Partial model of the LZ 129 ‘Hindenburg’,
reproduction of the passenger cabin on the starboard side of the ‘Hindenburg’
Fritz August Breuhaus, one of the most successful architects and designers of his time, designed the interior of this Zeppelin airship, built in 1936 for regular North Atlantic services. Breuhaus had also designed the interiors of ocean liners and passenger aircrafts. The decoration and furnishings fulfilled the requirements of his time regarding functionality, formal aesthetics and lightness. The passenger cabins were arranged on two decks, stacked one on top of the other.
The ‘Hindenburg’ was 245 m long and had a maximum diameter of 41.2 m roughly in the middle. It was propelled by four Daimler Benz diesel engines with a capacity of 772.3 kW (1050 h.p.) each and reached a maximum speed of about 130 km/h.
The LZ 129 ‘Hindenburg’ travelled 18 times to North and South America. On landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey, on 6 May 1937, the airship burst into flames just before touch-down and crashed, killing 35 of its 97 passengers and crew.
1:1 reproduction of one of the ‘Hindenburg’ A-deck passenger cabins.
What strikes us as remarkable, is the functionality of the interior, designed with a view to maximum utilization of the available space and to furnishings as light-weight as possible. Thus even the beds were made of aluminium. The cabin is prepared for the night, with the upper bunk let down. During the day, it was kept pulled up to the ceiling.
Every cabin had a wall-hung wash basin (with running hot and cold water from a tap), which was folded down for use, a mirror above it, a curtained wardrobe niche, folding table and stool and a ladder for climbing into the upper bunk. The cabins also had electrical lighting and were ventilated and, if needed, heated.
The retractable aluminium stepladder is down and invites visitors to go on board. It is coated with the same blue enamel paint as the hull and leads into the lower deck, the B-deck with a bar, the legendary smokers’ lounge and the toilets.
This partial reproduction of the ‘Hindenburg’ is 33 m long – long enough for visitors to get an idea of the enormous dimensions of the entire original airship, and of its light-weight construction that had already been perfected by the 1930s. This 1:1 model was built to the original plans in the Zeppelin GmbH airshipyard in Friedrichshafen, partly with original tools from the ‘Hindenburg’ construction period.
Head of Zeppelin department:
Dipl. Bibl. Jürgen Bleibler
phone: +49 / 7541/3801-23
fax: +49 / 7541/3801-81