The Zeppelin-Staaken R.XIV was an incremental improvement to the Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI. This was one of a series of large bombers called Riesenflugzeuge intended to be less vulnerable than the dirigibles in use at the time.
The Staaken Bomber had two engine pods with 4 engines in a push-pull configuration. The pods were large enough for some in-flight maintenance. Four Staaken model R.XIVa were ordered by Idflieg late in the War. The XIVa had some weight reduction improvements and geared engines to increase the rate of climb, service ceiling and bomb load. These were built between 1918 and 1919. The R.XIVa machines were built by the Flugzeugwerft G.m.b.H. at Staaken west of Berlin.
"A five engined Gotha (Actually a Staaken R.XIV) came over about midnight and dropped a few bombs. The searchlights got him and this time Jerry had a surprise as our flying scouts were up, spotted Fritz at once and went for him. In a few minutes a fight as on and we soon saw the big Gotha (Staaken R.XIV) in flames. He came down and a number of soldiers ran to the burning wreck, when one of the bombs exploded in the heat. Several of those who were near were killed and more injured. This machine carried eight men, three had been shot, four burned and one staff officer had jumped with a parachute, but this failed to open so he too was killed" - Diary of Thomas Spencer
By 1918, allied engineers were still uncertain of the design of the bombers. In a lecture to the S.A.E. in June 1918, William Bushnell Stout was speculating if the giant German bombers were operating with 160 or 260 hp engines.
Zeppelin-Staaken R.XIV 43/17 of Rfa 501 was brought down at 23:50 on August 10, 1918 by Capt A B Yuille of No 151 Sqn RAF, flying a Sopwith Camel D6573. It crashed 1 mile west of Lighthouse Talmas, near Doullens, and all crew members (Ltn Braun, Ofstv Buth, Ltn Corty, Vfw Donath, Flg Donnemaier, Flg Fonrobert, Uffz Kopp, Gefr Reuther and Flg Schneidersmann) were killed.