The Hindenburg’s Interior: Passenger Decks

Dining Room of Airship Hindenburg.

Dining Room of Airship Hindenburg ( collection)

The interior spaces on the Hindenburg were divided into three main areas:

  • Passenger Decks
  • Control Car
  • Crew Areas

Control Car, Flight Instruments, and Flight Controls

An overview of the Hindenburg’s flight instruments and flight controls. [To learn how the ship was flown, visit the Flight Operations page.] The Control Car...

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...

The passenger accommodation aboard Hindenburg was contained within the hull of the airship (unlike Graf Zeppelin, whose passenger space was located in the ship’s gondola).


Passenger Decks: profile view. (Drawing courtesy of David Fowler)


Passenger accommodations on Hindenburg.


Cutaway Views Of Hindenburg Passenger Area

The passenger space was spread over two decks, known as “A Deck” and “B Deck.”

“A” Deck on Hindenburg

Deck plan of LZ-129 Hindenburg showing "A" Deck, from 1936 DZR brochure. ( collection)

Deck plan of LZ-129 Hindenburg showing “A” Deck, from 1936 DZR brochure. ( collection)

Hindenburg’s “A Deck” contained the ship’s Dining Room, Lounge, Writing Room, Port and Starboard Promenades, and 25 double-berth inside cabins.

The passenger accommodations were decorated in the clean, modern design of principal architect Professor Fritz August Breuhaus, and in a major improvement over the unheated Graf Zeppelin, passenger areas on Hindenburg were heated, using forced-air warmed by water from the cooling systems of the forward engines.

Dining Room

Hindenburg’s Dining Room occupied the entire length of the port side of A Deck. It measured approximately 47 feet in length by 13 feet in width, and was decorated with paintings on silk wallpaper by Professor Otto Arpke, depicting scenes from Graf Zeppelin’s flights to South America.

The tables and chairs were designed by Professor Fritz August Breuhaus using lightweight tubular aluminum, with the chairs upholstered in red.

Dining Room of Airship Hindenburg ( collection)

Dining Room of Airship Hindenburg ( collection)

Dinner on the Hindenburg

Dining on the Hindenburg

Dining Room of Hindenburg, with Port Promenade ( collection)

Dining Room of Hindenburg, with Port Promenade ( collection)


On the starboard side of A Deck were the Passenger Lounge and Writing Room.

Passenger Lounge

Passenger Lounge ( collection)

The Lounge was approximately 34 feet in length, and was decorated with a mural by Professor Arpke depicting the routes and ships of the explorers Ferdinand Magellan, Captain Cook, Vasco de Gama, and Christopher Columbus, the transatlantic crossing of LZ-126 (USS Los Angeles), the Round-the-World flight and South American crossings of LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin, and the North Atlantic tracks of the great German ocean liners Bremen and Europa.  The furniture, like that in the dining room, was designed in lightweight aluminum by Professor Breuhaus, but the chairs were upholstered in brown. During the 1936 season the Lounge contained a 356-pound Bluthner baby grand piano, made of Duralumin and covered with yellow pigskin.

Two views of the Lounge, showing portrait of Hitler and the ship's duralumin piano. (The stewardess is Emilie Imhof, who was killed at Lakehurst in 1937.)

Two views of the Lounge, showing portrait of Hitler and the ship’s duralumin piano.  (The stewardess is Emilie Imhoff, who was killed at Lakehurst in 1937.) (©Archiv der Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, Friedrichshafen)

The piano was removed before the 1937 season and was not aboard Hindenburg during it’s last flight.  [Read more about the piano aboard the Hindenburg.]

Passenger Lounge

Passenger Lounge ( collection)

Passenger Lounge

Passenger Lounge ( collection)

Passenger Lounge on the Airship Hindenburg

Passenger Lounge on the Airship Hindenburg, showing promenade windows. ( collection)

Writing Room

Next to the lounge was a small Writing Room.

Writing and Reading Room of LZ-129 Hindenburg

Writing Room ( collection)

The walls of the Writing Room were decorated with paintings by Otto Arpke depicting scenes from around the world:

Some of the Otto Arpke paintings aboard Hindenburg

Some of the Otto Arpke paintings aboard Hindenburg

Passenger Cabins on Hindenburg

Passenger Cabin aboard Hindenburg

Passenger Cabin aboard Hindenburg ( collection)

Hindenburg was originally built with 25 double-berthed cabins at the center of A Deck, accommodating 50 passengers.  After the ship’s inaugural 1936 season, 9 more cabins were added to B Deck, accommodating an additional 20 passengers. The A Deck cabins were small, but were comparable to railroad sleeper compartments of the day.  The cabins measured approximately 78″ x 66″, and the walls and doors were made of a thin layer of lightweight foam covered by fabric.  Cabins were decorated in one of three color schemes — either light blue, grey, or beige — and each A Deck cabin had one lower berth which was fixed in place, and one upper berth which could be folded against the wall during the day.

Passenger Cabin aboard Hindenburg

Passenger Cabin aboard Hindenburg ( collection)

Each cabin had call buttons to summon a steward or stewardess, a small fold-down desk, a wash basin made of lightweight white plastic with taps for hot and cold running water, and a small closet covered with a curtain in which a limited number of suits or dresses could be hung; other clothes had to be kept in their suitcases, which could be stowed under the lower berth. None of the cabins had toilet facilities; male and female toilets were available on B Deck below, as was a single shower, which provided a weak stream of water “more like that from a seltzer bottle” than a shower, according to Charles Rosendahl. Because the A Deck cabins were located in the center of the ship they had no windows, which was a feature missed by passengers who had traveled on Graf Zeppelin and had enjoyed the view of the passing scenery from their berths.

Promenades On either side of A Deck were promenades, featuring seating areas and large windows which could be opened in flight.

The Promenade aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg

Starboard Promenade aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg, next to the Lounge. ( collection)

Passenger decks of Hindenburg

Passenger decks of Hindenburg, showing promenade windows ( collection)

“B” Deck on Hindenburg

B Deck on Hindenburg, located directly below A Deck, contained the ship’s kitchen, passenger toilet and shower facilities, the crew and officers’ mess, and a cabin occupied by Chief Steward Heinrich Kubis (containing a door to the keel corridor, which was the only connection between passenger and crew spaces).

Passenger Decks (before 1936-1937 refit). Drawing courtesy of David Fowler.

Passenger Decks before 1936-1937 refit (Drawing courtesy of David Fowler)

During the winter of 1936-1937, while the ship was laid up in Frankfurt, additional passenger cabins were also added in Bay 11, just aft of ring 173.  The new cabins had windows offering an outside view, and were slightly larger than the cabins on A Deck.  The additional weight of these new cabins was made possible by the unexpected (and unwelcome) need to operate the ship with hydrogen, which has greater lifting power than the helium for which Hindenburg had been designed.

1937 B Deck cabins. (Drawing courtesy Patrick Russell, "Faces of the Hindenburg" blog.)

B Deck, showing 1937 cabins. (Drawing courtesy Patrick Russell, “Faces of the Hindenburg” blog, based on 1937 DZR brocure.)

The Smoking Room

Pressurized Smoking Room aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg

Smoking Room aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg ( collection)

Perhaps most surprising, aboard a hydrogen airship, there was also a smoking room on the Hindenburg. The smoking room was kept at higher than ambient pressure, so that no leaking hydrogen could enter the room, and the smoking room and its associated bar were separated from the rest of the ship by a double-door airlock.  One electric lighter was provided, as no open flames were allowed aboard the ship. The smoking room was painted blue, with dark blue-grey leather furniture, and the walls were decorated with yellow pigskin and illustrations by Otto Arpke depicting the history of lighter-than-air flight from the Montgolfiers’s balloon to the Graf Zeppelin.  Along one side of the room was a railing above sealed windows, through which passengers could look down on the ocean or landscape passing below.

Pressurized Smoking Room aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg

Smoking Room aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg ( collection)

The smoking room was perhaps the most popular public room on the ship, which is not surprising in an era in which so many people smoked.

Smoking Room

Pressurized Smoking Room aboard LZ-129 Hindenburg, showing door to the bar, with the air lock doors beyond. ( collection)

The Bar

Hindenburg Bar

Hindenburg Bar (©Archiv der Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, Friedrichshafen)

The Hindenburg’s bar was a small ante-room between the smoking room and the air-lock door leading to the corridor on B-Deck.  This is where Hindenburg bartender Max Schulze served up LZ-129 Frosted Cocktails (gin and orange juice) and Maybach 12 cocktails (recipe lost to history), but more importantly, it is where Schulze monitored the air-lock to ensure that no-one left the smoking room with burning cigarattes, cigars, or pipes. Schulze had been a steward and bartender aboard the ocean liners of the Hamburg-Amerika Line and was well liked by Hindenburg passengers, even if he was surprisingly unfamiliar with basic American cocktails such as the Manhattan. The bar and smoking room were also the scene of a raucous party on the Hindenburg’s maiden voyage to America, where passenger Pauline Charteris improvised a kirschwasser cocktail after the ship ran out of gin for martinis.

Cocktails aboard the Hindenburg

Cocktails aboard the Hindenburg (©Archiv der Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, Friedrichshafen)

Crew Areas

For the interior of Hindenburg’s hull, where crew spaces were located, and the inside of the ship’s control car, visit:

Control Car, Flight Instruments, and Flight Controls

An overview of the Hindenburg’s flight instruments and flight controls. [To learn how the ship was flown, visit the Flight Operations page.] The Control Car...

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...

232 Comments on "The Hindenburg’s Interior: Passenger Decks"

  1. While I dont claim to be an expert, I realise that both technology and techniques can change what we take as the standard in ww2 aviation gas was highly flammable, Zero’s which did not use self sealing fuel tanks were known to burst into flames when shot. At the battle of midway the USS Yorktown to direct hits but because of both the methods of handling AV gas and the fire suppression techniques the Yorktown put out the fires and relight its boilers and was back in action with in a short time. The Japanese carriers on the other hand when struck burst into flames and sunk.Now this is not and apples to apples comparison with hydrogen but it is an example of mans ingenuity and it makes you wonder what modern materials and methods could be employed to use hydrogen safely.

  2. i have a watch commemorating the graf flight from lakehurst in late oct of 1927. the name of the owner of the watch is engraved on the watch. a few years ago, in researching that flight, i discovered a ny times article about an auto wreck involving that very same passenger as he and his family were en route to lakehurst to rendezvous with the airship for its return flight to germany

  3. I didn’t know electric lighters existed. I remember seeing this clip on YouTube of Brit Lab extras for a video titled “Where Have All The Airships Gone?”, hosted by The Grand Tour’s James May. In the extras clip, he said that the lighter on the Hindenburg was a gasoline-powered lighter, like a Zippo. It was also chained either to a table or a wall inside the smoking room so that no one could take it out of the room.

    Where Have All The Airships Gone:

    James May Loves Airships:

  4. Question:
    What are the little rectangular slots (oriented vertically) located on the upper parts of each of the interior wall panels of the lounge and dining room? I noticed the same little rectangular slots under the bench in the smoking lounge. Are they ventilation slots? There are none on the partition separating the writing room from the lounge.

    • Stuart,

      They’ve perplexed me for a long time, too. I would guess that they were ventilation slots between the sectioned areas of the ship. This would explain away the absence of such slots between the lounge and writing room, as both were adjoined by a large, open promenade.


    • P Richard Yarbrough | May 22, 2016 at 2:54 am | Reply

      Enlarge the two passenger cabin photos. The slots appear to be fasteners. It seems to me that some of the wall panels are removable. Maybe some of the floor plan was changeable.

  5. My German-American (Deustchamerikaner) grandfather’s cousin, Helmut Lau was a Helmsman on the Hindenburg and lived.

    • love to hear more about Helmut Lau, anything you would be willing to share. i know he had some stories to tell. hope to hear from you and thanks.

  6. Kirby L. Wallace | May 2, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Reply

    Are there any surviving Hindenberg passengers alive today?

  7. The helium shortage is a crock. Helium in North America is found in the same areas we find natural gas. Since Helium doesn’t burn it’s tossed away as natural gas is collected. By massive amounts. We ‘used’ to collect this gas and put in places like Texas. With the Texas repository being closed down, the cheap gas has made it’s reclamation more expensive than the govt surplus helium. Furthermore, MRI machines which consume the most per year ‘could’ reclaim the gas they use to cool their magnets – but they don’t.

    Once the repository is finished, natural gas producers will start reclaiming it again to fill the demand. We are not ‘running out of helium’. We’re just not doing anything productive with our resources till the cost goes back up. If it’s so ‘valuable’ – why are we throwing away tons per year? Answer it isn’t. Yet.

    BTW that MRI crap is also putting the squeeze on other stocks since most people who sell and distribute the gas can make 4 to 10x the amount billing it to hospitals than to welders and party stores and are reluctant to not overcharge or come up with phony ‘running out’ stories.

  8. I just wonder if anyone has done, or could do, the math and figured out the cost of building one today? I, for one, would love to know.

    • Good question. The actual cost if making a standard design (symmetric cylindrical hull, external engines and a standard gondola) would be similar in material costs to a typical large jumbo jet like the A380. Labor and design would add to the first unit and the cost of either building a shed or renovating or leasing and existing shed (few available and some no longer applicable to LA operations) would be the real challenge. The key issue here is that to build a new large rigid airship would be to resurrect an entire industry that’s been long dead for over 85 years. That and getting the FAA to certify the thing are major obstacles. But it still is certainly doable.

    • joseph Butler | April 15, 2016 at 6:18 am | Reply


  9. Most of the nostalgic dreamers on this site are assuming that Helium is the inert and safe way to reinvent these huge airships. But the biggest problem with that is the shortage of Helium. There is a limited supply of Helium on the planet and it is rapidly dwindling due to modern industrial and medical uses, including MRI machines. The U.S. government has recently decided to close the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas and the supply of Helium could be completely gone within about 5 years. See the following website:

    • There are other challenges to the resurrection of large passenger airships that are even bigger obstacles than the helium situation, but the scarcity and cost of helium is certainly an additional factor.

  10. The pioneering spirit so visible in the design of these airships is wonderful.

  11. Sounds like it was really cool. From watching the movie it sounds like it has similarities like a cross between a cruise ship and train travel with the Lounge and Dining Car and Passenger Sleeper car compartments that people shared. Pretty cool. 🙂

    • Todd: Absolutely right! The Hindenburg was the Concorde of her day. She competed against the cruise ships which were at that era, the only way to get across the Atlantic for travelling passengers. She offered luxury service in what was an amazing two days versus the three or four that the ships offered. Although the time was slightly shorter, the main claim of the Hindenburg was that she rode so smoothly, passengers never had to fear seasickness. And that she did very well. She was the toast of the Atlantic as well as a toy to the wealthy and elite who could afford a passage on the airship.

  12. I remember seeing the Graf Zeppelin cruising down the Ohio River in South Heights, Pa. I drifted slowly overhead while its passengers waved and shouted at us from the windows. We, about 8 years old, ran underneath.

    While it would never replace today’s planes for speed today’s planes certainly could never replace it for a leisurely air trip in luxury still not available today.

  13. I have a gold-colored aluminum ice bucket with “Zeppelin” and a tiny figure of the airship on bottom. Ever hear of this item before?

  14. My father flew on the Hindenburg from Rio de Janeiro to Friedrichshafen in order to participate in the 1936 Olympics as oarsman for the German rowing team. He used to tell me about this most remarkable trip on the “flying ship” and I couldn’t believe it was so spacious and luxurious until I watched this site in order to help my grandson to prepare a text for school. He only left me a few pictures he took on board and some articles he wrote about it for a newspaper.

    • Hi Beatrice! Nice comment. I am collecting info and images to make a comic about the zeppelin saga. I am from the city in Brasil that has the only mooring mast still standing in the world.
      If you can remember any story, or post some images, It would be great.

    • That is so cool, would you share those pictures 🙂

    • hi beatrice. i would love to hear from you and would be more than grateful. amazing story about your dad, and 1936 olympics. i have stories i can share with you as well since i have been an avid airship researcher for over 27 years. please contact me: david helms
      address: 2609 supreme drive monroe, n.c. 28110

  15. Reading the optimistic nostalgia about dirigibles and how modern materials, helium or safer uses of hydrogen would make them safe again, I notice a complete absence of any consideration of the effects of severe weather on these behemoths. The U.S.S. Akron went down in a thunderstorm when downdrafts caused its tail to strike the sea after its crew tried everything possible to regain altitude and attitude. Airplanes today fly over such weather easily in pressurized cabins. Sorry to be such a kill joy.

    • I think it would be okay. We have good weather coverage and 85 mph is enough to avoid storms ( highest ground track speed a tornado at 73 mph). You wouldn’t set out into a tornado forecast anyway.

    • Roberto,

      Please keep in mind that the Akron flew into a squall line at night. They didn’t have what we take for granted today like Doppler radar, internet-based real time weather 24-7 for anywhere in the globe, weather satellites, internet and digital communications. Had Captain Frank McCord had a basic I-phone and our network of online weather, he would have avoided the storm completely. Weather was radioed to the airships from ground stations. Static discharge from thunderstorms caused disruption of the signals from reaching the Akron. With the advent of radar and improved weather networks for reporting conditions on a far larger scale, the airship became safer. The U.S. Navy’s blimp program in WW-2 had a very good record considering the number of flight hours accumulated in all sorts of weather. Large rigid airships can be flown safely with the caution and prudence that Dr. Eckener practiced in the operation of the Graf Zeppelin. When caution is thrown to the wind, the wind will throw caution for a loop.

    • The American airships were designed using technology from German airships shot down during the war. They were quickly cobbled together to put bombs on England and were not built to last very long. Using modern technology and materials, a new airship would be much stronger and more efficient than the Akron and Macon.

      • Your comment is not accurate. U.S.S. Akron and U.S.S. Macon were not, in an way, designed using WWI German technology. U.S.S. Los Angeles, built by the Zeppelin Company as LZ-126, was based on proven Zeppelin Company deigns and was a structurally strong vessel that successfully made 336 flights and logged 4,126 flight hours. It is true that U.S.S. Shenandoah was based on the relatively weak structural design of the German L-49, a World War I high altitude bomber, but L-49 was not “quickly cobbled together.” L-49 was deliberately designed for a specific purpose which it served very well.

  16. kurt dzinich jr | September 5, 2013 at 4:36 am | Reply

    greetings, yes, many thanks for this site, never saw it before. Really enjoyed reading the comments. I guess there are a few more like me out there, who long for the class, comfort, quiet, and experience of traveling on an airship like the Hindenburg. I’m assuming all of you have watched the film Hindenburg with George C. Scott, if you haven’t in a long time, please do so, I bought it to watch with my son, and I was very moved watching it. The way they worked in the real footage of the catastrophe was very emotional. If they ever bring back something like the Hindenburg, I don’t think I would pay $3000 to fly on her, but I might cough up $1500. Maybe someday…cheers!

  17. Have any of you actually flown in a Zeppelin or Blimp as a commercial passenger? I have this on my bucket list and was hoping I’d find something with cabins, dining/bar, etc. with the possibility of an overnight in flight.I know I can do this in Paris and Lake Constanz, but if no overnight, I would probably start looking for a commercial blimp for “a ride”. Any suggestions?

    • The Zeppelin NT flies out of Friedrichschafen, Germany on the north shore of Lake Constance. Look them up on the web and there’s a link to purchase tickets. There’s also a great museum of Zeppelin history that includes a full scale replica of one side of the Hindenburg’s passenger deck.

      Goodyear has a fleet of blimps that fly from Florida, Ohio and California. They just launched a new airship, a copy of the Zeppelin NT. Airship Ventures was running day trips and evening cruises on a leased Zeppelin NT out of Sunnyvale, CA a few years ago. Unfortunately they went out of business.

      • Liane,
        This is rather late, but I’ll be taking a flight in one of the Friedrichshafen Zeppelin NTs and, while I was looking through the company’s website, I noticed that transfer flights are available to Berlin or Paris, on limited engagements.


    TOOK ENDLESS TIME BECAUSE IT HAD TO BE PULLED DOWN BY NUMEROUS CORDS ALONGSIDE THE AIRSHIP SIMULTANEOUSLY BY MANY PERSONS CRANKING A WINCH. The process was very boring. Being then a small child I thought that my father is going to take me on this Zeppelin and I was terrified and started crying.
    Later, I remember, the German zeppelin passing over Haifa in what was then Palestine and over Tel-Aviv, they dropped candies from the zeppelin all over Tel-Aviv. This was quite before the WW2 started. I, as a child had to flee Germany with my parents, being Jewish and persecuted.

  19. Alex von Melti | July 29, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply

    You have a great site here!
    I always thought, that flying by an airplane is like to violate the air: All the massive amount of physical energies necessary to get an airplane into the air has something very brutal and primitive. Airships however are like flying fishes, designed to use the natural air streams and to adapt the characteristics of the sky. My last flight from Europa down to Peru was a real pain and I can’t understand why there are no better means of travelling the air. In our “civilized” and advanced time it’s a shame to travel in these crude metal coffins.
    It’s my most precious dream, that one day there will be another time for these peaceful giants of the sky. Until then, I continue dreaming – and play the excellent FS 2004-mod, with a glass of Maybach 12 and decent Chopin-music. 🙂

    • These airships did not simply float upon the air as you suggest, they were powered by mutliple propellers. I would agree that a trip on one of these would be beyond memorable, but I also believe that the it would be tedious given the average speed of 85 mph and relatively cramped quarters. Sharing a common WC with other passengers and having foam/linen covered walls between berths… I believe that if I want to take a trans-atlantic trip and not do it by modern airplanes, I would opt for a cruiseliner. That is the true way to move across the ocean in comfort and luxury. Provided of course you have a week to spare.

      • How about crossing the Atlantic with your own personal cabin and bathroom in just two and a half days? And considering the sleeping cabins of the Hindenburg were no bigger or smaller than what a sleeper coach on a train of the era had, the Hindenburg also had lounges and places to go and have some peace besides the sleeping cabins.
        Airships did “float” as they had zero weight when aloft for the most part depending on the static conditions present.
        In terms of crossing the ocean in comfort and luxury, the Hindenburg was the last word on the subject. She was comparable to the best ocean liners of her age, but had one unique advantage – no seasickness.

  20. Do any pictures exist of the additional cabins added in 1937? Were they the same as the other cabins on A deck or did they have windows?

    • They did have windows and I will try to post a photo.

    • They were added at the start of the second season which ended at the terminus of the first flight in Lakehurst. I doubt there are any images of those rooms remaining. According to Harold Dick’s book, the Nazi regime was very careful about who took pictures of what then.

  21. I would love to fly on board a modern day airship; “helium of course”, long distance from say Fairbanks, Alaska and then on to New York City, pass over the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower 1 and on to mainland Europe. No jet lag, pressurized cabin, cranky stewards, bad food, sore lower back and dirty lavatories! I mean really deck’ this baby out with a cozy environment, plenty of scenic view points, restaurant, dining room, bar/lounge, caffe/bar, recreation room, quiet room, gift shop/duty free, cabin with sink, toilette and shower……lol :() maybe I am going overboard but I would definitely pay first class airline ticket prices to travel onboard one!

    • You are not the only one who thinks this way CY. There are many who after years of slowly surrendering their rights and civility in public flight, have come to realize that flying today is just like commuting – a painful, but necessary evil to traveling or starting a relaxing vacation. You are the ones that when offered a choice to fly from NY to Miami to catch a cruise ship, will leave a on a Saturday morning to board an airship that leaves that day to arrive in Miami the following morning. You’ll start your cruise relaxed, refreshed and having just had first class service and attention in a hotel with one hell of a view. If you’re part of a skydiving club, then perhaps you might be going “overboard” off the zeppelin you’re on, but fear not. The day of the rigid passenger airship is coming.

  22. I recently found this site while I was researching the Hindenburg. This is a great site. I know very little of airships and was just wondering…where do the passengers sit during takeoff and landing on the Hindenburg? Did they have/need seatbelts?

    • Why would they need seat belts? 🙂

    • Airships of the great era of the thirties lifted off by use of their lifting gas without the need of engines. It was a silent (but for the cheering and bands playing) and smooth sensation barely perceptible to someone inside the ship. Once the ship lifted off to a safe altitude, the engines were started and forward motion began. It was like a cruise ship departing the dock, only vertically.

  23. Dan;

    David Fowler’s “Passenger Decks – Profile View” drawing clearly indicates that the decks were pitched or inclined to the curvature of the longitudinal girders. I don’t think that that was the case in reality. I imagine that the passenger accomodations had level floors aligned with the horizon of the ship in level flight. Any thoughts?


    • Take another look at the lines representing the floor. They are level if you look closely.

    • This answer is quite late, but I was curious about the pitch as well and paid attention to it in the Zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen. The cabin reconstruction there indeed appeared to have a pitch, walking forward was uphill.

  24. I read all of the comments but didn’t see any reference to the passengers who were booked into the cabins with windows during the final flight. Is that information known? That would have been an awesome room with a view!

    Thanks anyone!

    • I believe the Doehner family had cabins on B Deck.

      • Thank you! Such masters of technological engineering and they couldn’t figure out how to iron a tablecloth? ;p

    • I don’t believe an official list of passenger cabin assignments exists for the last flight, but here is what I have been able to determine based on passengers’ subsequent statements to the press, written memoirs, etc.

      The Doehners did indeed have the four-bed family cabin. I’m not sure how they handled the fifth bed – perhaps DZR arranged for a folding cot to be placed in the cabin.

      Margaret Mather mentioned looking out the windows of her cabin in the article she wrote for Harper’s Magazine in November of 1937. That places her cabin assignment on B deck.

      Marie Kleemann mentioned to newspaper reporters that, just prior to the disaster, “”I had gone downstairs to my cabin, and a stewardess had helped me change my clothing. Then I went upstairs to the social hall. The stewardess stayed below – and was killed.”

      Karl Otto Clemens was interviewed by Herbert Morrison after his escape, and when I got his German translated from the recording a few years back, I found that he had gone downstairs to his cabin to get his suitcase just before the fire, and jumped from one of the B-deck windows outside the smoking room.

      By this, I can extrapolate that John and Emma Pannes also had a B-deck cabin. Clemens later spoke of having been looking out a window with Mr. Pannes, while Mrs. Pannes had gone to their cabin for her coat. When the fire broke out, Clemens called to Mr. Pannes to jump with him, but Pannes instead went to find his wife and Clemens jumped without him.

      I am also fairly sure that Birger Brinck had a downstairs cabin too. According to fellow passenger Rolf von Heidenstam, the two men has been talking at the starboard A-deck windows when Brinck went to his cabin to get his camera. He was never seen alive again and was one of the last crash victims to be identified. Had his cabin been on A deck, he would have almost certainly gotten out alive, as rescuers were leading people down the gangway stairs just aft of the A-deck cabins, and the fire took some minutes to consume that part of the passenger decks. The B-deck cabins, by comparison, were on the starboard side of Bay 11, which was part of the amidships area that telescoped together during the crash, and most people who died there seemed to have had no chance to escape the fire.

      By this same reasoning, it’s also possible that Otto Reichhold had a B-deck cabin, as he was also among the last to be identified.

      So that accounts for at least five, probably six and possibly even seven of the B-deck cabins on that final flight.

      I am fairly certain, by the way, that with only 36 passengers aboard that last flight, there was room enough that the single passengers probably all had their own individual cabins.

  25. Really cool site…awesome content! I love ‘labor of love’ projects like this.
    A quick search for the Maybach 12 cocktail revealed this recipe:
    20ml Adler Berlin Gin (Dry Gin)
    20ml Kirsch
    10ml Benedictine
    Add ingredients to an old-fashioned glass, add a large ice cube and stir.

    Can’t speak for the accuracy of that concoction but I figure any drink calling for Benedictine has to be from that era! Found it here:

    Cheers to you on the 75th anniversary of the Hidenburg Tragedy.

    • Chris, I sure wish the author of that blog had somehow discovered the actual recipe for the Maybach 12! In reading it, though, it’s clear that he just invented a cocktail and called it a Maybach 12. Sounds like an interesting quaff, of course, but I’m afraid the actual recipe for the Maybach 12 likely died at Lakehurst with Max Schulze, the ship’s bartender.

      My assumption (and I imagine I’m not the only one) has always been that whatever the Maybach 12 consisted of, it was probably something that was notably high-octane to the point where it seemed like something that you could use to run one of the engines. This recipe doesn’t quite give me that impression. ;^)

  26. Jake Rutigliano | May 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Reply

    I’d like to see a walkthrough 3D tour of the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin II, similar to that of the Titanic tours, like Titanic: Lost in the Darkness.

  27. I saw your pictures on the german SPIEGEL. Great pictures! Thanks for this website!

  28. Henry Krueger | April 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply

    I know from past research that the Hindenburg had flotation devices (life preservers) inside the many upholstered benches along both promenades. There was also a rather large lifeboat stowed amidships in the keel which I saw on some printed Hindenburg diagrams. I now find no information on these things, on the internet, and I am beginning to doubt what I saw and read with my own eyes. Do you have any information on these items? It is very interesting that the Hindenburg was well prepared for a disaster at sea.

    • Hendrick Stoops | July 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply

      The book “Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg” states that the Hindenburg had flotation devices stowed under the promenade chairs.

  29. In the book Zeppelins Giants of the sky (or something like that) It said that 2 crew men were in the back, and they spotted a flame, like a japanese lanttern, and (cant quite remember) some how that flame cought the vessel on fire.

  30. Sorry, a kids question probably but wouldn’t one of these be susceptible during a big wind?

  31. Peter S Fielding | February 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply


    • I think if I remember reading this book about all the Zeppelins,(Believe it’s called Zeppelins: Giants of the Sky) The Graf Zeppelins were to heavy for helium to lift, Hydrogen was 14 times lighter then air, Helium was expensive too, it was 10-12 times lighter then air. Smaller Vessels like the Zeppelin NT and Blimps are sizes to use it for.

      • Not exactly. The Hindenberg and it’s sister, the Graf Zeppelin II, were designed for helium. The US government, which held a near-monopoly on the world’s helium supply, considered it to be a strategic resource and banned exports of the gas to Nazi Germany. The ships were re-configured to use hydrogen. One benefit — another 20 berths were added to the Hindenberg to take advantage of hydrogen’s greater lifting power.

        • Hendrick Stoops | August 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply

          Just a minor correction. The [infamous] Helium Control Act was passed in 1927 the National Socialist party came into power in 1933. In other words, the U.S. export ban did not specifically target the Nazi regime in Germany.

      • According to Wikipedia “Thus hydrogen’s additional buoyancy compared to helium is: 1.202 / 1.114 ≈ 1.080, or approximately 8.0%” .
        It is the buoyancy that matters. That is still a penalty, but perhaps some weight savings might accrue due to the added safety of helium. A modern airship could be much lighter at equivalent structural strength but might also be required to be much stronger.

        • (Just a quick note: Please don’t quote or cite Wikipedia; not only does it frequently have incorrect information, but the bigger problem is that even when information in a particular article is correct when you read it, it could be changed the next day, or hour, so that when someone else follows your reference, the information is different from what you saw when you visited.)

  32. Peter S Fielding | February 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply

    I am fascinated by theis website. I lived in Berlin until mid 1938 -when I escaped to England – and saw both The GrafZeppelin and the Hindenburg several times over head and was very impressed!!! In the late 1990s a German company bought space at the Ormond Beach (Florida) airport and were going to produce Zeppelins to be used primarily as freight carriers in inaccessible parts of the world and published information the “Daytona Beach News Journal”. However, for some unknown reasons they never started production and eventually disappeared from the area. I believe it would be an eco friendly and cost effective way to move heavy freight -hopefully using Helium if available.

  33. Hello,
    Just out of curiosity, was the Hindenburg the first airship with these amazing windows? Was it F.A.B’s design?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hendrick Stoops | December 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply

      If you mean the passenger windows, than no, the British R-100 and R-101 had similar windows (the R-100 not so much but the 101 had windows that stretched to the floor!) However, the design and modernistic taste of the decor is strictly Hindenburg.

      • Stuart Flood | March 22, 2013 at 4:57 am | Reply

        From Photos Ive seen that was one the one thing that the R101 had that was superior to the Hindenburg/Graf Zeppelin II.

  34. How were the passenger cabins numbered, particularly the 1937 additions?

  35. My grandfather told me he was at a Brooklyn Dodgers game in 1937 when the Hindenburg was on what was to be its last flight. The game was actually stopped for a few minutes so the spectators could get what would be their last look at this fantastic ship.

  36. Sam de Mattos | August 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply

    I would like to contribute with some detail of ones of the last existing hangars of Zeppelins, buit near Rio de Janeiro and still intact. Sam de Mattos Jr.

  37. Someone on YouTube posted some home movies of the interior of the Hindenburg. The person is a cruise ship enthusiast and slipped a interior of a cruise ship in with the Hindenburg’s “A” deck footage. It’s rare footage that shows the “B” deck, and some interesting arrangements inside the dining room. For instance, there is shown a table being set up along the Promenade, by one of the benches for dining right by a window. There is also shown the long table arrangement where the tables are all nested together under one grand tablecloth. They are rare and wonderful images of a simpler time, and perhaps a simpler life before the nightmare of WW-2.

  38. James Pannozzi D.O.M., LAc. | August 6, 2011 at 10:30 am | Reply

    Are the construction blueprints or related design documents available for download anywhere for the Hindenburg?

    Also, has anyone attempted a design utilizing geodesic design technology – lesser weight of structural components?

    • Hendrick Stoops | December 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply

      Try looking up Airship drawings by David Fowler on the internet. He has some great blueprints of the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin 2

      • Dr. James R. Pannozzi D.O.M. | December 31, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Reply

        Thanks, found them, excellent!

        I’m hoping to see some 3D perspective drawings of the internal superstructure, particularly just inside the outer covering and around the gas bags. Again I’m wondering if a geodesic design, to whatever extent possible given the cylinder like shape, would maximize strength and minimize weight. With easily available computers, a quick finite element analysis using open source software and some computations, the experienced designer could make improvements impossible to the engineers of that era.

        • Rodney Stowers | April 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply

          I absolutely concur,and have wished for the relapse of this awe inspiring sight….

        • The first Schütte-Lanz airship, the SL-1, was constructed using a geodesic-like design. It was constructed using a wooden frame in a spiraling lattice design. It was both strong and flexible and produced a naturally aerodynamic shape, but it proved to be somewhat complex and expensive to build. Subsequent Schütte-Lanz airships employed the ring-and-stringer, Zeppelin-style construction.

          (I know I’m replying to a comment that’s over a year old, but it caught my eye… 😉 )

          • When I met with Andreas Horn in Germany last week he showed me blueprints of the SL design. Although I always assumed the frame was a spiral, it was actually a very complex series of unconnected segments. Once again I learned something new from Andreas!

  39. Sam de Mattos, Jr. | July 20, 2011 at 2:01 am | Reply

    around 1952, I was 4 years Old remembered seeing a Zeppelin flying northbound over my house, in Vitoria island, Brazil. I know that it could not be the Hindenburg, What could it be?
    A Zeppelin retained in Brazil during the war? A British aircraft? Definitely it was not one of these Goodyear Gizmos. It was a big whopper! My imagination was not playing tricks: I showed it to my mother, she is alive, 89 and still remembers it. What aircraft could it be? Sam de Mattos, Jr.

    • Probably either one of the Goodyear blimps, or a Navy early warning airship. Those ships were larger blimps with larger attached gondolas. You may have seen that in 1953. There were many leftover WW-2 anti submarine K-ship blimps which were a little larger than the Goodyear blimp, but I am not sure where they ended up after the war.

  40. Very interesting site. I actually came by when my curiosity about such airships was piqued by, well, an episode of Archer.

    It is quite surprising that they would have a smoking room on board such a ship. The lengths they’d go to to accommodate smokers back in the day, eh?

    • The Hindenburg was the last word in luxury in the day. The smoking room was the novelty of the ship, and defied the hydrogen that lifted the ship. They kept the room with positive air pressure so that no hydrogen would leak into the room and ignite. There was also the only bar in the ship, making that room a favorite place to hang out and relax after dinner on the ship.

  41. James Nelson | June 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply

    It’s amazing how modern the interior of the Hindenburg was. Looking at the photos out of context, you could easily believe that that was the interior of an office building.

  42. I wish someday someone would sit down and figure out how much it would realistically cost to build one nowadays, with all the newer composities and technology. A derigible, not a blimp. NOT like the one currently giving rides.

    • The Zeppelin NT is a good first step. It is the first lighter than air craft with a private washroom! And what a view from the “throne” in that washroom also! No airline can boast that way. The NT also has a lovely little aft sitting window with a cushioned window seat with one heck of a view aft. You can walk freely about the cabin and chat with the pilots (who aren’t locked behind a bullet proof door).

      It’s a civilized, relaxed and enjoyable way to fly. They charged about $450 for a couple of hours aloft. Expensive, but what’s to say a little larger cabin, some tables, a catered gourmet dinner watching the sunset over the mountains, or loitering over a football game, or seeing the surf shred itself into white foam in the setting sun of the northern California coast sipping valley wine and nibbling on fresh shrimp. It’s all possible and not that far away! Just believe in it.

    • Hendrick Stoops | December 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply

      I fully agree with you however, you’d need a massive PR campaign to convince people it was safe… (incedentally a dirigible is simply something that can be steered… E.G. if you want to see a dirigible, than take a ride on your bike… (Just kidding, I use dirigible to term rigids as well!!:) )

      • I don’t think much of a PR campaign is needed to show the safety record of lighter than air travel. With a stall speed of zero, hard landings are not an issue, and since airships carry only a fraction of the fuel of heavier than air craft, they cannot be considered as flying gas cans. Their engines can be far less powerful, and far more efficient than jets can boast. The Graf Zeppelin crossed the Pacific going from Japan to L.A. by way of San Francisco, using a fraction of the fuel that a 747 would use, with less pollution, and about 50 years ahead of time. So airships are “green” in many ways which is certainly one marketing aspect that can be used.
        All it takes are some investors who want to make the dream a reality. With the popularity of cruising in floating hotels for the masses, the airship offers a unique, and select opportunity to travel first class in a entirely civil, relaxed and dignified manner without having to be patted down, stuffed through a scanner, and herded like cattle down a jetway. The people who will prefer this will be older folks who want a more relaxed way of getting there or a sightseeing trip that beats any they ever had before. It will be middle upper/ upper income discerning travelers who don’t like floating discos filled with drunk teenagers and prefer intelligent travel to places well off the beaten path or typical destinations. It will be folks who desire to see the Earth below travel by at a leisurely 50 miles per hour at a little under 3000 feet above the ground, lower in some scenic regions.
        The pieces for the adventure are already in place. All it takes is those initial investors to make the first commitment, and then someone to steer the dream into the prototype passenger carrying airship. Once one is built, others will follow in an international market to rediscover the airship. The re-adventure awaits!

        • Hendrick Stoops | July 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply

          Great point! It is also a tremendous boost that airships could/can/will travel virtually anywhere in the world without hindrance. I really hope this comes true some day (soon is preferable 🙂 )

  43. Jason Wallace | March 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Reply

    Dear Dan The interior of the hindenburg obviously provided great comfort for the passengers in a spectacular fashion not yet matched by any aircraft before or since. as you said it was designed by Fritz August Breuhaus he was also supposed to have desinged interior for LZ-128 which unfortunatley did not eventuate do you have any drawings of any kind that might be some examples of his beautiful work on LZ-128 (?)

    “project interior design of the passenger area of the zeppelin-airship “LZ 128″, unrealized? Quote from Breuhaus site”

    Yours sincerely Jason Wallace

  44. Around 1936 or so I remember as a child seeing a Zeppelin pass overhead at quite a low altitude. This was at Detroit, Michigan, USA. I remember the swastika on the tail fin, and some mooring lines dangling from the gondola. Can anyone tell me whether it was the Hindenburg or the Graf? I have looked at the flight schedules and cannot tell which it might have been. I know that several goodwill flights were made over US cities in the mid 30’s. The drone of the engines and the swastika on the tail are etched in my memory. Anyone know more?

    • Not sure if your question was answered but the Hindenberg was the Zepellin that had the giant swastikas on the tail. This infuriated Hugo Eckner who opposed the Nazi party and it’s government. Eckner named the ship Hindenberg to annoy the Nazi party who had pressed to name it after Hitler. After this he lost influence and became more of a figure head to the Zepellin company but was still allowed to command the ship. I believe the swastikas were added before the 1936 Olympics in Berlin not positive hope that this helps.

      • Actually, all German zeppelins (LZ-127, LZ-129, and LZ-130) carried Swastika markings beginning shortly after the Machtergreifung (the takeover of power).

        The Nazi’s never pressured the DZR to name LZ-129 after Hitler, and in fact the propaganda-conscious Hitler made it clear that his name could not be used on the ship since it could easily meet with disaster.

        For a discussion of the Nazification of German zeppelin operations, and the diminution of Hugo Eckener’s influence, see:

        • An interesting aside – in ‘Charlie Chan at the Olympics’, the sleuth takes the Hindenburg to Berlin. In the few scenes of the ship in flight, the swastikas are very obviously blocked out. Also, Jesse Owens’ performance is highlighted. Hollywood’s subtle ways of sticking it to Hitler.

    • LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin flew over Detroit in August, 1929 (, but of course did not carry Swastika markings at that time. LZ-127 did have Swastika markings when it visited the American midwest in October, 1933. No German zeppelin flew over Detroit in 1936, however. I hope this helps!

    • Bruce Ericsson | July 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply

      Just came across this web site and your comments remind me of seeing
      the Zepplins going up the narrows in Brooklyn, N.Y on their way to Lakehurst, N.J. They left such an impression that I’ll never forget.
      I keep telling my relatives about their size and majesty. I think that the restaurant (Windows on the World) in the World Trade Center was based on the restaurant in the Hindenburg.

      • Dr. James R. Pannozzi | May 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply

        I never realized the true size of the Hindenburg. I knew it was big but exactly how big I did not realize until one day I saw a side by side pictorial comparison of the Goodyear blimp next to the Hindenburg. The Goodyear blimp’s entire length was about the width of the base of the upper rear tail fin (vertical stabilizer or whatever the proper term is) of the Hindenburg (!!).

    • That may have been the Graf. She made a flight from Rio to Florida, then from there north to Chicago. Do you recall if it was cold then? There is a account of that journey in this website of a child passenger that describes a difficult landing as well as the cold as opposed to the warmth from there they were before. The swastikas were on the tail fins about that time as the propaganda machine in Germany’s government was in full force then.

  45. Hi!

    Were there any plans for giant airships (over 250 meters) afterwards?
    I mean except the cargolifter.

    Has anyone seen a plan of LZ-131? I read it shpuld have been larger than the Hindenburg.


    • Hendrick Stoops | December 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply

      I’ve never seen blueprints for the 131 but from reliable scources (the Golden age of passenger airships by Douglas Robinson and Harold Dick who worked with Goodyear and Zeppelin) it’s been described as having the same diameter as the Hindenburg class ships with one bay extended to 16.5 and another 16.5 bay being added bringing up length to 859ish feet. The passenger quarters would have been the same (with another area put in one gas bag aft) foward would have contained public spaces (and a deck below with toilets and such) and the aft bay would have carried cabins for 80-100 people.

  46. I really love your website. I have been a big fan of the giant airships since I was a teenager. Now that I am a 3d artist/animator I have decided to model a photoreal 3d replica of the Hindenburg, and the photographs and plans in your page are a great reference. Thank you!

  47. Dear Dan i am writing an article on (airships and why they are not a thing of the past) my title. I was wondering if you could give me your pesronal opinion on the future of the Zeppelin Airship as a viable means of passenger and cargo transport. I think there is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel as it were i would also qoute your info to my article as i dont want to take credit for your pure genius.

    Thank you very much for your time

    p.s looking forward to your additional info on the LZ-130 page and also have a very safe and merry christmas and a happy new year.
    yours sincerely jason wallace

  48. Nicholas RAtterman | December 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply

    I would like to say that I love this site. I am a history buff, but Airships are one of my favorite things to reasearch about. Are there any companies that currently manufacter airships today. And also what liscense do you have to have if any to be able to fly one.

    • Zeppelin NT is made in Germany. They made three of them if memory serves. One was in California out of Sunnyvale. Goodyear still makes their blimps and recently signed a deal with the folks at Zeppelin NT to work together (very promising). There was a fellow who made the “Lightships” which were centrally illuminated, simple blimps and sold many models of that ship. There was Skyship Industries out of England which had a few larger blimps with ducted, vectored engines and I think they are out of business. Lots of little sparks out there, but no real major players (yet) to tie the energy and efforts together into something of substance.

  49. I wonder if anyone has any idea, or tried to figure out, roughly how much it would cost to build one of these things nowadays? Modern alloys, technology and such.

    • The actual cost to build the ship would be on par with building a jumbo let liner in terms of parts and labor. The issue is finding a hanger to build one. Most are historic places now and may not support such activities anymore. To build a new hanger would be very costly, and the start up of an airship manufacturing business would have to contend with that daunting task.

  50. Wow, this is fascinating! Being a student of interior design, it really is something to be able to see all these amazing pictures of airship interiors and their atmospheres–the maps and drawings they used on the passenger liner walls, the light-weight tubular chairs, etc. Reading fantasy and science fiction novels is what got me interested in airships, and so far this is the most informative (both visually and textually) website I’ve seen yet on the topic. (And I’m currently writing my own fantasy novel with some unconventional airships in it, so this will definitely be a real help.)

    I can’t imagine how long it took you to compile all of your research for this site! O_O What an amazing effort.

  51. No answer to my question about the airlock? 🙁

  52. WOW
    I’ve only read stories about the Hindenberg tragedy but never seen detailed pictures of it.
    I knew it was sort of a big flying object but looking at one of the black and white pictures with people looking outside the window definitely put things into perspective
    I wonder how they built this giant machine back in the days?
    They didn’t necessarily have the technology that is readily available these days.
    Maybe lack of certain technologies and techniques was the reason behind the explosion.
    Thanks for this awesomse.
    I’m gonna go my school library on Tuesday and try to find more information of the Hindenberg

  53. Dear Dan

    Will helium ever run out will it always be there for use on zeppelin airships as a viable form of travel instead of airoplanes using fuel etctec???? and did hitler ever set foot on an airship??

    yours sincerely Jason Wallace

    • The world may well be running out of helium.

      Hitler hated airships and never set foot in one.

      • thanks dan for yuor reply but wouldnt there be other reserves of helium i looked it up on wikipedia and apparetnly there is as a huge resource of helium in space not sure though what do you think?? because i thought that if there is such a supply of helium not just on earth but in space the rigid Airship would be a viable environmentaly freindly form of travel and once again the humans could be treated to an awsome experience of lighter than air travel

  54. I’ve heard that there is a company, I believe in California, that is looking into building a derigible, not a blimp. They believe that slow is the new fast. I don’t remember the name of the company. If they succeed, all I can say is, in a very good way, HOLY CRAPOLA, BATMAN!!!! If memory serves, I believe it’s going to be a cargo ship. At least in the beginning.

    • Jim,
      The Zeppelin NT in California is one of only two commercial zeppelins in operation throughout the world. The other zeppelin is located in Germany. California’s zeppelin is the largest currently operating in the world. Operated by Airship Adventures based out of Moffett Airfield, San Jose conducting commercial passenger flights near daily (weather dependent). I recently travelled to California taking an Airship flight which the experiance was unforgettable. Highly recommended to anyone interrested in a current day Zeppelin experience to book a flight soon. Recommend folks scheduled and get out there to have the same experience before it may be gone. Realize a third zeppelin did operate for a short time in Japan but has since closed operating after only a year of operations. Best of luck to all seeking an zeppelin airship flight.

  55. Jason Wallace | August 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply

    Dear Dan

    Did hitler ever travel on an airship i know he despised them but he did see them as an influential propaganda tool also will helium ever runout or will it alays be there unlike fossil fuels for planes etc
    thanks yours sincerely jason wallace

  56. Graf Jeffelin | August 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply

    My apologies if this question has already been asked and answered, or if it’s explained somewhere on the site, but would you explain in practical terms how the airlock worked? I’m not looking for a scientific explanation (Hydrogen is lighter than air, etc) but, rather, what a passenger would experience when he went through. How was the pressurization actually done? Anything along those lines would be great.

    I have a casual, though growing, interest in airships. Thanks for this site!

    • Hendrick Stoops | December 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply

      it was like half of a revolving door (like in some bird aviaries) the door was positioned inside a half circle wall (see airship drawings by David Fowler for a better explanation). This way, the door was only open to the smoking room or the B deck hallway. As an added precaution, the smoking room was kept at a slightly higher pressure to keep hydrogen out (and to force out any that had gotten in)

  57. Charles Englehart | May 17, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Reply

    I wanted to share an exchange of emails that I recently had with the Air & Space museum in Washington D.C.. I too have an immense interest in airships and after a recent visit to the museum couldn’t help but comment on what I felt was their somewhat limited representation of airships. I also wanted to comment on what I felt could be a major attraction for them. I am of course a dreamer and as such I’m often taken to flights of fantasy. I thought it would be fun to see what they thought of one of my more “dreamy” ideas. I didn’t get much of a response but perhaps, in some small way, I’ve planted a seed.

    email exchange follows:
    Good afternoon Charles,
    Thank you for your interest in the National Air and Space Museum and thank you for your comment regarding airships. The museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center has many artifacts on display from the airship era, including the ‘Hindenburg’ and ‘Akron.’ I have forwarded your comment to the appropriate department.
    Please let me know if we can be of further assistance.
    Josh Chartier
    Visitor Services Coordinator
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Air and Space Museum

    Visitor Services, Health and Safety Division
    Support the National Air and Space Museum! Be a member of the National Air and Space Society —

    From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 12:35 PM
    To: NASM-Visitor Services
    Subject: Visitor Services Online Comment Form – Both
    This message was submitted via the NASM Web Site form at
    Subject(s): Exhibits/Galleries,IMAX/Simulators

    Comment: ((Need more Airship Stuff)) I’ve spent many hours over the past 50 years collecting, observing, and admiring any photographs, books, articles or other tidbits of information I was fortunate enough to happen upon concerning the great air ships of the early 1900’s. I’ve always been disappointed however, with what I’ve been able to observe in museums. Sadly when most Americans think of vehicles that travel in the air they generally think of heavier than air vehicles like airplanes, helicopters or rockets. They generally do not think of airships. For me however, airships have always held a special place in my heart. In my opinion no other aircraft can rival the majesty, elegance or shear presence of an airship. As a kid I can remember day dreaming about being aboard one of the great airships like the Graf Zeppelin or especially, the Hindenburg. After reading the stories and viewing the many wondrous pictures I couldn’t help but close my eyes and try to imagine myself walking along one of the Hindenburg’s long promenades and gazing out through those huge transparent panels. I’d imagine its 1936 again and we are coming into Reo De Janeiro at just under 1000 feet. We descend ever so slowly, gliding through diagonal shafts of light jetting down through towering folds of billowing soft white clouds. Alongside, the lush green covered slopes of the mountains. Below, the mesmerizing shimmer of sunlight dancing upon the crests of a thousand crystalline blue waves tirelessly marching towards white sand beaches. The scene invites us to land but why rush, I could stare at this for hours and I can because this is not a jet airliner but an airship. How sad that the preclusive mandate of time and circumstance should prevent an encore. How sad that no one will ever again have the opportunity to experience this amazing feat of engineering. Or could they? Could a highly detailed life size model of the Hindenburg’s A-Deck promenades be created and positioned above (or surrounded by), an IMAX screen showing various moving panoramas so realistic that viewers would become lost in the illusion. Add simulated environmentals such as the distant drone and vibrations of those huge diesels and wind along with the feel of gently simulated roll, pitch and yaw to provide realistic sensations of movement. Perhaps even real breezes and smells. Maybe it would be possible to go beyond just the promenades and recreate the entire A-Deck with its dining areas. The Hindenburg restaurant, cafe’ and museum. People walking around the floor of the museum could look up to the roof and see a representation of the bottom portion of one of the great airships. What an incredible attraction and where else but at the most famous air & space museum in the world, (and maybe Disney World). Have lunch aboard the Hindenburg. Ride once again in the most famous and luxurious airship the world has ever known. When can I get my tickets?

    • George M. Brown | June 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Reply

      I enjoy reading the articles on your web site and I am a collector myself I have many items in the lighter then air department. I have always had an interest in this field and I feel the same as you, what a great feeling to fly aboard an airship such as the Hindenburg I have had the opportunity to fly in many of the Blimps and always enjoyed it. If you ever get to Tennessee e-mail me and we will get togather I live in the smokies. Keep up the good work I have been able to pick up a lot of information reading your web site. Brownie

  58. Just incredible, Dan. Let me congratulate you for your this amazing web – it’s just swell, so detailed, by far the best source of info on airships I’ve come across. Kudos to you, really.

  59. OSWALD D'ALOIA MAGGIO | April 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply


    • david helms | July 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Reply

      enjoyed reading about your experience in viewing the airship coming into sao paulo. most likely it was the hindenburg. i would love to have a personal letter from you to add to my memorabilia. that would be special. hope to hear from you soon and many thanks if you can share. email me back and i will give you my home address.


  60. To the curator of such a fine piece of both literary and pictorial aviation history I congratulate you. Your depth of detail provides the technophiles a real treat, and that includes me. The images are of such beauty and romance I am moved. The faces on the people transport me…take me to a time long gone and the narration so exquisite in detail to the point where after one views and reads, all that is required is to close ones eyes and you are there, the cigar smoke, the lilting sound of Schubert, the Champagne, the view, the rapture and awe of such opulence and technical revelation that must have been their experience in that leviathan in the sky that was in essence a testimony to mans brilliance.

    To put one self in, to conjure, to dream “what was it like”, the smell, the sound, the emotion, the sights, the human aspects of the experience. These are things lost on the many but people such as your good self, whether intentional or not, render such experience and hope for such experience to the many enthusiasts, avid or exploratory, willing or not.

    I have never responded ever to the thousands of blogs, pages, sites and such that I have viewed in my years however, as a young child seeing documentaries on the Hindenburg, I was scarred at the loss so vividly displayed before my eyes. Your beautiful representation is the “other side” of that which anyone who recalls the word “Hindenburg” would conjure.

    I stumbled on this by chance. And it was enormous in its value.

    There are no words but a simple “thank you”.


  61. Wilfred Dugas | March 5, 2010 at 7:49 am | Reply

    I wish they still had airships like that. I love them, or any air ships.

  62. Malcolm Gunstone | March 2, 2010 at 9:21 am | Reply

    I am a P.C. Pilot and have some great aircraft in my hanger, including 1930’s types. Now I MUST get an airship from somewhere.
    Thanks lots for your work in collating so much info.

    • Imagine now….that we have an airship that travels to around 100,000 feet. At that altitude one can see the blackness of space, the curvature of the Earth, and is on the edge of space. It would take a pressurized cabin, of course, and life support systems that traditional airships did not require. Since the temperature is -60 F, the space around it 99% vacuum, and radiation 100X that on the surface, it would require extensive upgrades. Still, imagine having a ship that can do that….it’s possible and would be much cheaper than a “budget” $200,000 ticket on Spaceship Two, which is a 45-minute joyride with 5 minutes of weightlessness…you could look at the Earth for hours….days?

      • Ummm…If the atmospheric pressure is 1% of that at sea level than the lift generated by helium or hydrogen is also ~1% by volume. It’s simply impossible to build a rigid airship that could reach that altitute.

        • Difficult? Maybe…but never say impossible. I understand the mathematics of what you are saying, but you are thinking in terms of early airships. Don’t forget…engineers said that humans could never fly, and the sound barrier could never be broken…among other things! You simply need to find people with the drive, funding, intellect, and creativity to make it work. These days we have carbon fiber and other lightweight though strong materials that could make this possible. The main issue I would think is expansion of the helium gas. At 100K feet it’s going to be HUGE and require an envelope that quite simply would be the largest balloon in history. Of course, one airship concept is compressing helium when necessary to deal with ballast issues.

          Also, take a look at what JP Aerospace is working on if you are interested in airships and space. Their “Airship to Orbit” project isn’t complete by any means, but the ideas are there, and they have successfully obtained patents for the system in addition to having conducted a multitude of research on various parts of the ships. Their plan is to have an “ascender” airship that goes from the ground to about 120-140K feet; a “dark sky” station that is a permanent outpost at 120-140K feet. It is the station that docks with the “orbital airship” which uses a combination of airship, flying wing, and solar/electric propulsion technology to circle the globe over several days, using the lift available from the 1% atmosphere left (it is supposed to be several miles long), and reach orbital velocity over several days (also slow down the same way). These guys/gals are doing real research and making real progress on their plan, and you can check it out at:

          If the idea is ultimately successful, it would make affordable and reusable spacecraft a reality…using 19th century technology adapted to the 21st!

  63. Hello there are dozens of web articles and videos of the “disaster” i was delighted to find one about the actual life on board floor plans pictures and such. I always wonderd about toilet and sanitary conditions for i noticed no toilets or showers in cabin can you tell me if waste was jettisoned or were there holding tanks? any info would be appriciated thank you……James

  64. Isnt the hindenburg place haunted

  65. Königsberger Klopse. That brings back memories of my German Grandmother.

    I’m afraid that my reaction to this dish was the same as the American passengers on the Zeppelins–I HATED it.


  66. Its remarkable how modern and contemporary the interior design and furniture is in most of these interior shots!

    If some put forward they were from some trendy cafe or bar today, you could quite well believe it to be true!?

  67. I have pictures of the 45 ft Hindenburg model i designed and constructed in 1986. i’m looking at them now as i embark on construction of the Eiffel tower model and wish to build both at @ 100ft. I have special light effects to add to the Tower.
    i remember the Hindenburg project as overwhelming.

  68. Very interesting, thanks for putting this together!

  69. Hi Dan i thought you might be interested in this in realtion to my detailed info and questions

    its about the russian airships the one i think you will find most interesting is the aeroscraft

    let me know what you think

    cheers jason wallace

  70. HI Dan

    As you know i am an Airship fanatic and given the chance i would do anything to be involved with them in anyway i would love to promote the use of them as doctor Eckener did in Glory days of the passenger Zep what i dont get if he was so close to being succsesful with the hindenburg that if it didnt crash and the second season would have been a success i think airships as a viable means of travel would have been here to stay my mates think im talking rubbish as i said before there not for everyone but i think the reasons it seases to exist are

    1. the nazis came to power and messed up Dr eckeners plans as they were obsessed with power the americans did not what to supply helium as they were in fear of Remilitirisation of the Rhine land and that he may use them for war.

    In wich case had the nazis not have come to power the Hindenburg would have been inflated with Helium and the whole disaster could have been avoided.

    2.and the same thing happend with the LZ-130 with hitler in power and ww2 on the verge of breaking loose eckener succsesfully persuaded the americans to supply helium but when they were just about to supply it hitler and the NAZIS invaded austria wich i think was a nuetral countrie at the time and with that the second world war started and the americans stopped the helium export and the LZ-130 had a short life with hydrogen on spying missions and so forth when i 1940 hitlers propaganda minister joseph goebbels orded the Graf Zeppelin and its name sake to be broken up and the metal to be melted to make bombers for the Luftwaffe (German Airforce) so then in order to bring Zeps back they would have to build giant hangars and rebuild Zeps and fill them with helium hence it being very very expensive.

    so thats part of the poltical reason of the destruction of a viable Airship passenger service

    There is also the technological reasons aswell first the airplane was getting bigger and better though i think if the airships and there means of storage were retained and Eckener persuveared hard enough they would have survived but there wasnt so the Airplanes had the skies to themselves and they progressed to the piont of the jet engine wich provided quick travel no were near the safty and comfort of zeps but it was fast and thus in a sense technologically destroyed the revival of passenger Zeps.

    But what surprises me with the quest of a more economical means of travel they dont bring them back they are currently building one in russia and it looks allright so if they are doing it why cant the zep company do it and bring them back to there former glory as passenger Travel

    your sincerely Jason wallace

  71. OH and could you please inlcude beverages and wines and deserts please as i would be much obliged and any cocktail recipes if possible i have the one from your site allready i was not sure if it that stuff would have been seperate from the menu it self

    P.S if its in german how i would i go about converting it to English so i can under stand it and have it prepared to the letter i will be very gratefull as to your findings
    thank you very much much obliged

    keep up the great work your site is astounding i read it daily and always pick up little bits of info i mightve missed and is thorough first class research and i look forward to reading your comments and findings in the near future

    yours sincerely Jason Wallace

    • I just sent you an email with information about food on the Hindenburg and a scan of a sample menu.

      In general, food on the Hindenburg was German, and very heavy, and American passengers sometimes complained that it was not to their liking. Königsberger Klopse was a typical dinner about which some of the non-German passengers raised doubts; the dish consists of meatballs made with beef, pork, and anchovies, served in a caper sauce:

      There were two original “Specialty cocktails” served on Hindenburg. The “LZ-129 Frosted Cocktail” was just gin and orange juice (not very exciting!) and the recipe for the other cocktail (the Maybach 12) has been lost to history.

      I can also tell you what was served on the famous “Millionaires Flight“: Swallow Nest Soup, cold Rhine salmon, tenderloin steak, Chateau Potatoes, Beans a la Princesse, Carmen salad, and iced melon, accompanied by beer and wines including a 1934 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen and a 1928 Feist Brut. The meal was followed by Turkish coffee, pastries, and fine liqueurs.

  72. HI Dan i was wondering if it would be at all possible to get a copy of the dinner menu of the hindenburg cuisine as my cousine had a TITANIC dinner and she said it was great and i would very much like to do the same with the hindenburg and if possible could you get one for the graf zeppelin as well i would be very gratefull and very much obliged to your response on any thing you find.

    p.s the questions about the LZ-128 and LZ-131 i made was a mistake i typed the first one and it didnt show up so i typed the second one and submitted it and they both showed up im not shore as to why? so im sorry if you thought i was being demanding and impatient as i was not it was just a simple mistake on my behalf

    you have a great site and i look forward to reading your discoveries and if u find dinner menu for Hindenburg and graf Zeppelin i will let you know how the evening goes thank you very much

    cheers jason

    • Don’t worry, I did not think you were being demanding! I see technical things like that all the time. You comments were so friendly and polite I was glad to receive them. 🙂

      I do have menu information. Obviously there were many different menus, since the Hindenburg served dozens of dinners (unlike the Titanic, which served only four, I believe). I will try to get some menu information for you!!

      • david helms | July 6, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Reply

        hi dan. can you also send me a dinner menu copy used by the hindenburg chefs. that would be spesial and i thank you dearly.


  73. Hello Dan,
    Thanks very much for an outstanding website concerning the Hindenburg and other airships. The pictures are superb and the commentary is extremely well-written and comprehensive.
    In one of the books I have about the Hindenburg-RELIVING THE ERA OF THE GREAT AIRSHIPS: HINDENBURG by Rick Archibold and Ken Marschall-it is stated that there were curtains that could be drawn between the dining saloon and lounge and their respective promenades at night to block the glare of the incandescent lights from interfering with the view out the windows. Yet I have never read this anywhere else. Do you know if this was true? Thanks.

    P.S. Does anyone else have any information on this subject?

    • Hendrick Stoops | December 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply

      There is also a book (The Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships) by someone who travelled extensively on the Hindenburg that mentions the curtains and while there are no photos (that I know of) showing them, there are a few that show a slot in the wall where they might have been kept

  74. The tragedy is generally considered to be the death knell of the derigible liner. What I want to know is, why? Build one and actually PUT helium in it, as it was supposed to be in the first place, and you would have an airliner I think people would line up for. If I could afford it, I’d be on it like a shot! Only, this time lets leave off the swastikas.

    • Richard Waryn | January 2, 2010 at 2:35 am | Reply

      I agree with your comment. Helium seems to be the the answer. And in this age of cattle car travel wouldn’t it be great to have the grand airships back?! Who’s ready to invest??

  75. are there any interior photos of hindenburg’s sister ship?(lz130?)

  76. I am wondering: did they have to refill the gas somehow during normal operation? I guess it is impossible to have perfectly sealed balloons?
    Thanks for this beautiful website

  77. Hi Dan,

    At last I now have the time to read airship websites and the List again,
    being retired after working for 5 years at the EASA.

    Thanks for compiling such a great website!


  78. Could passenger airships like the LZ-127 grace the skies again?

    Most certainly!

    The flight would be a niche market affair, much like flying the Concorde was. It wasn’t the time getting there, it was riding the machine to get there! The cost of a three or five day airship journey today would be equivalent to a ticket on the QM-2, or perhaps more! There would have to be several airships plying regular service routes in order to see a profit in a five year time line. The initial costs for infrastructure, air routes, ships and a network of ground support bases would be substantial.

    Flights would be based on a alternate way of vacationing. Flights would have to have some contact with the ground for excursions and activities not available on the airship. The older, more patient crowd would enjoy a long day of idly watching the scenery roll by. The people who still like to ride first class trains to destinations just for the experience of it, the folks who like luxury cruises on smaller ships to exotic and out-of-reach destinations are the kind of people who would appreciate what the airship experience would bring. The biggest hurdle is water capacity to allow for our love of showers and things. That’s why the daily shore excursions would be a smart idea, in order to fill up the water tanks / and drain the waste water daily rather than carry tons of water for a long haul.

    Long term safe use of the ships would net a good return if the notion of “nostalgic” flight takes hold. I believe that such a niche is entirely possible as passenger commercial flight today has become an experience akin to riding the subway to work. The flights should be based on coastal routes which give the ship the ability to operate over more stable atmospheric conditions (and provide sea room to evade weather). Coastal flights offer more vistas and scenery as well as public exposure. Possible routes could include:
    1. A New England / Nova Scotia run with jaunts inland to view the fall colors.
    2. Summer tours along the coastline of Italy and the islands to the East, including the French Riviera.
    3. A coastal tour of the Greek archipelago.
    4. A northern California / West coast cruise up to Seattle and north into the Western Canadian coastline featuring wines from the Napa valley as a theme.
    5. Flights through the islands of the Far East near Java, Philippines, and the Vietnam coast.
    6. Flights along Mexico’s eastern coastline with the Caribbean Sea.
    7. Depending on seasonal conditions, special flights along the Great Lakes, follow the mighty Mississippi north from the delta to the headwaters up north, see the fall foliage at it’s peak flying down the Shenandoah Valley, Explore the scenic countrysides of France, Ireland, Holland and Belgium, venture into the fjords of Norway in midsummer.
    8. In light of the upcoming Olympics, flights to Rio de Janero and along the Brazilian coastline.

    The opportunities are endless. All places are within a days flight of a major hub or city where facilities to land and support airship operations can occur.

    And on a green frame of mind, nothing is more green, more eco-friendly, and more unobtrusive in terms of noise and air pollution than a lighter than air vehicle with a stall speed of zero miles an hour.

    Can it be done, certainly. All that’s needed are visionaries like Dr. Hugo Eckener who had the passion and the drive to make the dream a reality.

    • Sir, for whatever my humble opinion is worth, I like the way you think. I’ve wondered about pretty much the same thing for some time now. I didn’t think about it in as much detail as you did, I’m sorry to say, but I agree whole-heartedly.

    • Matthew Lawfield | September 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Reply

      I’ve just read your analysis and I think that sounds an excellent way forward. The Zeppelin NT trips are a step in the right direction, but far too primitive. I suspect one needs to think bigger here to make more impact .

      • To quote Dr. Eckener, “You do not travel on an airship, you voyage.”

        I believe that there is room for the Airship even on the TransAtlantic routes. Where the jet is merely transport to your holiday, the Airship journey becomes part of the holiday.

        Noting that with modern technology, inflight movies, etc. you would be able to enjoy the flight.

  79. The Germans were so far ahead of thier time. Even the design of the passengers interior could be mistaken for a trendy restaurant/bar in London, New York, Paris or Berlin in 2009.

  80. Could a person have walked around in the helium compartment of the air craft?

    • Almost all areas of the inside of the hull were accessible to the riggers (but of course, the gas cells were inflated with hydrogen rather than helium).

    • I believe that escorted passengers could venture into the upper hull. It is rather dangerous as the catwalks are rather narrow and a slip would lead to a long fall downwards and that would not make for nice conversations over dinner that night in the dining room. There was an entry in this great site that told a story of Hugo Eckener letting a young boy helm the Graf Zeppelin during a brief tour of the bridge. His older sister was not allowed to steer the ship because Dr. Eckener felt that little girls didn’t belong at the helm of airships. That was a tough break for that little girl.

      • If someone fell from the upper hull wouldn’t they land on the gas cells?

        • It depends on where they fell. The upper catwalk was most probably off limits to passengers and was very tight. The only thing up there was access to the gas valves. Assuming one did fall, more likely than not, they would get caught up against the gas cells, the cell netting and the outer cover – basically caught like a fly in a spider’s web. Not a very pleasant prospect to get out of. OSHA would not have approved of the interior of zeppelins of the thirties as a safe place to work.

  81. Hi,

    Absolutely wonderful website. So many details of the “Titanic of the Air” as I would call it. My story of how I found this website involves a certain musical group from the 1970s. I actually was looking at Led Zeppein IV (album from previous century, pretty well documented!) and just had to allow myself the luxury of checking out “other” Zeppelins! Sad, but true. But my interest is not momentary. I have been fascinated by the Titanic and the Hindenburg (both luxury and horrid fate) for many years. The myths surrounding the disasters are incredible. I have an interest in history and photography and am always trying to figure out the truth of an event. These two mysteries of the 20th century are among the best kept secrets of the world. How did they happen? I doubt anyone will really know the actual truth in either case of all the minor details which led to the disasters. Lots of interesting stories/films/myths have sprung up in both cases. I believe humans love situations such as this more than those whose exact details and causes are known and well-documented through written and visual evidence. This is the fun of history and historical discovery. Trying to prove exactly what transpired given a myriad of inaccuracies and human accounts.

    Anyway, thanks very much for the great details and obvious tremendous work involved on this project.


  82. Thank you! I would LOVE to be able to travel in grand style like the passengers of the Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin did.

  83. Roland Stimpson | October 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Reply

    I was going to parachute school at Lakehurst in 1950. Made my graduating jump 30 March that year. The mast that was supposed to have been for docking the Hindenburg was still there then. Albeit quite rusty ! It’s probably still there. If not, it should be. Off duty time going to Philly was fun. I found & was allowed into the ‘Che Vouz (wrong spelling) 2nd floor dance hall in Upper Darby. Kept my nose clean & had a great time ! Sold some property here , on the Coast Of Maine, to some people from PA. who had been there ! ! One of the air-ship hangars held 5 diriigibles. Took 2 train engines to operate them. Created it’s own humidity. Thanks.

  84. Is there any specific plans on-going to construct a real passenger airship capable of carrying over 70 passengers for one day travel providing transportation between cities? I reside in the San Francisco bay area and watching the Zeppelin NT “Eureka” fly is really nothing more than an overpriced excursion flight. Charging $500 for an hour-long flight in an airship that can only hold 12 passengers is not going to spark huge interest in airship travel. Are there any plans to construct a real large size Zeppelin for inter-city travel?

    Dennis Zermeno

  85. Being an avid collector of postal items relating to the airship Hindenburg and requiring as many items relating to the airship, for display and exhibition purposes, I recently came across a model of the LZ 129. It is manufactured in Germany by the Schreiber-Bogen kartonmodellbau. The model is produced in cardboard, pre-coloured and is 44ins. long. Besides the main airship there is also a seperate detailed construction of the diningroom and lounge, very detailed and in full colour. This a superb model in every detail and the inner structural detail is quite outstanding. For anyone with a love for these giants of the airways I would recommend the model as well worth assembling. It takes some time as there are many parts to cut out and glue but the result is quite phenominal!! When finished, it will take centre stage at any talks or exhibitions that I may be involved in, in the future. Thank you for an excellent website.

  86. Erich Breckoff | September 2, 2009 at 8:16 am | Reply

    Costs for airships split down in building them, keeping them in workig condition and the needed ground installations.

    Building an airship today would be easier and lighter than the originals, and will be probably much cheaper as soon monofibers from carbon can be manufactured (that would mean cloth a few molecules thick you can stress like steel)

    The big hurdle is not flying them or building them but how to easily land them and then keep them in place.

    Picture it, you have an airship the size of an big building, lighter than air and you want to keep it in one place.

    You can build hangars offcourse, like the old airships had but driving them in an out of them is an challenge, one good gust of wind sideways and you have wreakage.

    The new projects for freight airships all so faar did not solve the question how to transfer several tons of freight safely to the ground.

    An airship able to lift 100 tons would have to reduce its lift quite quickly to do it safely, simply venting gas would be even using hydrogen costly, not to mention helium, and i have doubt that hydrogen would be anything people wouldlike to use today.

    The very big problem is not about flying them, it is about landing them and keep them where you want them on ground.

    The small passenger airships flying today are not as easy to board as an modern heavier than air flyer, it is something like an flying start where you send people one after the other to jump on a moving walkway as long there is absolutly no wind, the airship sways and moves all the time.

    Loading 300 people on it under such conditions would take some day.

    You could solve it with hollow masts and people entering through the nose of the airship through an tunnel who follows the airships motions but to use them as freighter you would still have to overcome the problem of balancing lift an weight while loading of offloading if you want to do it as quick as an airplane can do.

    with the costs for fuels they may come back, you can pretty much use the whole surface to generate electricity and use diesel electric engines to drive it so they would be very cheap to move around.

    So, solve the problem with loading and unloading freight and you may have an deal.

  87. the pictures were amazing. i would like to know why zeppeline is not still in use? the only threat was usage of hydrogen but we can use helium which is much safer. what would be the cost for a kilometer travel in zeppeline?. can you say something about modern day zeppeline?

    • manimohankrishnan | October 6, 2009 at 7:13 am | Reply

      thank you Mr.Erich Breckoff. i am convienced. but if it happens we can save a lot of energy is it not?

      • Certainly, with solar cell film now made you could use the surface of the airship to produce electricity, for the night you would still need some generators using probably hydrogen (power cells using up hydrogen, light using light fuel) with todays techology and an not burning skin (the skin of the airships back used paints and materials making them burn of easily) storing some hydrogen in an bag would be of no trouble.

        Given that humans want water and produce waste keeping the weight balance with hydrogen used up would be no trouble either.

  88. the pictures were amazing. i would like to know why zeppeline is not still in use? the only threat was usage of hydrogen but we can use helium which is much safer. what would be the cost for a kilometer travel in zeppeline?

  89. Amazing! To think, that almost 80 years ago people could travel by air in a far more spacious and luxurious way than is even possible today. Great pictures.

  90. Great website with teriffic interior pictures. Would love to see interior shots of the GZII.

  91. Thank-you for your great website. I hope that airship travel makes a comeback. With the higher cost of jet fuel, perhaps there is a need for heavy cargo lifters and cruise ships of the sky. It takes about 10 days to 3 weeks for cargo to get from China & Korea to the West coast of N. America and since most everything we have made is manufactured in Asia, it would help market prediction in ordering various manufactured goods and the transportation cost would be greatly reduced from traditional heavier-than-air airfreight. The time from Asia to the US might be three days instead of twelve hours, but the cost would be lower and it is easier to predict market demand for 3 to 4 days instead of three weeks. Thanks for the work you have done on your site.

  92. Having read many books, that of Harold Dick been the best, and visited many internet sites, I thought I had seen everything about the ‘golden era of airship travel’. Until I found this site…

    Warmest congratulations for your beautiful work here and your love towards this largely unknown part of history!

  93. I am hoping you can help me with a question regarding some plates which I have come across. They are the pattern used on the Hindenburg by Heinrich and Co. Where I am at a loss is they are monogrammed on the opposite side from the monogram. The monogram was executed in the same blue and gold tones and was fired at the same time. Are you aware of china being monogrammed for VIP guests?

    Thank you,

    • @ Todd:

      I haven’t seen or read about plates like those, but I am far from an expert on china patterns! 🙂

      Perhaps the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen can help you? (If you get more information, perhaps you could post a follow-up to let us know what you learned.)

  94. I recently came across a portfolio of 16″ x 12″ black and white amazing photos of the HIndenburg and Zeppelin and also in there are increbile pictures on I think what they call rice paper ? On the outside of the portfolio It is printed all in German . Does anyone know how to tell if they are orginials. I have never seen anything so amazing ?

  95. William Kane | July 1, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Reply

    I was in the 2nd grade in 1937 and I remember walking home for lunch on the day the Hindinburg crashed and burned. The huge airship flew right over me (I lived in Marlborough MA) and I remember how low it appeared to me. I have retained that view for the rest of my life as if it was yesterday.
    Bill Kane

    • Bill —

      Like you, I lived near Boston — in Medford — on the day of the Hindenburg’s last flight, and I remember exactly where I was standing when it passed close by.

      I wrote to Germany asking if the Hindenburg’s Navigator’s Log remained intact and I was informed that VFR requirements in the 1930s were nowhere as strict as they are now. During that part of the flight, the command of the ship was surely in the hands of the skipper and the flight path was probably not recorded. That’s a shame — but those were the rules in those days.

      You and I are probably among the few people alive who remember actually seeing the Hindenburg.


  96. Hi Dan, thanks for the reply. How did I find your fascinating site? This is a ridiculous answer, but actually, I was playing a computer game (I am at the age when games keep the old brain sharp!), and it had a scene including the Hindenburg. Being the curious person that I am, I started doing a bit of internet research to learn more, and found your site, clearly the best source I located. So…there you have it! It really is a wonderful site, and I look forward to more info as you include it. I especially like the photographs. (I like ’30’s movies, too!) Thanks again for such a great site. Bev

  97. This is amazing. I am not a history student, just someone who is fascinagted by a time when seconds weren’t counted (as in road rage today!), and the ones who could afford them, indulged in such opulence. Awesome. Thanks so much for all your work. I just “happened” on this site, and am totally captivated.

  98. The Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen has a wonderful full-size recreation of the starboard public rooms and some passenger cabins. I remember reading about the disposition of the piano but I don’t recall where I saw the information and unfortunately I did not record it in my notes at the time.

  99. Morgan Johnson | May 31, 2009 at 12:41 am | Reply

    Thank you so very much for gathering these materials into one place for people who love the idea, the romance and the fact of this wonderful form of travel. The elegance of the engineering details and artwork that captures the ideal of this most elegant form of people going from place to place is all here.
    Such a great pleasure …

  100. Ralph Wagner | May 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply

    What was the seating capacity of the dining room? From the illustrations, it doesn’t seem that 50 passengers could be served at once.

    • That’s a good question. Actually, sources disagree. Some say the dining room seated 34, which is consistent with the photographs and deck plans, but other reliable sources indicate that 50 passengers could be served at one sitting. Since the lightweight tables and chairs could be easily rearranged into different configurations, it is possible that both answers are correct.

  101. Kurstwhile Evinoffq | May 21, 2009 at 7:07 am | Reply

    Amazing. To think, 80 years ago almost, people were leisurely smoking in a smoking room in the sky, and dining with silver service… and we think the a380 is amazing for the interior space it has, we are fooling ourselves… this would have been a golden age to be alive (and rich). The colour photos are just amazing, I’ve never seen colour photos of the interiors before. I would love hollywood to make a golden age of airships movie in the next few years… I’d love to watch in HD, people interact and relax on a huge deck/cabin thing… to think there was a grand piano… just amazing. Simply blows my mind. We too often think of the first part of the 20th century as not having much progress, man, we had plenty of progress.

    • I find the absence of such an airship industry “questionable.” I’m surprised no one has produced a work that discusses this specific issue. Ever since I first read about these wonderful airships and that industry, I simply cannot quit puzzling over their (commercial) non-existence. The sinking of many ocean vessels has not discontinued the operation of ocean vessels. How many souls? How much asset value? And heavier-than-air craft! OMG! Hardly a year passes that hundreds of souls DON’T perish. -Not to mention related money losses/settlements. Over the years I have decided the “C” (conspiracy) word applies.. exemplified by the thinking of Edward Bernays that society requires “responsible” mind managers to tell them what to want, not want, like, not like… and so on. Have you not watched those commercial jet crosswind, etc. landings, and the MANY (spectacular, deadly, expensive) crashes on youtube..? So, in keeping with what I mentioned on Edward Bernays, technology (or lack of) is not the problem. The problem with the NON-existence of an LTA industry is that it not only lacks any “public relations,” but has for many decades suffered from a “public relations” against it.

      • I have suggested that there may be certain ‘mechanisms’ that account for the non-existence of LTA industry. We know that the evolving process, history, of LTA was a phenomenon that occurred not just in Germany. However, thanks to Von Zeppelin, he made sure that his country picked up that ball and ran with it.
        Germany was not the only country to attempt developement of rocketry. Nazi’s ran with that one, big time. Yet the US space program is not much compromised by NAZI origins, or, at least, significant NAZI component of origins of US space & rocketry program, etc. It is not my intention, here, to beat the drum for Germany’s sake. God forbid! But, in pursuing my interest of LTA history, it rather occurs to me that Germany succeeded where others did not, could not, etc., for whatever reason. (And if you think I’m puffing my ancestry, I’m not German. I’m an American with mostly Brit and French ancestry or nationality background.) Consider for a moment how the beginnings of German LTA industry might have proceeded had Germany, in fact, had helium from the get-go…
        As for the “C” word, it is certainly not Boeing or anyone else’s job to promote a LTA industry. I think The HTA manufacturers make great products. Nor do I think that HTA involves itself in any public relations activity (or scheming) to keep LTA ostracized. In fact, I think a few decades back Boeing had some people involved with R&D for LTA.
        So the mind of the public wants maximum speed, minimum time.

  102. I need all the photographic to publish and documentary material possible related to the sector of restoration of the ship, including the menus, personnel of kitchen, food provision, conservation, etc.

  103. I need all possible photographic and documentary material related to the sector restoration of the ship, including the menus, personnel of kitchen, food provision, conservation, etc.

  104. I am historian of the world-wide gastronomy and wanted to publish photographies and commentaries about the kitchen of the Hindemburg in our Web.¿ Could you facilitate some material to me?
    Thank you very much.
    Miguel Krebs

  105. Wonderful site full of detail and superb pictures.
    Do we know where the Duralumin grand piano is? I believe it was a Blüthner.


    • The piano was in fact a Blüthner. I did come across a reference about where the piano wound up after it was removed from LZ-129, but I don’t want to pass the information along just from memory; let me find my source again, and I will let you know. (I try to be as accurate as possible on this website, cross-referencing facts from more than one source where possible, so I would hate to give incorrect information.)

  106. The Zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen does indeed have a mockup pf the Hindenburg’s interior, one side only plus a mirror giving the size of the accommodation.

    The Zeppelin NT is manufactured about three miles away and offers flights around Bodensee.

    Finally, there is another Zeppelin museum close by in Meersburg, which together with Lindau and Mainau is well worth a visit in any case.

    I had an unforgettable week in the area in early September two years ago and am looking forward to a return trip.

  107. I response to Lars comment concerning a recreation of the Hindenburg – I believe the Maybach – Zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany has a full sized mock up of the Hindenburg’s passenger accommodations. Museum guests can walk around the mock up and inside as well I believe. I am not sure what restrictions there are and if the walks are guided tours or not. It is only one side of the hull and has passenger sleeping cabins and I believe the lounge / writing room. If one doesn’t mind vacationing for a week in that lovely part of southern Germany, it’s certainly a “must see” on your travels there.

  108. muito massa!!!
    PARABÉNS pelas fotos!!!

  109. George Timcke | April 7, 2009 at 8:23 am | Reply

    I am glad to have stumbled on this site in the last few minutes, and have been reading the comments with interest. The object on the wall of the reading and writing room looks a little strange to be a bookcase. Books there certainly are, but if memory serves it was also a small stationery store and the point from which telegrams were sent via pneumatic tube to the radio room. One wonders whether the typewriter visible in the same photograph was that of Lady Hay-Drummond-Hay.

  110. Do you have anything that could show the layout of the cabins on B-deck. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a plan or photo of them (not really surprising given the timing I suppose).

    Also, do you have anything reliable about the Graf IIs passenger accomodations? I saw a grainy isometric view of A deck some time ago and it seemed to be quite a bit different from Hindenburg.

  111. lars nordqvist | March 28, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Reply

    I wish i could be there.Hopefully it would be possibel to create computerized i mean virtual reality journey .

  112. Those pictures are fantastic! I’ve never seen a color photograph of the Zeppelin before! By the bye, are those photographs Photochroms? They look like them.

  113. Graf Jeffelin | March 14, 2009 at 11:09 am | Reply

    Two questions:

    1. What were the officers’ (not crew’s) quarters like on the Hindenburg? Did each officer have his own cabin? Was the captain’s housing different than the other officers’?

    2. In the 1975 movie Captain Pruss is portrayed as a sarcastic jerk. Was he? All of the reading I have done seems to indicate that he was a reasonably well-liked member of the Zeppelin family. What do you know about him?

    Just stumbled on the website. It’s absolutely fascinating!

    Thanks in advance for the answers!

    • @ Graf Jeffelin:

      The officers shared a compartment with twelve bunks, located at in Bay 14 just forward of the control car; the commander had a private cabin in the same area. There was another crew area with 22 bunks located in Bay 11, just aft of the passenger accommodations, and there were twelve additional bunks located closer to the stern in Bay 5.

      With regard to the character portrayals in the 1975 movie The Hindenburg, these should not be taken as reliable. Most notably, the film portrays Ernst Lehmann as opposed to the Nazis, when in fact he was noted (and criticized by Hugo Eckener) for his willingness to cooperate with the Nazi regime.

  114. These pictures are fantastic. Are they originals or are they from the 1970s film?

    Recalling the film it really did look exactly like this. Maybe some pictures from it would also be useful if these above are originals, if they’re marked as sets from the film.

    Are there any plans or interiors of the Graf Zeppelin II? It didn’t fly as a passenger ship but there must be at least blueprints and architectural shots.

    • The images on this website are all of the actual ship; none are from the 1975 Robert Wise movie The Hindenburg.

      While the 1975 movie was historically inaccurate and even absurd in many regards, I agree that the recreation of the interiors was remarkably faithful.

      I do have photographs of the interior spaces of LZ-130 (sometimes called “Graf Zeppelin II”):

      LZ-130 Photographs

      Thank you for your kind comments about the site!

      • Jake Steven Rutigliano | July 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Reply

        if there is anyone that has seen the 1975 film The Hindenburg, post to me if the original theatrical print of the film has the studio shot footage of the climax and aftermath scenes in color.

  115. awesome airships great site

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