Crew Areas and Keel
Other than the control car, the crew and work areas aboard Hindenburg were primarily located along the keel, including officer and crew sleeping quarters, the radio room, post office, electrical room, work rooms, and rope handling areas for the mooring lines.
Fuel, fresh water, and ballast tanks were also located along the keel, as were cargo storage areas. The keel also offered access to the engine cars, and the auxiliary control and docking station in the tail, and ladders at Rings 62, 123.5, and 188 offered access to the axial catwalk at the center of the ship. A section of B Deck included Hindenburg’s kitchen and separate mess areas for the officers and crew.
The area along the keel toward the bow of the ship included Hindenburg’s radio room, electrical room, and sleeping quarters for certain members of the crew.
Hindenburg’s radio room contained both long wave and short wave 200 watt radios, powered by batteries, which allowed the ship to communicate both telegraphically (by morse code) and also by voice.
Hindenburg’s long wave trasmitter had a 120 meter (393 foot) trailing antenna which could be deployed or retrieved with an electrically-powered winch; the short wave transmitter had a 26 meter (85 foot) trailing antenna which was manually deployed. The ship also had a 15 meter (50 foot) fixed antenna which was used only for receiving.
In case of radio or electrical failure, there was also a small emergency radio set in the bow which was powered by a stationary bicycle attached to a small generator.
Hinenburg’s radio equipment also included direction finding navigation radios, which were located in the navigation room of the control car.
Electrical power for the ship was provided by two 50-65 h.p. Daimler-Benz “OM-65″ diesel engines connected to Siemens generators, located in an electrical room. The generators could produce 35 KW of electricity which was fed through two systems, one at 220 volts and one at 24 volts. Either motor by itself could produce enough electricity for the ship’s needs, allowing one to be shut down for maintenance without affecting the operation of the ship.
The electrical room also contained the ship’s master gyro compass and a 5.7 million candlepower Hefner searchlight which could illuminate the ground or sea below the ship.
The room was make of thick aluminum sheets and was entered through an airlock; the room was kept at positive pressure to prevent any free hydrogen from entering the room. The electrical room also had a hatch for access to the outside when the airship was on the ground.
Sleeping quarters for the officers and crew were located within the hull of the ship along the keel. The officers shared a compartment with twelve bunks, located in Bay 14 just forward of the control car, and the commander had a private cabin in the same area. There was a 22-bunk sleeping area for the crew in Bay 11, just aft of the passenger accommodations, and there were twelve additional bunks located toward the stern in Bay 5.
The Hindenburg’s keel also contained several areas for storage of cargo and freight.
The port section of B Deck, just below the main passenger deck, housed the ship’s kitchen, connected by a dumbwaiter to the serving pantry on A Deck, and separate mess areas for the officers and the crew.