The Hindenburg crash of 1937 is one of the most famous disasters in aviation history. But despite its fame, the cause of the crash has never been determined. A new study from the South West Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, claims to have solved the Hindenburg mystery.
The researchers believe that the legendary zeppelin crashed due to static electricity.
According to The Independent, the hydrogen-filled ship was designed for around the world air travel. The Hindenburg was capable of crossing the Atlantic in about three days, nearly twice as fast as a ship, but before zeppelin travel really took off there was a terrible accident that killed thirty five people.
On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg suddenly burst into flames and crashed to the ground as it was trying to land in New Jersey.
The accident has been examined by aviation experts around the world and several conspiracy theories have been passed about but Jem Stansfield and the team at the South West Research Institute believe that they have finally solved the mystery.
Stansfield and the research team conducted several tests with Hindenberg models built to scale. The team sought to disprove theories about the Hindenberg disaster and uncover the true cause. The team examined the idea that a bomb was set off on the airship and they also looked to see if the zeppelin may have crashed due to the chemical properties in the paint.
The research into the Hindenberg disaster will be revealed in a new documentary that will air this week on British TV.
After the crash, aviation experts agreed that the hydrogen inside of the blimp ignited and caused the airship to crash. They could not agree, however, on what caused the spark.
Stansfield told Yahoo News:
“I think the most likely mechanism for providing the spark is electrostatic. That starts at the top, then the flames from our experiments would’ve probably tracked down to the center. With an explosive mixture of gas, that gave the whoomph when it got to the bottom.”
Historian Dan Grossman told the Daily Mail:
“I think you had massive distribution of hydrogen throughout the aft half of the ship; you had an ignition source pull down into the ship, and that whole back portion of the ship went up almost at once.”
Here’s a video about the Hindenburg disaster.
The documentary will air later this week on Channel 4 in Britain. Do you think the Hindenburg mystery has been solved? Did static electricity crash the legendary zeppelin?