Dan Grossman, Aviation Historian

Dan Grossman with U.S. Navy MZ-3A (Photo: JB-MDL Public Affairs)
Dan Grossman with U.S. Navy MZ-3A (Photo: JB-MDL Public Affairs)

About Dan Grossman

I have been researching, writing, and speaking about aviation — and especially the technology and history of rigid airships and zeppelins  — for over 30 years.  I have worked on numerous books and television documentaries, consulted for museums around the world, and have been frequently quoted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the BBC, NPR, and many other media outlets.

I have also done research regarding Pan Am’s clipper flying boats and have written about ocean liner history and technology.

5101 Old Highway 5, #701
Lebanon, GA 30146


New book about Hindenburg:

"Zeppelin Hindenburg" book

PBS Nova Documentary, 2021

NPR Interview about Akron Disaster:

Discovery Channel: “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?” 

This is the trailer for documentary I did for the Discovery Channel in the US and Channel 4 in the UK.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from “What Destroyed the Hindenburg”

“Weather that Changed the World”

This is a documentary I worked on for The Weather Channel.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from “Weather that Changed the World.”

Interview on The Weather Channel

“America Fact vs Fiction: Lindbergh”

From an episode of America: Fact vs Fiction about Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, “Kings of the Sky.”

I also appeared in an episode of America: Fact vs Fiction about the Hindenburg, “Final Voyages.”

America Fact vs Fiction: Lindbergh

“Top Ten Weather Disasters”

I discussed the Hindenburg disaster on the Weather Channel’s Top Ten Weather Disasters. I used actual pieces of Hindenburg fabric and structure to demonstrate how the fire began.

The Weather Channel: “Top Ten Weather Disasters"

Vox Video about Hindenburg Disaster

I was very pleased to participate in this Vox video about a famous photograph of the Hindenburg disaster.

Why Airships?

As a technology nerd and former pilot — obsessed by flight since I was a little kid — I have long been fascinated by the history and technology of aviation.

Why airships? There is something magical about an object larger than the U.S. capitol building that simply floats in the air. Every kid loves helium balloons and what could be better than a balloon the size of an ocean liner?

I am also fascinated by the wide-eyed enthusiasm for technology of the Machine Age — the age of the airship — when people believed science could make everything better. And I am drawn to an era in which the most advanced technology of the day could be developed by untrained amateurs like Ferdinand von Zeppelin or Hugo Eckener. The defining aviation technologies of the early 20th century (the passenger zeppelin, the internal combustion engine, the flying boat airliner) are remarkably simple devices, and there is not much about these machines that cannot be understood by someone with average intelligence and a touch of mechanical ability. There is something appealing for me about a time in which the height of technology was represented by machines that were, in essence, so very basic.

But mostly, they were just really cool.

Dan Grossman

On flight deck of Zeppelin NT
With Manfred Bauer (son of Hindenburg officer Heinrich Bauer), Dr. Cheryl Ganz, and Manfred’s daughter, at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen
Dan Grossman at helm of airship Hindenburg control car
At the helm of the replica control car built for the 1975 film “The Hindenburg”
Dan Grossman in Hangar One at Lakehurst, October 2019
In Hangar One at Lakehurst, October 2019
Airships.net author Dan Grossman at the site of the Hindenburg crash
Airships.net author Dan Grossman at the site of the Hindenburg crash

About the Site

Airships.net is a non-commercial educational resource for the public.  It is the product of original research from primary and secondary sources and I am also deeply grateful to the distinguished historians who have generously reviewed the site and offered their suggestions, criticisms, and corrections.

This entire website is protected by copyright but permission to quote the site is liberally granted to those who request it; a link to the site is always required.

© 1997, 2019 Daniel Grossman