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Airships: Potential PoDs 4 - Hydrogen, Helium, and Hindenburg

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
I think what I find fascinating is how much the frequent airplane crashes of the 20s and 30s (and hell the 40s and 50s) have just been forgotten. Perhaps because they tended to end up being in conditions with less publicity.

Fog in New York caused plane crashes into both the Empire State Building and 40 Wall Street in 1945/46. I wonder if it would have been possible for something similar in the 30s to act as a Hindenburg-like effect on planes. Though I doubt you'd have anything like the memorable footage.
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
I think what I find fascinating is how much the frequent airplane crashes of the 20s and 30s (and hell the 40s and 50s) have just been forgotten. Perhaps because they tended to end up being in conditions with less publicity.

Fog in New York caused plane crashes into both the Empire State Building and 40 Wall Street in 1945/46. I wonder if it would have been possible for something similar in the 30s to act as a Hindenburg-like effect on planes. Though I doubt you'd have anything like the memorable footage.
I don't think it works at all.

Planes are just too useful, fast, reliable, adaptable, cargo, good for bombing and shooting things down, good for races, constantly improving.


Yes their safety record wasn't initially great but they've always just had so much potential that once they are thing they are going to stay a thing.

During that 1945 crash there were tens and tens of thousands of other planes flying about and had been for years, nobody was going to look at that and go not for me. During the 1920s and 30s the world war had already happened so you had again mass exposure to aircraft and their uses and risks.

Fundamentally Airships are cool, aircraft are also cool and useful.
 

AndyC

Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses
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Published by SLP
There's a coda to the Hindenburg tale to do with helium that I couldn't fit in: After the Hindenburg crash, Eckener vowed never to use hydrogen on a commercial airship ever again, and therefore didn't want to use hydrogen on the LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin. He pleaded, in person, with Roosevelt to allow helium exports to them as long as it was going to be for peaceful purposes, and Roosevelt eventually agreed.

However, following the Anschluss of Austria, the Secretary of State blocked the helium export and Eckener had to fall back to using hydrogen on the Graf Zeppelin. He forbade it from carrying commercial passengers, so its flights were only ever for publicity and propaganda, and was used for radio surveillance by the Nazis before being scrapped in 1940.
 
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