Discovery Channel: “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?” – Sunday, Dec 16 at 9PM features airship historian Dan Grossman


Discovery Channel: “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?” – Sunday, Dec 16 at 9PM features airship historian Dan Grossman

Preview of the documentary…   

Tonight’s excellent “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?” documentary on the Discovery Channel features airship historian Dan Grossman.

Read Dan’s blog from his excellent website:

The new Discovery Channel documentary “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?” airs Sunday, December 16, at 9 PM E/P.   Anyone who follows this blog will be sure to find it fascinating.

I was pleased to participate in this project as technical advisor and on-air historian.  I won’t give away the specific technical conclusion, but the show does a wonderful job of explaining and illustrating how a spark was likely generated by a combination of atmospheric conditions and the inherent properties of the ship’s structure, and how that spark created the fire pattern that we have all seen on film.

In order to explore various theories about how the fire began and spread we built three models of the airship at 1/10-scale, inflated them with 200 cubic meters of hydrogen, and ignited them in various ways.  The models were designed to replicate the ship’s major features; a framework of rings and girders with individual gas cells, ventilation shafts, and an open area around the keel.

The models were designed for function rather than appearance; they were not especially pretty, but the important structural elements were realistic.

To read more please click here.

The airship Hindenburg passing over the Cunard Line’s RMS Queen Mary.



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…