Military Review

Forgotten Giants Zeppelin III

18



The first experience of air battles showed that fighters almost always attack bombers from the rear hemisphere. Therefore, for more effective protection on the next version of the Zeppelin, which received the military designation RV, the nacelles were turned to 180 degrees. Engines with screws now stood in front, and machine-gun turrets - in the back. In addition, on the RV, another turret was mounted in the so-called "swallow's nest" - a drop-shaped gondola built into the center wing section of the upper wing.

The car was built in June 1916, and 23 December it was included in the squadron of heavy bombers Rfa 501, located in the Belgian city of Ghent. The aircraft made its first combat sortie on 25 on January 1917 of the year, dropping bombs on the port facilities in Calais. Over the next eight months, he was able to produce all 16 night bomb raids due to regular breakdowns and malfunctions. In October, the plane crashed while landing in a fog and was written off.

In 1916, the Zeppelin Aircraft Manufacturing Company moved from Gotha to the Berlin suburb of Staaken, in connection with which its name changed from “Fershukhsbau Gota-Ost” to “Zeppelin-Stataken”. Already in a new place, a very successful modification of a heavy bomber under the symbol R.VI was designed and built. In it, Zeppelin refused to "pairing" the motors, in which the weight grew and the reliability of the power plants decreased, and much of their power was lost in the gearboxes.

R.VI was equipped with four engines of a Mercedes D.IV 260 hp or "Maybach" Mb.IV of the same capacity, two of which directly worked on the pulling screws, and two more - on the pushing ones. The cockpit was closed and glazed, and instead of the nose engine installed machine gun turret. Behind the cockpit was a radio room, behind it — a gas tank. Next to the tail equipped shooting post with the upper two-gun turret and the lower "dagger" fire installation.

A bomb bay was placed under the deck covering the 18 100-kilogram bombs. Ammunition of a larger caliber aircraft could carry on external sling. The maximum combat load reached two tons, it was a record figure for airplanes of the First World War.

The crew consisted of ten people: the first pilot, he is the crew commander (in the terminology of the time - the captain of the ship), the second pilot, navigator, radio operator, two gunners and four engine-engines. There were no devices to control the operation of the engines in the cockpit. If the commander wanted to add or lose speed, he gave the appropriate command to the mechanics in the engine nacelles using machine telegraph or light signaling.

R.VI was the first modification of the Risenflugtsoyg, which the military found worthy of launching into mass production. In 1917-18, 18 copies of this machine were produced, each of which cost the German treasury more than half a million marks. Most of them fought on the western front as part of the Rfa 500 and Rfa 501 bomber squadrons. From June 1917 to May of the following year, they regularly bombed London, Dover, Folkestone and other cities in south-east England. For all this time, the British air defense managed to knock down only one four-engined bomber, but three more cars crashed on its territory due to difficult weather conditions or technical problems.

In February 1918, R.VI first dropped a 1000-pound jig on London - the heaviest aviation ammunition used in the First World War. In the last months of the war, German giants operated mainly over France and Belgium. As a rule, “Zeppelins” flew singly, less often - in pairs. Several times they bombed Paris at night, and the last raid on the French capital took place at the very end of the war. During these raids, three more cars were lost. The Germans who had survived R.VI had to be destroyed in 1919, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

The most interesting from a technical point of view was the 16-th bomber serial copy. In order to increase the height, it was equipped with a supercharger working from the fifth engine located in the fuselage. The air compressed by the supercharger was piped to the carburetors of the traction engines. Because of this, they did not lose power at high altitudes, and the ceiling of the car increased one and a half times, from four to six kilometers. At this altitude, the aircraft was invulnerable to enemy anti-aircraft guns and fighters. However, the compressor unit turned out too heavy, complex and cumbersome, in addition, the crew at high altitudes had to constantly work in oxygen masks. Therefore, the system has not received distribution. But 20 years later, the idea of ​​a motor supercharger returned to the USSR, setting it up on the heavy TB-7 / Pe-8 bomber.





Zeppelin RV and its team.



R.VI is Germany's only serial World War I heavy bomber.



Two R.VI at the frontline airfield.



The crew R.VI near his car.


Cabin interior R.VI. Unlike the "Ilya Muromets" control of the aircraft was dual.



Machine gun installations R.VI.



R.VI in the camouflage "night lozenge".



Watercolor drawing R.VI, made in 1918, the famous German ace Ernst Udet.
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18 comments
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  1. itr
    itr April 17 2016 06: 46
    +11
    damn that's fearless men were I would hell got into this vacuum cleaner
    1. Thirteenth
      Thirteenth April 17 2016 20: 36
      +1
      Quote: itr
      damn that's fearless men were I would hell got into this vacuum cleaner



      After one hundred years they will say the same)))
  2. dmi.pris
    dmi.pris April 17 2016 07: 45
    +6
    Awesome technique was .. How did they fly without instruments, on the scent or something ??? It was the time of the knights.
    1. V.ic
      V.ic April 17 2016 15: 54
      +1
      Quote: dmi.pris
      .How did they fly without instruments, or what?

      "Chuika" was also spatial orientation.
    2. Thirteenth
      Thirteenth April 17 2016 21: 04
      +1
      Quote: dmi.pris
      How they flew without instruments, on a scent or something



      The compass was))) But the S-300 was not. So they flied normally, like everyone else.
  3. Mooh
    Mooh April 17 2016 11: 03
    +2
    Amazing progress in 2 years. I’m afraid to imagine what they could have built if the war hadn’t ended.
    1. Amurets
      Amurets April 17 2016 11: 38
      0
      Quote: MooH
      Amazing progress in 2 years. I’m afraid to imagine what they could have built if the war hadn’t ended.

      I’m not talking about Count Zippelin here, but talking about all the designers. Somewhere, disguising as mail and passenger planes, somewhere building planes abroad, Germany did not stop its work in the field of armaments.
      1. Anglorussian
        Anglorussian April 17 2016 23: 56
        0
        building planes abroad
        Hugo Junkers Aviation Factory in Fili (near Moscow) in 20 shaggy ...
  4. Verdun
    Verdun April 17 2016 12: 03
    +4
    Therefore, for more effective protection on the next version of the Zeppelin, which received the military designation RV, the nacelles were, as it were, turned 180 degrees. The propeller engines were now in the front, and the machine gun turrets were in the back.

    I don't know how much it was about protecting the plane. Simply pulling propellers are much more efficient than pushing propellers. For those who are new to physics, it is difficult to assess this, but the tractive effort is created not so much due to the pushing pressure of the propeller, but due to the pulling effect that occurs in the vacuum zone. And the article is interesting. Many people sometimes have a false impression that there were no bombers besides "Ilya Muromets" at that time.
    1. Spitfire
      Spitfire April 17 2016 20: 50
      +2
      Quote: Verdun
      Therefore, for more effective protection on the next version of the Zeppelin, which received the military designation RV, the nacelles were, as it were, turned 180 degrees. The propeller engines were now in the front, and the machine gun turrets were in the back.

      I don't know how much it was about protecting the plane. Simply pulling propellers are much more efficient than pushing propellers. For those who are new to physics, it is difficult to assess this, but the tractive effort is created not so much due to the pushing pressure of the propeller, but due to the pulling effect that occurs in the vacuum zone. And the article is interesting. Many people sometimes have a false impression that there were no bombers besides "Ilya Muromets" at that time.


      The "pull effect" is the same lift that the wing creates due to its profile. The propeller blade has a similar profile and works the same. So there is no difference between pulling and pushing. On the other hand, the pulling propeller creates a strong air flow around the wing, which can give an increase in lift. Plus blowing the engine, which is important when taxiing.
      1. Verdun
        Verdun April 17 2016 22: 50
        0
        The propeller blade has a similar profile and works the same.
        That's why I wrote that you must first teach physics. The air flow blowing around the wing or engine occurs with both pushing and pulling screws. Here is the fact that the wing installed in front of the screw destroys the air flow and reduces the efficiency of the screw - yes. The profile of the rotor blade is variable along its entire length and should not be compared with the profile of the wing. And do not forget that the method of calculating screws for a liquid and a gas medium is different, if only because the gases are compressed, but the liquid is not.
  5. Termit1309
    Termit1309 April 17 2016 12: 24
    +2
    Machine gun installations R.VI.

    Is the mechanic serving the installation in the right photo?
    1. Moore
      Moore April 18 2016 03: 47
      +2
      Judging by the fighter's headdress, he muddied the "bow" when servicing in the hangar and most likely has nothing to do with the crew.
      And the photo was sent to his Lizchen with the caption "This is ya I shoot back from twenty-five frog fighters" smile
  6. aba
    aba April 17 2016 15: 42
    0
    Zeppelin is as always impressive! smile
  7. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev April 17 2016 22: 38
    0
    As Spitfir's colleague rightly noted, there is no difference between the propeller and the propeller as such, if we ignore the airplane. But if you do not disengage, that is. The screw gives rise to a turbulent accelerated air flow, which increases the resistance of the parts falling into this stream. As a result, propeller thrust decreased. So in those early years, they initially preferred to put a pushing screw, because the thrust of low-powered engines was chronically inadequate (the brothers Wright, Farman IV, Wuwsen, Farman 16, and 30 aircraft).
    However, placing the propeller in front also gives advantages, for example, a decrease in take-off and landing speed due to airflow of the wing, which was not relevant then (the speeds were already low, and too low landing speed makes the device too sensitive to wind - landing speed divided by 4 - this is approximately the maximum allowable crosswind speed). On single-engine aircraft, the pulling screw adds stability.
    So the author of the article is absolutely right, the engine nacelles were deployed precisely to improve protection. By the way, on reconnaissance Voisin and Farmanah, the problem with protecting the rear hemisphere was chronic.
  8. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev April 17 2016 23: 01
    +1
    But what an archaic motor control system, even for those times! Neither Sikorsky nor Kaproni had this. To carry three extra people, about a third of a ton! Apparently, the reliability of the engines was very bad.
    1. Verdun
      Verdun April 17 2016 23: 17
      0
      It's just that most of the German aircraft of that time were equipped with engines of the so-called "airship" type. They had a higher altitude and resource than purely aviation "Gnome-Ron" or, say, "Hispano-Suiza", but they had a greater specific weight and required constant maintenance.
  9. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 April 18 2016 20: 25
    0
    Yeah, German engineers are serious guys ...