What I love most about history is that it changes so much. Although many people think the Hindenburg was the victim of sabotage (encouraged by the movie), for decades most experts accepted the theory that leaking hydrogen was ignited by static electricity (St. Elmo's fire) causing the well known conflagration.
PBS aired a show tonight focusing on a new investigation into the causes of the crash. Examination of both new and old evidence has shown that the actual cause had nothing to do with hydrogen! The outer covering of the Zeppelin was treated with a dope containing a veritable cocktail of highly explosive chemicals mixed with very flammable aluminum powder. Static discharge from the surrounding atmosphere amid thunderstorms ignited the fabric covering near the top fin and spread very quickly. The intense heat caused the hydrogen to expand and the gas cells to burst. Even if the Hindenburg had been filled with inert helium it still would have burned and crashed!!
Similar ventures into unknown technological areas led to the Titanic (brittle steel) and Comet (metal fatigue under recurring pressurization cycles) disasters. The public's fear of hydrogen after the Hindenburg explosion has since inhibited it's use in aircraft and automobiles. Maybe its time to rethink things.
I know this has nothing to do with IFE or Northwest's fleet plans but I think it is fascinating nonetheless.