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Zeppelin L.52 (LZ-98)

Imperial Germany (1917)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Zeppelin L.52 (LZ-98) U-class Airship.

 Entry last updated on 5/9/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

Basic Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Imperial Germany
Year: 1917
Type: U-class Airship
Manufacturer(s): Imperial Germany
Production: 1

Surviving World War 1, Zeppelin L.52 was destroyed by her crew in 1919.

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.
Any available statistics for the Zeppelin L.52 (LZ-98) U-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).
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 20
Length: 644.69 ft (196.5 m)
Width: 78.74 ft (24.00 m)
Height: 91.86 ft (28.00 m)

Installed Power
5 x Maybach HSLu engines developing 240 horsepower each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 66 mph (106 kph; 57 kts)
Maximum Range: 7,599 mi (12,230 km; 6,604 nm)
Service Ceiling: 19,685 ft (6,000 m; 3.73 mi)

5 x Machine Guns on trainable mountings.

Up to 4,450lb of drop ordnance.

Operators List
Imperial Germany

Series Model Variants
• L.52 - Tactical Designation
• LZ-98 - Production Designation