divide the envelope into three main compartments - two are filled with air (called "ballonets") and a large one filled with helium. How long can an airship stay aloft ? Our airships could stay aloft, without refueling, for up to 24 hours.

Nubia Antonaci

Pundit

Did the captain of the Hindenburg survive?

Max Pruss was in command of Hindenburg when it was destroyed by fire at Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937. He survived the crash, but suffered very serious burns on much of his body, including his face, and remained in a New York hospital for many months.

Nellie Hackenschmidt

Pundit

What is a zeppelin filled with?

Modern blimps, like the Goodyear Blimp, are filled with helium, which is non-flammable and safe but expensive. Early blimps and other airships were often filled with hydrogen, which is lighter than helium and provides more lift, but is flammable.

Olai Otto

Pundit

How much did it cost to build the Hindenburg?

Of course, Hindenburg's speed came at a price; passage between Europe and America via Hindenburg cost $400 one way in 1936, and $450 in 1937, while first class passage on a German ocean liner could be had for as little as $157.

Akemi Verfurth

Pundit

How did the zeppelin crash?

Almost 80 years of research and scientific tests support the same conclusion reached by the original German and American accident investigations in 1937: It seems clear that the Hindenburg disaster was caused by an electrostatic discharge (i.e., a spark) that ignited leaking hydrogen.

Harish Goppel

Teacher

Did the Hindenburg cross the Atlantic?

Hindenburg made 17 round trips across the Atlantic in 1936—its first and only full year of service—with ten trips to the United States and seven to Brazil. The last eastward trip of the year left Lakehurst on October 10; the first North Atlantic trip of 1937 ended in the Hindenburg disaster.

Flemming Mihaescu

Teacher

Who invented the blimp?

In 1852, Henri Giffard built the first powered airship, which consisted of a 143-ft (44-m) long, cigar-shaped, gas-filled bag with a propeller, powered by a 3-horsepower (2.2-kW) steam engine. Later, in 1900, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin of Germany invented the first rigid airship.

Tiscar Westhof

Teacher

How much did the Hindenburg weigh?

With a length of 803.8 feet, a diameter of 135.1 feet (7,063,000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas volume), and weighing approximately 242 tons, the Hindenburg required massive engine power to ply the sky. Four 16-cylinder Diesel engines were positioned in a staggered arrangement, two per side.

Kizkitza Redolat

Teacher

Arvid Gurrieri

Reviewer

How does the Hindenburg fly?

As the blimp rises, outside air pressure decreases and the helium in the envelope expands. The pilots then pump air into the ballonets to maintain pressure against the helium. To move the blimp into or out of its hangar, a tractor tows the mooring mast with the blimp attached to it.

Boulaye Bewersdorff

Reviewer

How many blimps are there in the world?

The general consensus is that there are between 20 and 25 blimps in the world today, but most of them are not in operation. Van Wagner Airship Group owns and operates eight of the approximately 13 active advertising blimps in the world including the MetLife Blimps.

Claribel Gaedt

Reviewer

Are there any Hindenburg survivors still alive?

He escaped without injury, and was the last surviving crew member when he died in 2014. The last survivor, Werner G. Doehner, died November 8, 2019. He recalled later that his mother threw him and his brother out of the ship and jumped after them; they survived but Doehner's father and sister were killed.

Jesusa Frankland

Reviewer