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The Largest Aircraft Ever Flown

Construction & Engineering

The Hindenburg (LZ 129) built by the Zeppelin Company of Germany was the largest air craft ever built and flown. It was completed at first emerged from it's shed in Friedrichshafen, Germany on March 4, 1936.

The airship was 804 feet long and had a maximum diameter of 135 feet. Passengers were afforded spectacular views from the 200-foot-long promenade deck. Four 1,050-hp Daimler-Benz diesel engines powered the ship to a top speed of 82 mph (cutting the trans-Atlantic travel time by more than two-thirds. The ship had a capacity of 7,062,000 cubic feet of hydrogen in 16 cells. The ship could lift 112 tons beyond its own weight.

The ship was designed to use the inert gas, helium, for lift, but the United States, which held a monopoly over helium production, would not sell the gas to the Germans.

The airship was first used in trans-Atlantic service beginning on May 6, 1936 and made a year before it crashed in May, 1937.

More than year the Hindenburg crash a sistership, the Graf Zeppelin II (LZ 130), made it's maiden voyage on September 14, 1938. The Graf Zeppelin II was scrapped in May 1940.

Posted:  2002-11-14  2:04:16 PM

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