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  • - [Jared] The Hindenburg is the famous airship

  • that met its fiery death in the year 1937.

  • Surprisingly, more than half of the people on board

  • actually survived the crash.

  • In this video, I want to take you on a detailed tour

  • of the inside of the Hindenburg.

  • We'll talk about airships in general

  • and why they are mostly a thing of the past.

  • (electricity crackling)

  • This video is sponsored by ExpressVPN.

  • The earliest airship that we know of

  • was in the year 1783 in France.

  • These primitive balloons were unstable,

  • and steering was near impossible at first.

  • A man by the name of Count Zeppelin created his own company

  • and helped perfect the design of airships.

  • At the time, passenger air travel was not commonplace yet,

  • so this was the fastest way to travel across the ocean.

  • It was about twice as fast as an ocean liner.

  • Construction of the Hindenburg was completed in 1936.

  • To this day, it's still the largest flying object

  • ever to be built.

  • It was built in Germany and funded by the Nazis,

  • which is why the swastika is on the tail.

  • Most of the space inside the ship

  • is taken up by 16 large gas cells.

  • If we remove these, you can see the frame of the ship.

  • The passenger areas are down here.

  • There are two decks.

  • The top one is the A deck,

  • and then below is the B deck.

  • The B deck is where the passengers board the airship.

  • There's angled windows to get a panoramic view

  • of the scene below, bathrooms, areas for the crew,

  • the kitchen, and the officers' mess.

  • This room is the smoking room.

  • It was pressurized so that there was no chance

  • of any hydrogen leaking in.

  • And yes, hydrogen is flammable.

  • We'll talk more about this gas later in the video.

  • The stair here take us up to the A deck,

  • which is where the passengers spent most of their time.

  • There are more windows on both sides of the ship.

  • Here's the reading and writing room,

  • and the lounge area, complete with a grand piano.

  • Normally, grand pianos can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds,

  • but that's a lot of weight to put in an airship.

  • This piano is made out of aluminum,

  • and it only weighs about 356 pounds.

  • The passenger cabins have two bunks each,

  • and the dining room was on the other side.

  • So now we've seen all the areas where passengers can go.

  • Let's see where the crew members could go.

  • Ont the B deck, this hallway is called

  • the keel corridor, which led to a walkway

  • through the entire bottom of the ship.

  • Towards the front of the ship

  • is the mail room and the radio room.

  • Right below here is the control car.

  • This is the command center of the ship,

  • which you can see from below.

  • This is the rudder wheel, which helps move the ship

  • to the left or right by controlling the rudders

  • on the very back of the ship.

  • This is the elevator wheel,

  • which controls the pitch of the ship.

  • Ideally, we want the ship as level as possible

  • to keep the passengers comfortable.

  • This is done by the elevators on the very back.

  • The officers' quarters are here,

  • so that they are close to the control car.

  • Along the keel catwalk, you'll find

  • plenty of these fuel and water tanks.

  • Here's the crew quarters, cargo areas,

  • and this is the electrical room.

  • There's more cargo areas here,

  • and a few more down here.

  • And then crew quarters for those

  • that work towards the back of the ship.

  • Along the side of the ship are four engine cars

  • with propellers to help move the ship forward.

  • There was always a crew member stationed at each engine car

  • at all times of the journey.

  • This walkway is how the crew could get to the engine car.

  • Along the keel corridor are several shafts with ladders

  • so the crew members could climb up higher.

  • These shafts were also used to ventilate gas.

  • This walkway through the center of the ship

  • is called the axial corridor.

  • These 16 gas cells are what hold the ship up in the air.

  • The cells were originally intended to be filled with helium,

  • but instead were filled with hydrogen.

  • If we look at the periodic table of elements,

  • hydrogen is the lightest element,

  • which means it will provide the most lift.

  • Unfortunately, it's also highly flammable,

  • so the intent with the Hindenburg was to actually

  • use helium, slightly heavier, but also much safer.

  • At the time, the United States

  • had the best supply of helium

  • but would not sell it to other countries,

  • which means that Germany was out of luck.

  • So the Hindenburg had no other choice but to use hydrogen.

  • Previous to the Hindenburg,

  • there had been quite a few airship accidents.

  • Other countries had already decided that

  • hydrogen-filled airships were just too dangerous.

  • Germany, however, had a flawless record so far.

  • No passengers had ever been killed in an airship accident.

  • During the year 1936, the Hindenburg

  • had many successful passenger flights,

  • to the United States and to Brazil.

  • The year 1937 didn't go so well.

  • May 3rd, the Hindenburg begins its journey

  • from Frankfurt, Germany.

  • It was a three-day journey to get to Lakehurst, New Jersey.

  • The ship was only halfway full at this time.

  • Only 97 people were onboard.

  • The landing was originally scheduled

  • for the early morning of May 6th, but it was delayed

  • because of strong headwinds, rain, and thunderstorms.

  • This is the Lakehurst station.

  • It has a hangar to park the airship when it's not flying.

  • This is the mooring mast.

  • For a normal landing, the nose of the ship

  • will be attached here while it's on the ground.

  • On the evening of May 6th, there were many people

  • on the ground, including spectators, news reporters,

  • and crew member ready to help bring the ship in.

  • At 7:00 p.m., the ship made a first pass

  • over the landing site and slowly circled around

  • for the final landing.

  • At this point, the ship was 12 hours late,

  • so there was an urgency to land,

  • as there were many passengers waiting to board

  • for the return trip back to Germany.

  • For some reason, the tail of the ship was low,

  • a possible hydrogen leak.

  • At 7:21 p.m., the ship released the handling lines

  • for the ground crew below.

  • Four minutes later, the ship bursts into flames

  • at the top, in between gas cells number four and five.

  • (explosion)

  • It took less than a minute

  • for the ship to be completely destroyed

  • and in ruins on the ground below.

  • Of the 97 people on board, 62 of them survived the crash.

  • Let's take a look at the explosion again.

  • Right after it happens, the tail begins to fall.

  • The flames travel through the axial corridor

  • and out the nose of the ship.

  • Everyone on board is thrown off their feet

  • with a sudden jolt.

  • Since they're about to land, most passengers

  • are already at the windows, and it's a good thing, too.

  • As the ship gets closer to the ground,

  • many were able to jump and run away from the burning ship.

  • Others were not so lucky.

  • No one knows for sure what caused the ship to catch on fire.

  • Unfortunately, most of the evidence was burned up.

  • The likely cause is from static electricity buildup

  • right before the disaster.

  • One small spark is all it would take.

  • The Hindenburg wasn't the worst airship disaster.

  • It was just the first to be caught on film

  • and widely seen by the public.

  • Because of this, airship travel

  • as a means of transportation was brought to an end.

  • Any airships that are still in use today

  • will definitely use helium and not hydrogen.

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  • (intriguing music)

- [Jared] The Hindenburg is the famous airship

Subtitles and vocabulary

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B1 US hydrogen crew helium corridor deck passenger

What happened to the Hindenburg?

  • 8 0
    OolongCha posted on 2021/01/20
Video vocabulary