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August 23 , 2007

The Hindenburg

a ship of dreams


75 years ago, the explosion at Lakehurst marked a dramatic end to the Golden Days of Lighter-than-Air. The crash of LZ-129 “Hindenburg” was the first disaster to be documented in pictures (one photographer even had Kodak color slide film, which had been developed one year prior), filmed by several national camera teams and recorded on records with the famous words of reporter Herb Morrison.
For it’s short existence, the LZ-129 “Hindenburg” was the largest, most luxurious flying object, that mankind ever built. The cheer size, of an airship that was three football fields long and over 16 stories tall, dwarfs our imagination of anything we have ever seen fly. Even the new Airbus A-380 or the advertising blimps of today, such as the Zeppelin NT, the largest airship operating today can not compare. The 25 such airships would fit inside the “Hindenburg”. The passengers were offered a spacious social rooms, a music room with piano, a writing room, sleeping quarters with running hot and cold running water, a shower, a bar in which one could even smoke (despite the flammable hydrogen gas), and even real china and silverware, with fresh cooked meals provided three times a day. No aircraft today, can offer compare.
This book covers in detail, the construction, early test flights and later regular passenger flights up until that fateful day. The appendix includes not only a short list of all these flights, but also includes the most complete passenger list ever compiled.
Yet, faith in superior technology was short lived. Just like the passenger ship, “Titantic”, a quarter century prior; the “Hindenburg” marked yet another disaster that would shake that faith and remain embedded in our memories.

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