Zeppelin Radio Equipment
July 1936 Radio-Craft

July 1936 Radio-Craft

July 1936 Radio Craft Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Craft, published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

May 6, 1937, is the date of the Hindenburg disaster at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey, and is the RF Cafe logo theme for that Day in History (see upper left page corner). Ironically, last night while looking through the July 1936 edition of Radio-Craft magazine, I saw this news article reporting on preparations being made in the onboard radio and direction finding equipment for Hindenburg's maiden voyage from its home base in Frankfurt, Germany to North America. No one at the time of this article suspected such a terrible fate was looming less than a year later. Theories abound regarding the cause of the fatal fire, but there is no doubt that a combination of highly flammable hydrogen gas and an also highly flammable graphite dope (used to make it conductive and lightning impervious) impregnated cloth envelope was responsible for the incredibly rapid consumption of the craft by flames. The stigma left on airships due to the Hindenburg inferno prevents to this day the successful use of the vessels for passenger transport, even though modern methods and materials would make them very safe and enjoyable.

Zeppelin Radio Equipment

Zeppelin Radio Equipment, July 1936 Radio-Craft - RF Cafe

The Zeppelin directional finder and radio room.

With the announcement last month that 2 sister-ships to the huge Hindenburg have been started in a concerted effort by Germany to absorb the transatlantic air travel - as well as the completion of plans for the first crossing of the Hindenburg, much interest has been given to the radio equipment.

This installation which rivals the equipment on many of the finest liners will permit passengers to "phone" to London, Paris, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, New York or Buenos Aires while cruising over any point of the Atlantic!

This airship carries a 200-watt short-wave transmitter with a frequency range of 4,280 to 17,700 kc. (17 to 70 meters). In addition to the short-wave equipment, the airship carries a 125-watt long-wave transmitter covering the wavelengths from 575 to 2,700 meters.

The ship also carries complete direction finding equipment to assist in navigating through fog and blind landing devices.




Posted January 28, 2022
(updated from original post on 5/6/2015)