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Zeppelin L.30 Class / L.33


The L.30 Class were about 643 feet long, with a capacity of 1,907,000 cubic feet, and were powered by six 240-h.p. engines. Maximum speed was 60 m.p.h., carry-ing a 22-ton load. They carried incendiary and high -explosive bombs from 110 to 660 lb. in weight.

With a volume of 55,000 cubic metres and a length of 198 metres, the L30 had a top speed of 100 kilometres per hour.


In 1916 new airship was in the process of being designed when a stroke of luck, caused the latest German airship technology to be handed to the British on a plate. On the night of 23rd/24th September 1916, the German Zeppelin L-33 was brought down at Great Wigborough, Essex. The L-33's commander had been participating in an air raid on London when it was damaged by antiaircraft fire, and then intercepted and brought down by a night fighter who's fire failed to ignite the hydrogen. However so much damage was done to the gasbags and fuel tanks that the ship was forced to descend. The German crew attempted to destroy the ship instead of it falling in to enemy hands but so little hydrogen was left that only the doped fabric lit when they fired signal flares in to the hull. The L-33 was virtually intact and her motors were undamaged. In one stroke the British had been handed a near perfect ship full of the latest German technology.
Immediately a crew of investigators recorded every feature of the ship in detail. This top-secret record took five months to complete. The designs for the R34 and R34 were put on hold whilst this was being undertaken. It was with this information that the British designers could adapt the plans to include what the Germans had done so successfully, and this enabled the design teams to produce near copy designs for the R 33 and R 34. The R33 was allocated to Armstrong and Whitworth at their Barlow works just some 3 miles south of Selby, Yorkshire.


Cruise: 60 mph
Load: 22 ton



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