What was it like to fly in a Zeppelin?

As technology has evolved, some means of transportation have disappeared and others have adapted. Normally, those which have disappeared remain as vestiges of another era with a tourist vocation: steam railways, horse-drawn carriages… However, If there is a means of transport that we still look at with a certain nostalgia, it is the airship or Zeppelin. During the short time they were used for passenger transport, Zeppelins were majestic planes very different from our planes today: comfort, not speed, was the star.

We found a gallery of images of the hindenburg, the colossus of the air which, until its tragic accident in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937, was the pride and flagship of Germany ****. It is surprising, for example, to know that the passenger deck was not in the boat, as one would normally thinkbut inside the room.

The passenger deck was organized into three rooms: on the sides, two longitudinal spaces, one serving as a dining room and the other as a lounge. inside were the 72 cabins, each with two berths, a closet, a sink and a bench. There was another deck below the passenger deck, containing the crew cabins, galleys, showers, toilets and, as a special feature, a sealed room that served as a smoking area. Remember that due to the embargo on the export of helium imposed by the United States, the only producer of rare gas at the time, the German-built airships were lifted using hydrogen, a gas extremely flammable.

In 1937, a ticket from Lakehurst to Germany cost no more and no less than $400. Cheap, right? Well, no, since adjusted for inflation, that would amount to 2010 6,015 USD, or 4,890 €a price not unlike a first class ticket for the same journey on a contemporary airline.

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However, it is possible that its price was justified. The stability of the Hindenburg was such that it was possible to leave a pencil on a table for the entire flight without it rolling at all. including takeoff and landing, so soft that some passengers didn't even notice them. Although the duration of flights varied greatly depending on weather conditions, it took just two and a half days to get from Germany to the United States, and to Rio five days. Considering it was a trip much more relaxed than on a planeit might even be worth it today.

Unfortunately, airships are far from taking flight again: the development costs would be immense, and the weather dependence would be unacceptable for a large part of the general public. However, we can revel in images of a time when flying was, without a doubt, a pleasure.

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