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The Hindenburg - It wasn't the Hydrogen!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm a babbling fruitcake of all things scientific. But this is interesting and finally answered one of my questions about the disaster. Why did the Hindenburg burn with red and yellow flames and not blue ones?

For those of you who don't know the tragic story, a quick run down.

The Hindenburg was an airship, (think Goodyear blimp). In the 1930s, travelling by airship, (sorry guys, I just can't call them blimps), or by airplane was the way to go. Anyway, during the 1930s Germany and USA weren't on friendly terms with USA, (as with the case with many other nations). USA refused to supply Germany with helium, an inflammable gas which is lighter than air to use in their airships so Germany used hydrogen, an flammable gas.

In 1937, disaster struck on the 21st journey of the Hindenburg. It suddenly burst into flames and approximately one third of the passengers died. It has often been attributed to the fault of a spark causing the hydrogen to ignite. This has since been at the forefront of those looking at hydrogen fuel cells as a clean power source.

But it seems that the hydrogen wasn't to blame!

Hindenburg - Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
post #2 of 13
That is interesting Mags, I didn't know much about that disaster.

But it makes sense.
post #3 of 13
Wow! That was fascinating. Thanks for sharing it with us.
post #4 of 13
LOL, OMG--that was too cool. Do you find stuff like that often? I LOVE that kind of stuff.

Rocket fuel, *still chuckling over the stupidity*.
post #5 of 13
My husband and I love that kind of stuff! I'm forwarding him the article. Thanks for posting it!

That is still one of the most horrible radio broadcasts you will ever hear. The poor broadcaster is just horrified and shocked and you can hear it in his voice.
post #6 of 13
There was a really good old movie about this. I remember watching it as a kid and seeing all the people running around on fire. It was graphic but good.
post #7 of 13
That was interesting, Thanks Mags.
post #8 of 13
Interesting article. I've seen a couple of documentaries on the Hindenburg, with interviews with survivors, and the fire was really horrific. Interestingly, a German company recently wanted to use huge blimps to transport cargo, but went bankrupt before it could realize the dream. Most of th blimps you see here now carry beer advertisements, and are a common sight in good weather.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I subcribe to science mailing lists, read NewScientist, make a beeline to anything scientific and Dr Karl is a living god of science. I love his work. He makes science accessible to everyone and he will even wear a barbie t-shirt for his daughter to work if asked. He was also Australia's Father of the Year not so long ago too.

I wasn't sure if anyone would mind me posting stuff like this. Not many have the same passion for science as I do. I wasn't even sure if anyone would even read this article. But it seems some people do enjoy good reads so I'll post other interesting reads as I get them. I promise not to flood the lounge with them.
post #10 of 13
Mags - I love science! Please do post any article you find! I find anything scientific fascinating!
post #11 of 13
What a great article! To think that the hydrogen myth has prevailed all these years. Thanks Mags.
post #12 of 13
Thanks for that article. That was very interesting. And, yes, by all means, post other stuff.
post #13 of 13
That was pretty interesting and I often wondered what cased the disaster since airships like the hinderberg were pretty reliable untill that time.
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