Tag Archives: Airships: The Hindenburg and other Zeppelins

Lusitania Sinking Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania by the zeppelin’s undersea cousin, the German U-boat, on May 7, 1915.

In honor of the anniversary here is an article I wrote about the historical background of the Anglo-German maritime rivalry in the years before WWI:

“Public Symbols and Private Enterprise: Transatlantic Ocean Liners, 1897-1914″

Public Symbols and Private Enterprise:  Transatlantic Ocean Liners, 1897-1914

The expert on RMS Lusitania is my good friend Eric Sauder, who has written a great book about the ship: RMS Lusitania: The Ship & Her Record

By: Airships: The Hindenburg and other Zeppelins
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1m1yBZZ

Anniversary of the Hindenburg Disaster

Hindenburg was scheduled to land at Lakehurst, NJ at 6:00 AM on May 6, 1937, after her first North Atlantic crossing of the 1937 season.  But delayed 12 hours by headwinds, the ship was over Seal Island, Nova Scotia; when passengers were supposed to be disembarking they were gathering for breakfast instead.

Dining Room of LZ-129 Hindenburg

Just before noon the ship was over Boston.

Hindenburg over Boston Customs House

At 3:00 pm Hindenburg’s passengers and crew were enjoying New York’s famous skyline from the air.

Photograph of New York City taken by Hindenburg mechanic Robert Moser from his engine car.

Just a few hours later 36 people were dead and the world’s greatest airship no longer existed.


Anniversary of LZ-8 Accident: May 16, 1911

On this day in 1911 the DELAG airliner LZ-8 (Deutschland) was destroyed in an accident.

Hugo Eckener was in command of an airship for the first time and LZ-8 had barely left its hangar when it was pulled away from its ground crew by a gust of wind.  The ship smashed against the roof of the hangar, but the passengers and crew escaped without injury by climbing down a long fire ladder.  The ship itself was a total loss.

LZ-8 Deutschland Accident - May 16, 1911

The day’s gusty wind conditions made the flight ill-advised from the start and the wreck of LZ-8 contributed to the extreme caution for which Hugo Eckener became famous.  Eckener learned an important lesson from the accident, and he was determined never again to sacrifice safety to accomodate pressure from passengers, the public, the government, or any other source.