Flying Cruise Ships: What Happened To Giant Airships?
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Flying Cruise Ships: What Happened To Giant Airships?

September 5, 2019

Imagine something the size of an ocean liner,
that floats in the sky. With amenities like piano lounges, dining
rooms and private staterooms, they were a luxurious way to travel the world. 80 years ago, we had airships. Cruising 200 meters above the ground, they
flew so smoothly, you could stand a pencil on its end without it falling over. And plans were being drawn up for even bigger, more luxurious airships. Until this happened. The whole world watched in horror as one burned
to the ground in front rolling cameras. And giant airships, well, they seemingly disappeared
overnight. First taking flight in 1936, the Hindenburg
was, and still is, the largest object to ever fly. And it’s scale is simply awe inspiring. Here’s an average person compared to a typical
bus. Compared to a Boeing 747. And now here’s the Hindenburg. It dwarfs anything flying today. And many people are surprised to learn just
how extensive the Hindenburg’s accommodations were. Maybe it’s because you can’t really tell
from the outside where the passenger spaces are. But the inside of the Hindenburg was more
like an ocean liner than an airplane. Passengers could enjoy dinner in a full service
dining room, then take in the views from one of two promenades, or socialize in the piano
lounge, or relax in the writing room. Downstairs, passengers could enjoy a cigar
in the smoking room or have a drink at the bar. Heading back upstairs, passengers would retire
for the night in own their private sleeping cabin. All of this, while floating in the sky. The fastest ocean liners of the day could
only cruise at around 35 miles per hour, but an airship like the Hindenburg, well, it could
easily do twice that. A transatlantic crossing that would have taken
five days by ocean liner, could be done in just two days on the Hindenburg. And an airship, well it wouldn’t just take
you to an ocean port, but to inland cities as well. The Hindenburg regularly flew over Europe
on it’s way to inland destinations. But on May 6, 1937, after completing a trans-Atlantic crossing, the Hindenburg began to dock in New Jersey. And suddenly… Something ignited the Hindenburg’s lifting gas. The Hindenburg was destroyed in a matter of seconds. This wasn’t the first airship disaster, it
wasn’t even the most deadly. But this one was different. It was captured on film. People weren’t used to seeing things like
this and it made the tragedy all the more horrifying. Many people consider the golden age of the
airship travel to have ended here with the Hindenburg catastrophe. Public confidence was shattered, and the romance
and the extravagance of airships suddenly disappeared. But did the Hindenburg disaster really bring
an end to the giant airship? Well, for something nearly the size of the
Titanic, the Hindenburg could only carry 72 passengers at most. And it needed an additional 52 crew members
to operate. Compare that to an ocean liner of the day,
which could comfortably carry almost 2000 passengers, and had a crew and staff of over
a thousand. Giant airships like the Hindenburg carried
so few passengers despite their massive size, because lifting gasses, such as Helium just
don’t provide all that much lift. Even when the Hindenburg switched from helium
to hydrogen, it could still only manage to lift about one hundred thousand pounds. Sounds like a lot, but that’s only about
the weight of eight elephants. So, everything on the Hindenburg had to be
designed to be as lightweight as possible, to make sure the whole thing could stay afloat. Those passenger cabins? Tiny and cramped, complete with bunk beds. Not so luxurious. Even the walls and doors had to be made out
of lightweight foam covered in fabric, so you could hear your neighbor talking, coughing,
or worse. And none of the cabins had their own bathrooms. That ‘s too heavy. So you’d have to go down a flight of stairs
to use shared bathrooms. And for 72 passengers, there was a one single
shower. Water, which weighs a lot, had to be rationed. So even that one shower wasn’t much more
than a trickle. The airship’s grand piano had to be made
out of special lightweight aluminum, but even that was eventually removed to save weight. And yeah, maybe these are compromises you
have to accept for floating in the sky, but the whole thing was absurdly expensive too. In today’s dollars a single one way trip
aboard the Hindenburg cost almost $7000. And sure, an ocean liner was half the speed,
but a first class cabin on an ocean liner came with a sprawling suite with a private
bathroom. Tickets on ocean liners were more affordable
even as the accommodations were much more luxurious, with giant ballrooms, theaters,
and even indoor swimming pools. And by 1937, if you really wanted to cross
the ocean as fast as possible, aircraft were just starting to make transatlantic crossings. By the time the hindenburg went up in flames
in 1937, the airship was already obsolete. It couldn’t compete with comfort and luxury
of an ocean liner. It’s speed couldn’t match an aircraft. and all of it was absurdly expensive. Today, the giant airship remains an irresistible
concept. But physics, just like it did 80 years ago, always manages to bring the giant airship idea back to earth.

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  1. *someone lights their lighter in the smoking room, ready to smoke a cigarette*

    hindenburg: 2:22

    i don't mean to say the disaster is funny. it's not. i just made a joke about it, chill.

  2. if they modernized these ships and added runways beneath the blimp it could have been an actual flying aircraft carrier

  3. all the people making remarks about the smoking room, it was pressurized and designed to to vent any flame or sparks away from the envelope. the smoking room was safe. what caused the Hindenburg wreck was the rush to land, Capt Max Pruce made a sharp maneuver which damages the structure near the tail, one of the lines which reinforced the superstructure snapped, and ruptured one of the gas cells, being that the skin developed static in flight like all aircraft do, when they dropped the line, they completed the circuit and with the hydrogen leak, boom. this is one possibility. had they been able to use helium, this would have never happened…

  4. Just fucing use helium and more safety precautions and some bigger canopies ahhhhh then use inflatable walls filled with highly compressed helium and then the weight drops drastically

  5. Could airships be more effective if the earth had lower gravity?? Say lowered by 1/4 or lowered down 2 half of earths gravity

  6. Imagine to take a cruise around the world in zeppelin,
    across oceans,deserts,mountains,forrests,lakes,north/south pole,jungle,thundra…zeppelin can reach every part of a planet. weight could be minimazed with new engines ,they are much more lightweight,and much more powerfull,than the ones used 80-90 years ago…less crew with more tehnology today.

  7. The hindenburg was sabotaged via time travel because in a separate universe the Hindenburg never crashed causing the industry to still be booming. This meant that president truman boarded one and causing it to crash and DIE. That means the nukes were never dropped and japan invaded the US

  8. Also, they were difficult to steer with powerful winds. They tried to make those airships "land" directly at the top of the Empire State Building but it wasn't possible because of the wind.

  9. Thanks for looking at the truth of the matter – it wasn't the Hindenberg disaster that killed the airship, that was sort of the "nail in the coffin" but, compared with ships and ever-improving airplanes, they just weren't practical. Just like thoughts that the Concorde crash in 2000 ended the Concorde, it sure didn't help but it was really just the extreme cost that brought it down in the end. I do ponder about other applications of airships, such as possibly for carrying very large but lightweight cargo, things too large to be transported on aircraft or on roads (at least not without a huge hassle). I'm thinking of wind turbine blades, they are huge, getting ever bigger and transportation is becoming the limitation to their size (rather than actual ability to construct them), yet are very lightweight. In that scenario, an airship could also serve the role of a crane in installing the wind turbine as well as delivering outsize components, all allowing for larger wind turbines to be built at lower cost.

  10. Not just the hydrogen – the Hindenberg was coated with an aluminium perchlorate based paint, chemically very similar to solid rocket fuel!

  11. I don't know how they can have the nerve to say "luxury travel" 😆
    Compared with the old ocean liners, airships were like an economy/steerage section of a ship.

  12. me: "Ahhhh I think I go down to the smoking room to enjoy a nice Havanna!"
    hydrogen-filled float-tanks: "Ima end this man's whole career!"

  13. Great video but you made a small snafu by calling it 'South Hampton' on the map as though it's a geographical area rather than a place, it's all one word.

  14. Really you had to white wash the swastika? Its not to promote an evil government but to present history in a factual manner.

  15. Bring them back ! Please ! There sooo fucking cool nice and quit and relax up there have a drink and a smoke to cool wish i had one makes me think of final fantasy to air ships are sooo cool

  16. They should try to revive the airship again. Cause it does not cause any pollution and does not require much fuel making it the most ecofriendly and efficient aircraft.

  17. I had an idea, what if an airship used carbon fiber rather than aluminium and it also had a set of 16 upward facing propeller engines along with four forward ones and a tail engine. All this for a 350 meter long behemoth that would be able to carry more people because of its carbon fiber frame and upwards engines which could be powered by a solar panel array on the top of the airship

  18. Funny how people start discussing the smoking room while in nearly 100 years no investigator or professional could ever find any evidence in that direction. First flames burst out literally hundrets of meters away from passenger cabins and the smoking room.
    The paint was a thing as scraps from other airships are known to be highly flammable even today after decades of venting out flammable solutants. Also that fire would have spread slower and more passengers would have survived an emergency grounding had the Hindenburg been filled with helium as planned.
    And here we are, all facts known and yet people tend to stick to their own seemingly obvious but actually wrong explanations. The 21st century will be known to future historians as the dark age of fake news, an epoch of ideology held higher than measurable facts…

  19. Airships were such a cool, amazing and graceful concept. But they were also a rubbish concept from a practical viewpoint.

  20. Despite what Lindbergh and other pioneers did, crossing the Oceans by Air was not a practical possibility for passengers in 1937, or even 1947! Today, the level of luxury offered would rival modern cruise ships, (there are only a few true passenger ocean liners) and could be made into a practical proposition. The relative speed of (with modern engines) over 100mph, the views offered, the stately majestic flight, and with modern fabrics and other impressive improvements would exceed, probably double bulk cargo capacity. I think Airships have a future.

  21. The fundamental fault of the rigid airship relates to the enormous surface area of the hull compared to either the mass or the thrust. Thus the extent to which the craft could be controlled was very limited, and both updrafts and downdrafts were likely to prove disastrous, USS Shenandoah falling victim to the former, USS Akron, USS Macon and the R-101 to the latter. Recently the Airlander 10 demonstrated the basic uncontrollability of the large airship.
    It might be practical to operate an aircraft of this type (as a public entertainment) in favorable weather conditions but they have no commercial, military or scientific value.

  22. Cause of the huge cost: No plastic. The thousands of airtight elastic chambers of the Hindenburg were all sewn manually by women from calves intestines – which is gas tight and elastic but expensive if needed in these quantities.

  23. Compared to airplanes and ships they were oppsulete at that time how ever one modern technology might change things

  24. 5:00 : You mean that aeroplanes were just starting to make transatlantic crossings. Zeppelins are aircraft as well.

  25. Considering how chronic jetlag can be, one way to minimise the effects would be to tour the world at a more leisurely pace. That's where the airship comes in

  26. I just asked my self: if you fly a concord full speed trough a zeppelin
    In my imagination it would pierce through, cross it and ignite it with the afterburners, this would look so epic…

  27. tbh i really think zeppelins should still be around you still see ships around its not like every ship was stopped being used after the titanic sank or all airplanes were stopped being used after 9/11 id love to see zeppelins theyre awesome

  28. I think airships would actually be ideal for first responders during natural disasters, as earthquakes or floods wreck infrastructure which prohibits the use of planes, rains or trucks while helicopters can only carry tiny payloads.

  29. What a coincidence I just watch an documentary on hindenburg crash thought mustard should make a video on this and vola …..

  30. A modern airship can be like Fallout 4's Prydwen. Using turbofan/turboprop engines to provide secondary lift and the latest 40000 LBF Jet engines for thrust, the airship can be pushed far beyond its 1937 limitations. Also it looks really cool.

  31. So it's like the Concorde; just too expensive to run. Awesome idea though!!

    If the view's the thing, then some cities do have blimp tours. That's about as close as it comes for people like us.

  32. ocean ships don't have to worry about weight as much…no shit. Do we compare speed boats to air planes???
    They are in the air ffs
    lol this air craft isn't as cheap to run as a bus…

  33. The Hindenburg or any Zeppelin used Hydrogen gas, only because of the difficulty in acquiring helium. However, it was well built and safe to fly, it had travelled many times without an issue and could absorb lightening strikes. It is very likely that the Zepplin was attacked, of all the places for it to happen, it happens in the U.S.A. I can just imagine how some people felt with this big air ship and massive Swastika flying through the Sky. There was a massive jealously of Germany and frustration also, Roosevolt and Hitler both took office in 1933, Roosevelt was a useless President that had little effect on recovering the economy from the Great Depression, Germany who was defeated in WWI and suffered from the Great Depression also had sprung into life and was booming by 1937, Hitler's reform's and new economic system was massively insulated from foreign interference and Financial Speculators. The Banksters were removed and the Reich Mark was taken off the Gold Standard and put on a new standard that was backed by German production and Industry. The Capitalists were shut out of Germany, married couples were able to obtain home loans without interest, over only 10 years. They included a 25% remittance off the loan, on birth of a child. Consider this for a population of 80 million in the country the size of the 3rd Reich before the Polish conflict. Hitler was so evil alright, so racist, not like the people of today that have enslaved half the worlds populations, mostly the other races and the Aryan race's head is on the chopping block as we speak. The Truth of our world and what is going on today is all wrapped up in the story of a fight against the Globalist's, a narrative that has been completely replaced with endless propaganda and a plan to kill off the Europeans as fast as possible, before they realise what has happened! When you hit your 30's, you realise a year is not that long and 80-90 years ago, isn't really that long. There are people still alive from this time period. You might not know what your doing this Sunday, but some people have a 100+ year plan.

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