Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Airship Hindenburg. A few bits and pieces. Plus a promotional piece for the Airship USS Akron of 1931

When the great airship Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst New Jersey in May of 1937. It was the death knell to the Dirigible. The great fire and blaze that was created when she exploded and burned cost the lives of 35 people. Oddly enough much of the ship burned and much of the fabric that surrounded the frame of the vessel was lost. But surprisingly, more than what you would imagine survived. I have seen many pieces of the Hindenburg and seen a lot of fabric from her. Plus even more widely found was much of her "Duralumin". This was the material that the frame of airships were made from. A very light alloy and as light as a feather. It was the material that would allow the airship program to exist in all the countries that had one.

The areas that fabric was hard to come by was in the tail section. This is a small piece from around one of the German Swastikas on the ship.

This is a piece of the silver fabric that covered the entire craft.

This Duralumin piece is from the wreck of the airship.

The American Airship Program was going strong in the 1930's. In fact there were two mighty airships built that encompassed not only being airships, but early flying aircraft hangers. The Akron and the Macon carried 5 planes in their hulls to drop out to scout. Plus a ingenious method of retrieving them. This I will cover in an upcoming article on this blog.

When the Akron was being built,there were many items available made of the duralumin that would be part of the ship. These pieces would be letter openers and many other items including this duralumin bottle opener. It is the lightest bottle opener you ever felt and I am sure many were lost quite soon, or possibly blew away. They were really that light!