Apart from being the main character in one of aviation's most infamous fiery disasters, the LZ 129 Hindenburg was a spectacular flying machine, and like nothing in the modern world. Measuring in at 804 feet long, this rigid airship remains the largest man-made flying object by dimensions and volume ever built; that's more than four times the length of the Goodyear Blimp, and three times that of a Boeing 747. In this colorized footage, the Hindenburg can be seen flying down Manhattan's skyline, and the sheer spectacle is staggering. 

(Whoever colorized this footage also removed the swastika from the Hindenburg's tail. The United States was still pretending like everything was fine over there at this time.)

Unbeknownst to everyone witnessing this display, it would be the last time they ever saw the massive zeppelin. A few hours later, the Hindenburg was just a pile of rubble. 

The Hindenburg began flying in March of 1936 and made made 10 trips to the United States before the end of that year. 1937 was set to be another great year for the passenger airship, with 10 more trips between Europe and the United States planned. But after taking off from Frankfurt on May 3rd, it would never go back. 

Following a three-day trip crossing the Atlantic, the Hindenburg found itself facing inclement weather at its destination of Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. To kill time, Captain Max Pruss decided to give his passengers the best view of Manhattan's skyline, and those below an unforgettable spectacle. Pruss would survive the disaster and live until 1960.

The exact cause of the accident is unknown, but Germany's use of flammable hydrogen, instead of helium like what was used on American airships, was certainly a critical factor. 35 people were killed in the crash, including 13 passengers, and 22 crew members. The airship as a form of public transportation would never recover.