Of course, anyone’s ordinary reasoning power tells one that it was not a full-size, man-carrying Zeppelin that fell from out the skies. But, to believe so, is no more erratic than to believe the know-it-all, wise guy, who tells you in tones of belittlement: “Huh! It was just faked! I know! That was just a toy balloon that they used.”
The huge dirigible hangar at Arcadia—-adjacent to Los Angeles—was leased from the government, and in this building all the scenes of the Zeppelin were shot. Lights giving millions of candle-power were installed. Miniature sets were laid out on the floor to give suitable back-ground for vertical shots of the “Zep.” Chemical apparatus was installed to create clouds. A steel cable was stretched from one corner post to the middle of the opposite wall. The Zeppelin was suspended from a trolley which traveled on the cable. It could move along the cable about four times its length. Other cables permitted the Zeppelin to be raised or lowered at the will of an operator at an electric winch. Runways—or balconies—completely around the inside walls of the hangar, were vantage points for the numerous cameras. In addition, portable, parallel platforms could be moved anywhere on the floor. A cat-walk near the roof of the hangar was utilized for vertical shots.
Now comes the big, breath-taking scene— the fall of the flaming Zeppelin. To make sure of suitable film, fourteen cameras shot the scene.Read More: Crashing a Zeppelin for Fun (May, 1931) via aamoris.net: NASA & The Military Industrial Complex Presents: 3D Special Effects For Entertainment
The covering of the gas bag is sprayed with kerosene. Everything is ready. Comes the director’s cry: “Camera!” A special prop in the “in’ards” of the “Zep” is jerked out. The dirigible sags in the middle, and then bursts into flames. All the cameras are in action. The man at the electric winch slowly lowers the flaming hulk. It passes into and out of the range of the cameras. When the flaming wreck is about eight feet from the floor, it is dropped with a crash. To make the falling act very vivid, a pair of cameras are in a pit in the floor covered with plate glass, and shoot the vertical fall. And the fall of a burning Zeppelin from the skies is a celluloid record. In the cutting room, the best of the shots are compiled into the finished film which the spectator sees on the screen.
Also was the movie Hell's Angels predictive programming for the Hindenburg Disaster where a Zeppelin crashes?