The Zeppelin was a principle weapon of both the German Army and Navy concerning World War 1 (1914-1918). Dozens were produced and proved sound reconnaissance platforms and eventually evolved to become bombing systems due to their exceptional range for the period. Allied fighters and ground-based anti-aircraft fire could be out distanced and tracking of Zeppelins in low-light hours of the day proved a challenge. While sorties were launched against France and Russian, it was Britain that took on most of the Zeppelin threat. In reality, the airships were inaccurate as bombing platforms and served more as a psychological tool against the civilian population. Their internal hydrogen filling also made them highly susceptible to exploding if hit with incendiary munitions. Such airships were known as "rigid" for their duralumin internal structures.
L.52 was once such German development. She was powered by 5 x Maybach HSLu engines developing 240 horsepower each. She could therefore manage a maximum speed of 106 kph and reach a service ceiling of 6,000 meters. Operational range was 12,230 kilometers. Dimensions included a length of 196.5 meters, a diameter of 24 meters and a height of 28 meters. She was crewed by 20 personnel.
L.52 served the German military as a reconnaissance and bombing Zeppelin during World War 1 (1914-1918). The aircraft managed a total of 20 reconnaissance sorties during her short operational career that began on July 14th, 1917. She is notable for one air raid against Britain where a storm misguided her in the direction of London airspace to which her crew proceeded to drop its 4,450lb bomb load on the capital. Surviving the war, L.52 was destroyed by her own crew on June 23rd, 1919 lest she fell into enemy hands. L.52 was given the production designation of "LZ.98" and was of the U-class of Zeppelins.
Status Retired, Out-of-Service
Production 1 Units
- Ground Attack
644.69 ft (196.5 m)
78.74 ft (24 m)
91.86 ft (28 m)
5 x Maybach HSLu engines developing 240 horsepower each.
66 mph (106 kph; 57 kts)
19,685 feet (6,000 m; 3.73 miles)
7,599 miles (12,230 km; 6,604 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Zeppelin L.52 (LZ-98) production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
5 x 7.92mm machine guns on trainable mountings.
Up to 4,450lb of conventional drop bombs.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Zeppelin L.52 (LZ-98) production model)
L.52 - Tactical Designation
LZ-98 - Production Designation
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
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