Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Airships rise again


Airships sound good in theory - cheap, load carrying, flexible routing (no airport required) - but various companies have failed over the years to get beyond the small blimps used advertising and carrying TV cameras.

Here is another go and the best of luck to them.

This article makes two errors:

Dangers of hydrogen - the same stuff we are planning to put in our cars. There is a comprehensive summary of the various theories of what cause the Hindenberg crash in Wikipedia but what is rarely reported is that
Despite the violent fire, most of the crew and passengers survived. Of the 36 passengers and 61 crew, 13 passengers and 22 crew died. Also killed was one member of the ground crew, Navy Linesman Allen Hagaman. The two dogs on board the ship also died. Most deaths were not caused directly by the fire but were from jumping from the burning ship. Those passengers who rode the ship on its descent to the ground survived. Some deaths of crew members occurred because they wanted to save people on board the ship. In comparison, almost twice as many perished when the helium-filled USS Akron crashed.[12]

3 comments:

Ed Davies said...

Yes, rather poor article:

So the Hindenburg was filled with the massively explosive gas, hydrogen.

And it exploded. Massively.


It didn't explode. It burned. The burning hydrogen went upwards, away from the occupied parts. If the fabric hadn't burned too then, I expect, more people would have survived.

Phoebe Bright said...

Thanks for that comment and clarification.

Phoebe Bright said...
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