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Hindenburg mystery solved 76
years after historic catastrophe:
static electricity caused
the airship to explode

Daily Mail [UK], by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:Attercliffe, 3/4/2013 8:13:35 AM

The mystery of the Hindenburg disaster has finally been solved 76 years after the in-flight exposition occurred. The cause of the May 6, 1937, incident that killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crew members on board was static electricity, says a team of experts who have been looking into the real trigger. They say that after the ship flew into a thunderstorm a build up of hydrogen led to the explosion. The iconic airship had reportedly become charged with static as a result of the electrical storm and broken wire or a sticking gas valve leaked the hydrogen into

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: billp, 3/4/2013 8:37:19 AM     (No. 9207076)

I had always thought it was static electricity or lightening. Pretty sure that´s what I´d read 35 to 40 years ago.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: JimS, 3/4/2013 8:37:25 AM     (No. 9207077)

Interesting article, but the typos, spelling mistakes, missing words, poor sentence structure and grammar were annoying.
It appears that "Mr. Staff" at the Daily Mail could benefit from refresher classes in proper journalism.
Maybe they don´t teach that to journalism majors anymore; not enough room in the curricula with all those "Marxism 101", "Goebel´s Propaganda Principles", "Leftism for Dummies" classes.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Johnny Angle, 3/4/2013 9:19:55 AM     (No. 9207182)

For want of a bit of Downey.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Chuzzles, 3/4/2013 9:27:11 AM     (No. 9207198)

Nothing like resolving a solved riddle. I am with #2 poster on this one. Seems I too read about the static issue decades ago.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: WV.Hillbilly, 3/4/2013 9:42:01 AM     (No. 9207236)

I believe Mythbusters showed that although hydrogen touched off the explosion, the fire was mostly fueled by the outer skin and the paint that was used on it burning.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Grady, 3/4/2013 10:36:03 AM     (No. 9207351)

Hindenburg mystery solved_Shag carpet to blame.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: woodsman, 3/4/2013 10:51:27 AM     (No. 9207390)

Sure it wasn´t one of those exploding hybrid batteries?

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Reply 8 - Posted by: cheeflo, 3/4/2013 10:54:02 AM     (No. 9207399)

This is old news, #2. Although there is a new miniseries airing on Encore about the Hindenburg -- the usual conspiracy boilerplate with greedy American capitalists thrown in for good measure.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: tank, 3/4/2013 11:00:12 AM     (No. 9207417)

Electric arc in the center fuel tank...

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Reply 10 - Posted by: LamontCranston, 3/4/2013 11:36:32 AM     (No. 9207533)

Static electricity was suspected for years. What these researchers did was eliminate the other possibilities. As in most cases, there was no conspiracy as the root cause.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: veritas, 3/4/2013 11:37:56 AM     (No. 9207542)

1. Some excellent photos with the article.

2. The hydrogen burned off in seconds.

3. Though it doesn´t show in the article, the dangerous fire [except of course for that which destroyed the hydrogen cells!] was from the burning diesel fuel that poured onto the ground.

4. FTA: ...blew up and set fire to scale models of blimps more than 24m long to prove the real cause.

The Hindenburg wasn´t a "blimp" [blimps have no frame; the envelope shape is determined by the gas bag and the internal pressure of the gas]. Neither is the large model in the photo a "blimp." Writer isn´t competent to the subject, given such errors, which are significant.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: sw penn, 3/4/2013 11:56:18 AM     (No. 9207597)

Blimp - Balloon
dirigible - rigid skin with balloons inside

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Reply 13 - Posted by: absalom, 3/4/2013 1:26:32 PM     (No. 9207807)

The Reich Ministry of Air said the same thing in a 1938 internal report.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: bob913, 3/4/2013 5:49:46 PM     (No. 9208276)

I think someone forgot and lit a cigarette...

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Reply 15 - Posted by: KTWO, 3/4/2013 6:05:23 PM     (No. 9208297)

It might be a good investigation but I don´t see how they can ´solve´ or ´prove´ anything.

I do believe static electricity was the trigger. But it had to ignite something, presumably a mix of leaked hydrogen and oxygen from air.

OT: Hydrogen is hard to confine; one of the drawbacks to the wonderful future of automobiles powered by fuel cells.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: tipover, 3/4/2013 6:22:19 PM     (No. 9208317)

The taxi that exploded during the Vegas gang-banger shooting incident is an example of what happens when a propane fuel cell/system is ruptured. I suspect that hydrogen will be even "more so" explosive unless the Hydrogen fuel cell is really, really, REALLY well engineered w/r to heat, impact, compromised fuel lines.

Gasoline does not explode or burn until it is vaporized which requires great force and/or heat. Propane is a vapor when released for the vessel, same with hydrogen. Take it from there.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: veritas, 3/4/2013 10:17:36 PM     (No. 9208578)

#15: About the airship: There was actually a smoking room on the Hindenburg [a slight overpressure of air pumped in kept hydrogen out]. Had an aluminum-framed piano in the lounge, too.

#16: Quite right. Hydrogen regards steel pipe as a "suggestion" of where to be. The molecule is so tiny it can and does pass through the pipe wall. Some of my refinery work involved designing piping for hydrogen handling.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Sunhan65, 3/4/2013 11:31:13 PM     (No. 9208649)

Fascinating thread. I learn something new every day. Most days I learn it here. Thanks to OP and the whole gang.

Minor personal trivium: I enjoyed the George C. Scott movie as a kid, particularly the scene where Robert Clary (from Hogan´s Heroes) performed a cabaret number poking fun at the Nazis in the audience. Years later I was looking for the lyrics and wrote to Mr Clary for help and was surprised when he answered. He didn´t have the lyrics either, but he couldn´t have been nicer in his reply.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Japanorama, 3/5/2013 5:20:30 AM     (No. 9208806)

A waste of time.
Static was proposed as the explanation immediately after the disaster.
Who has time to worry about such relatively minor events?


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