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Zeppelin L.32 (LZ-74)

Imperial Germany (1916)
Picture of Zeppelin L.32 (LZ-74) R-class Airship

German Zeppelin L.32 managed only 11 flights before being downed by the Allies.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Zeppelin L.32 (LZ-74) R-class Airship.  Entry last updated on 5/9/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The German Zeppelin L.32 (production designation of "LZ-74") served the Imperial German Navy (German Naval Airship Division) during World War 1 (1914-1918). She first flew on August 4th, 1916 and was formally commissioned a short time later on August 7th. Her war record included a total of eleven missions with three air raids against Britain. She dropped a total of 15,124lbs of ordnance during her service life and took part in the September 23rd, 1916 raid that included sister ships L.31, L.33 and L.34.

Her end came on the night of September 24th, 1916 when she fell to a British BE.2c interceptor of 39 Home Defence Squadron near Great Burstead, Essex, this after having been engaged by ground-based anti-aircraft fire. The resulting crash killed her entire crew. L.33 was lost in the same raid and marked a rethinking of strategy concerning bomber Zeppelins for the Germans. The Army gave up use of the expensive aircraft in 1917 while the Navy continued operations into 1918 - their value primarily being reconnaissance over water.

The L.32 was recognized as one of Germany's "Super Zeppelins" of the R-class. She was powered by 6 x Maybach HSLu engines developing 240 horsepower each allowing for a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour. Her range was listed at 4,600 miles with an operating ceiling of 13,100 feet. Her dimensions included a length of 650 feet, a diameter of 78.5 feet and a height of 90 feet. Her complete crew numbered 22 personnel. Armed with up to 10 x machine guns, the aircraft could carry up to 9,250lbs of drop ordnance providing both offensive- and defensive-minded capabilities.

Outwardly, L.32 exhibited the traditional tapered "cigar" shape common to Zeppelins of the period. This included a rounded nose and a finned tail with a tubular fuselage body. Engines were held out on a network of struts in individual nacelles with several crew compartment slung under the design. Zeppelins of the period were recognized as "rigid" airships for their duralumin skeletal understructures and gas bags containing the required hydrogen filling. While the hydrogen provided the lift needed, the engines provided the propulsion. The filling was highly flammable and this proved exceeding notable with increased enemy use of incendiary ammunition.

While not entirely accurate as a bombing platform (particularly at night), Zeppelins held some psychological value against civilian populations in warfare. They were both slow and ponderous in the skies and susceptible to enemy fighters if located in time. Their flammable quality was also a persistent danger. Beyond their machine gun self-defense armament, Zeppelins could out climb a pursuer if spotted early and outdistance themselves from ground-based fire. They strengths were in altitude and endurance and, thusly, proved critical in reconnaissance missions during the war.

Any available statistics for the Zeppelin L.32 (LZ-74) R-class Airship are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (62mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Zeppelin L.32 (LZ-74)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Service Year: 1916
Classification Type: R-class Airship
Manufacturer(s): Imperial Germany
Production Units: 1
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Zeppelin L.32 (LZ-74) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
22


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
649.61 ft


Meters
198 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
78.74 ft


Meters
24 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
90.88 ft


Meters
27.7 m

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
6 x Maybach HSLu engines developing 240 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
62 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
100 kph


Knots
54 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
4,598 mi


Kilometers
7,400 km


Nautical Miles
3,996 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
13,123 ft


Meters
4,000 m


Miles
2.49 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
10 x Machine Guns on trainable mountings.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 9,250lb of drop ordnance.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants: Series Model Variants
• L.32 - Tactical Designation
• LZ-74 - Production Designation