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Zeppelin Historian

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 30 Member Since: 03/01/14

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Mar 30 14 11:41 AM

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Dear "Dirigible Modelers",

the second pair of models were the navy airships LZ 62 "L 30", the prototype of the Zeppelin r-type, and LZ 114 "L 72", also in the scale 1/66.6667.

The LZ 62 "L 30" survived the war, was dismanteled at Seddin in 1918 and delivered in pieces to Belgium where some parts, like a wing engine car and the radio station, are on display in a museum.

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A rare view of LZ 62 from above, showing the pattern on the back as well as the gun paltform and the rear gun post behind the upper fin.

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The LZ 114 was the last Zeppelin airship built during the war, but it never entered service. After the war the LZ 114 had to be delivered to France for war reparations where it was named "Dixmude" and made many sucessful flights under the command of the young captain du Plessis until it disappeared of the Mediterranean in a thunderstorm.

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Best regards,
Andreas

Last Edited By: Zeppelin Historian Jul 6 14 1:53 PM. Edited 3 times

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Dirigible Nut

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 49 Member Since:02/22/14

#1 [url]

Mar 30 14 12:12 PM

The "L-30" looks like it was the model on which the HMA R-34 is based on. Can that be authenticated that- that was indeed the case? The two ships look very similar. The only differences that I see is that the R-34 does not have the extra outrigger propellers up on the sides of the hull like the former ship does.

Jim.

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Zeppelin Historian

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 30 Member Since:03/01/14

#2 [url]

Mar 30 14 12:47 PM

R 34 design

Dear Jim,

Yes, the R 34 was an almost exact replica of the r-type Zeppelin. The admirality painstakingly reconstructed the design of the airship from the wreckage of the LZ 76 "L 33" which made a forced landing on September 24, 1916, near Little Wigborough, Essex. Though the crew set the airship on fire, the main structure remained in a state which allowed to copy it.
Until the R 34 could be built, also the wreckage of the LZ 96 "L 49" (u-type), wich crash-landed near Bourbonne-les-Bains on October 20, 1917, was scrutinized. Therefore, the British got the technology to have two engines working on one propeller. The reason for the outriggers on the r-type was the problem to have a gear box that was able to combine the drive shafts of two engines on one propeller shaft. So the three engines in the rear car of the r-type all had their own propeller and the only wa to arrange three propellers around one car, was to still have the outriggers.
When the u-type was introduced also the more powerful high altitude engines Maybach Mb IVa was availabe and so it was sufficient to have two engines working on one large propeller in the rear car.
By the way, the "Shenandoah" - which should be familiar to you - was based on exactly the same drawings, but as it was intended to be filled with helium it was lengthened by one bay.

Best regards,
Andreas

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Hlostoops

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 17 Member Since:02/27/14

#3 [url]

Mar 31 14 2:43 PM

Andreas, these models are stupendous! I'm curious, are there still blueprints for the R Class Zeppelin? I'd assumed they were lost during the bombings.

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Zeppelin Historian

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 30 Member Since:03/01/14

#4 [url]

Apr 10 14 8:52 AM

R-Type Blueprints

Thank you, "Hlostoops"!

There are no complete sets of drawings left but in the so-called "Ship Discription" (Schiffsbeschreibung) which had been delivered with every airship, there are a few more or less detailed drawings, GA and cars, as well as many schematic illustrations as for the communication systems on board, the electric wiring, the suspension points on the hull and many more.
The most detailed drawings available to me were the ones made by the British and French intelligence of "L 33" and "L 49" (u-type = improved r-Type) repectively. I finally made my own drawings based on all the sources and pictures I could find.

Best regards,
Andreas

Last Edited By: Zeppelin Historian Jul 6 14 10:19 AM. Edited 1 time.

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parseval pask

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 46 Member Since:07/02/13

#5 [url]

Jul 10 14 2:50 AM

Hello Andreas
Outstanding models, I would love to be able to see them for real. You have surprised me with the colours, I always thought the R-Class was yellow like the earlier types with some black / dark grey. I also wondered what the top colour was on some of the late types whether it was white, silver or yellow. I see Dixmude was yellow, I have seen bebates as to what colour early aricraft were and have often ended up guessing or taking artistic license.
Cheers, Alan.

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Zeppelin Historian

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 30 Member Since:03/01/14

#6 [url]

Jul 20 14 12:31 PM

Airship Colors

Hi Alan,
that's one of the most difficukt questions. For all the airship prior to the r-Type we have little information except for a few pieces of outer cover material and maybe some paintings. As for the r-Type we know that the early ones had a gray outer cover which in fact was a cream-yellow (khaki) basic fabric on which small blue lines and dots had been printed. This resulted in a slightly bluish gray appearance.
For the types with the black night camouflage paint sceme - which in fact had been applied by air brush - the color of the to may vary. In a report on the airships L 65 (LZ 111) and L 72 (LZ 114), the so called "Hensley Report" from 1919, it is said that the L 72 was a light yellow on top while the L 65 was gray. It seems that it depended whether printed material was available or not. It may also be the case that they ran out of the printed material for the last production wartime Zeppelin airship and therefore decided that it does not really matter. This makes me blieve that all other navy airships with the black camouflage had a gray top, but there is no evidence. But this is only true for the navy airships and from the r-type on.
Before the r-type there are various informations that make it difficult to define a color. It is a fact that all the Schütte-Lanz airships from S.L. 2 on were gray. There are only gray outer cover materials in the SL-archive. (Only the army airship S.L. 1, the first built by the Schütte-Lanz vompany, had a yellow and caramel-like color, depending on the area of the hull.) In the SL-archive there is a letter that the navy asked for the gray color as early as in 1913, when the SL 2 made its first flight. I therefore see no reason why the Zeppelin navy airships should have had another color. It may be that the gray color on Zeppelins had been introduced much earlier than we thought. But again, there is evidence.
With the army airships the situation is worse. In fact we have very few clues. The first military airships (army and navy) were from cream to dark cream, as the DELAG airships (see my models of the LZ 8 and LZ 10). Then the army airships (and the navy airships if they were not gray) turned darker with the beginning of the war. This must be seen as an attempt to make them less visible when they were on the ground. At least three army airships got camouflage paint schemes which resemble "earth" colors as it had later been used on tanks. But we have no idea which colors had been used. I don't think that the early wartime Zeppelins and the p- and q-types were gray but they definitely never had the blach night camouflage. For the two army r-types LZ 113 (LZ 83) and LZ 120 (LZ 90) the available pictures give no clue to the color of their outer cover. They could have been gray...
One thing is interesting to note. You might have seen navy airships with a white ring around the nose. This ring was applied when the airship was used as a training vessel for new crews and it therefore was no longer in active service. That was usually at the end of their careers.

With best regards,
Andreas
 

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