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Zeppelin Historian

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 30 Member Since: 03/01/14

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Mar 30 14 7:38 AM

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Dear "Dirigible Modelers",

Here comes my next model, the all-aluminum airship conceived by David Schwarz (who died before the first flight) and built by the aluminum producer Carl Berg and his engineers.
This very innovative airship which had many of the features later found on Count Zeppelin's LZ 1 - because Carl Berg was also involved in its design and construction - made its one and only flight on November 3, 1897. It made a raher successful flight in unfavorable weather conditions. The only major design flaws were the belt drive and the lack of a dynamic rudder. The three propellers, one in the rear of the gondola for forward motion and one on each side of the hull for steering (and an addtional one below the gondola for altitude control, but which was not mounted on the flight), were driven by belts over pulleys without a rim. Because of the wind the belts slipped off the pulleys and the airship was left without control, due to the lack of a rudder for dynamic control. The airship even survived the hard landing and was subsequently destroyed be the wind after the valves had been opened to keep it on the ground.


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The drawing perpared by Berg's engineer Watzesch-Waldbach probably shows the airship as it had been designe for David Schwarz in 1892. This first airship, which had been built in Russia, was completed but never flown, because there were serious problems in filling the metalclad envelope. The drawing is in some aspects (mainly the shape of the pointed nose and the location of gondola) quite different from the airship finally built in Berlin.

The model, as all my models in the scale 1/66.6667, consists of a wooden framework, covered with balsa wood on the lower part to be able carve in the typical wrinkles in the thin aluminum sheets. On the top a plastik sheet served as a base for the pieces of aluminum foil I glued on the hull. Finally thin plastic strips had been added to resemle the folded seams beween the sheets.

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Engine with pulleys and two of the four parts of the gondola frame.

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The completed gondola with the heavy support girders, which in fact were very similar to the girders of LZ 1.

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View from below showing the wooden floor of the gondola, the drive shaft for the propeller underneath the gondola, the outriggers with the steering propellers and the openings for each segment through which separate gas-filled bags were inserted, ripped open and removed in the process of filling the hull with hydrogen.

Best regards,
Andreas

Last Edited By: Zeppelin Historian Mar 30 14 7:44 AM. Edited 1 time

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