Zeppelin Type X
The L70 (company designation LZ112) represented the final type of military Zeppelin (Zeppelin Typ X), and was conceived around the importance of making an entry to the Atlantic round the north of Scotland and having swift climb characteristics, the emphasis therefore being put on fuel capacity and a lightened structure.
Four airships of this type were plan-ned, of which L70 was the prototype, and the only one to be powered by seven engines, unique among naval lighter-than-air craft. It was work over the Dogger Bank that found L70 on its first operation, a routine patrol during which units of the British fleet were reported. Despite the heavy cloud, course was altered and the targets identified, 10 bombs being dropped on the ships despite concentrated anti-
aircraft fire, an example of the type of action in which lighter-borne intercep-tors would have been of use.
Zeppelins of this type were not plan-ned for patrol work alone however, and despite the fact that by 1918 aero-planes were exhibiting much greater usufulness fur attdcks on targets in the British Isles, the day of the airship was not completely over. Thus the L70 was committed to a raid on 5 August, an attack that some thought foolhardy since it was planned to take place be-fore it had grown completely dark. This is the action which cost the lives of not only the entire crew, including the commander Kapitänleutnant von Loss-nitzer who had been responsible for the attack on the naval vessels, but also Peter Strasser.
Of the planned four units of the Typ X variants, only two others were built, though only one was commissioned into the Germany navy. This was the L71 (LZ113) later handed over to the UK. The L72 (LZ114) was completed after the Armistice as the Dixmude and was delivered to France as part of war reparations. These vessels dif-fered from the L70 in having six Mb IVa engines and a volume of 68500 m3 (2,419,059 cu ft) in a hull lengthened to 226.5 m (743 ft 1.3 in).
L70 (Zeppelin LZ112)
Type: strategic bomber and patrol airship
Powerplant: seven 193.9-kW (260-hp) Maybach Mb IVa six-cylinder water-cooled piston
Maximum speed 130 km/h (81 mph)
Service ceiling 7000 m (22,9660 ft)
Range 6000 km (3728 miles)
Empty weight 28260 kg (62,303 lb)
Useful lift 43500 kg (95,901 lb)
Diameter 23.95 m (78 ft 6.9 in)
Length 211.50 m (693 ft 10.8 in)
Volume 62200 cu.m (2,196,576 cu ft)
Armament: up to 10 7.92-mm (0.312-in) Maxim machine-guns on free mountings above hull, plus bombs