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Zeppelin

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Last Sunday, May 6, marked the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. The massive German airship caught fire while attempting to land near Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 35 people aboard, plus one ground crew member. Of the 97 passengers and crew members on board, 62 managed to survive. The horrifying incident was captured by reporters and photographers and replayed on radio broadcasts, in newsprint, and on newsreels. News of the disaster led to a public loss of confidence in airship travel, ending an era. The 245 m (803 f) Hindenburg used flammable hydrogen for lift, which incinerated the airship in a massive fireball, but the actual cause of the initial fire remains unknown. Gathered here are images of the Hindenburg's first successful year of transatlantic travel, and of its tragic ending 75 years ago. (Also, be sure to see Recovered Letters Reveal the Lost History of the Hindenburg on Atlantic Video.) [34 photos]

The German zeppelin Hindenburg flies over Manhattan on May 6, 1937. A few hours later, the ship burst into flames in an attempt to land at Lakehurst, New Jersey, (AP Photo)

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October, 1934: The vast and intricate framework of zeppelin model LZ 129, under construction at Friedrichshafen, Germany. With a gas capacity of 7,070,000 cubic feet, and christened “Hindenburg,” she became the largest — and ultimately, for all the wrong reasons, the most famous — airship the world has ever seen.

Blimps and Other Awesome Airships

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