Zeppelin-Staaken R.VII

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Zeppelin-Staaken R.VII
Role Bomber
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Flugzeugwerft GmbH, Staaken, Berlin
Designer Graf von Zeppelin
First flight 1917
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte
Number built 1

The Zeppelin-Staaken R.VII was six-engined large bomber - a Riesenflugzeug - of Imperial Germany intended to be less vulnerable than the airships in use at the time.


The R.VII, an incremental improvement on the almost identical Zeppelin-Staaken R.IV, had two engine pods each with tandem pusher engines, large enough for some in-flight maintenance by flight mechanics housed in cockpits forward of the nacelle engines, driving the large pusher propellers throuch clutches, gearboxes and shafts. A further two engines were mounted in the nose of the fuselage driving a single tractor propeller in similar fashion.[1]

Operational history[edit]

First flown early in 1917, the sole R.VII (R.14/15) was accepted by the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service) on 3 July 1917 and assigned to Rfa 501 on 29 July 1917. Used in operations on the Western Front, the R.VII had a short operational life, crashing due to a clutch failure and the incorrect actions of a flight mechanic with the loss of six crew members.[1]


Specifications (Zeppelin-Staaken R.VII)[edit]

Data from The German Giants[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 7+
  • Length: 22.1 m (72 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 42.2 m (138 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 332 m2 (3,570 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 8,923 kg (19,672 lb)
  • Gross weight: 12,953 kg (28,556 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,140 kg (4,720 lb)consisting of:
    • Twelve 245 l (53.89 imp gal; 64.72 US gal) tanks holding 3,140 l (690.70 imp gal; 829.50 US gal)
    • Gravity tank of 155 l (34.10 imp gal; 40.95 US gal)
    • Oil tank holding 171 l (37.61 imp gal; 45.17 US gal)
  • Disposable load: 1,890 kg (4,170 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Mercedes D.III 6-cyl. water-cooled in-line piston engines, 120 kW (160 hp) each Driving a single tractor propeller through clutches, gearbox and transmission shafts
  • Powerplant: 4 × Benz Bz.IV 6-cyl. water-cooled in-line piston engines, 160 kW (220 hp) each In tandem pairs driving single pusher propellers through clutches, gearbox and transmission shafts
  • Propellers: 4-bladed tractor propeller, 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 130 km/h (81 mph; 70 kn)
  • Service ceiling: 3,850 m (12,631 ft)
  • Time to altitude:
    • 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in 12 minutess.
    • 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in 25.5 minutes.
    • 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in 50 minutes.
  • Wing loading: 39 kg/m2 (8.0 lb/sq ft)


provision for up to six machine-guns


  1. ^ a b c Haddow, G.W.; PeterM Grosz (1988). The German Giants, The Story of the R-planes 1914-1919 (3rd ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-812-7. 


  • A. K. Rohrbach, "Das 1000-PS Verkehrsflugzeug der Zeppelin-Werke, Staaken," Zeitschrift für Flugtechnik und Motorluftschiffahrt, vol. 12, no. 1 (15 January 1921)
  • E. Offermann, W. G. Noack, and A. R. Weyl, "Riesenflugzeuge", in: Handbuch der Flugzeugkunde (Richard Carl Schmidt & Co., 1927)
  • Haddow, G.W.; Grosz, Peter M., The German Giants: The Story of the R-planes 1914–1919, London: Putnam, ISBN 0-85177-812-7