Saturday, October 13, 2018

World War l Moments (4)

Zeppelin L9

Hindenberg explodes.  

The first of the zeppelins took to the air in 1900, the Lenbarker Luftfahrzug. In the early days, rather than having the large, roundish, and fairly rigid shape of the Hindenburg, the first models resembled pencils and were meant to flex, much like an accordion.
Over time, zeppelins took on their more familiar shape, and all told, the Germans built 119, with a total of 130 planned. And in addition to their civilian utility, they were also heavily favored by the German--and later, American--military: The airships were heavily involved in bombing London during the first blitzes of World War I.
The end
No one knows exactly what caused the Hindenburg to explode. But on that day in May 1937, Lakehurst, N.J., was being roiled by electrical storms, causing some local rubber factories to shut down for fear of lightning igniting rubber dust. "At the most elemental level, the hydrogen ignited, it was just crazy and dangerous to operate a ship that had 7 million cubic feet of fuel. It's a flying bomb."
Although it's not known how it happened, it's agreed by Hindenburg experts that some of the airship's hydrogen escaped and met a spark, causing disaster.

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