The pride of Germany and a wonder of its time, the zeppelin Hindenburg-almost the length of three football fields-was the largest flying machine that had ever been built. Although it was, kept aloft by’16 cells of highly flammable hydrogen gas, it made many trans-Atlantic trips without incident. In fact, German zeppelins, which all depended on hydrogen, had never suffered an accident due to the hydrogen. However, shortly after 7:21 p.m. on May 6, 1937, as the Hindenburg was ready to land at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, ew Jersey, the ship burst into flames. Its crew had been waiting for a rainstorm to diminish, and handling ropes had just been let down to a navy ground crew, when ripples were sighted on the outer fabric of the ship about one-third of the way forward from the stern. Seconds later a flame erupted from that region, Andrea red glow illuminated the interior of the ship. Within 32 seconds the burning ship fell to the ground.