Zeppelin-Staaken R.XVI

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Zeppelin-Staaken R.XVI
Zeppelin-Staaken R.XVI WW1 bomber 1.jpg
Zeppelin-Staaken R.XVI (R.50)
Role Bomber
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Schütte-Lanz
Designer Graf von Zeppelin
First flight 1918
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte
Unit cost
557,000 marks
Variants Zeppelin-Staaken Riesenflugzeuge

The Zeppelin-Staaken R.XVI(Av) was a very large bomber (Riesenflugzeug), designed and built in Germany during 1918.


The R.XVI, an incremental improvement to the Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI, was one of a series of large bombers called Riesenflugzeuge, intended to be less vulnerable than dirigibles in use at the time. The R.XVI had four engines in a push-pull configuration, mounted in nacelles large enough for some inflight maintenance by flight mechanics, housed in nacelles between the engines.[1]

Three aircraft were ordered to be completed by Automobil & Aviatik A.G., at Leipzig-Heiterblick.[2] Only two R.XVIs were completed and only one of these, (R.49), flew before the Armistice on 11 November 1918. The third R.XVI (R.51) was 3/4 complete at the Armistice but was never completed.[2]

R.50 in flight.

Operational history[edit]

Flight testing was carried out by R.49 during the war from September 1918, until a landing accident in October caused significant damage which was unlikely to have been repaired. The second aircraft, (R.50), was completed in 1919 as a civilian airliner, continuing the flight test programme until being flown to Döberitz for storage in November 1919.[2]

Specifications (Zeppelin-Staaken R.XVI(Av))[edit]

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: seven
  • Length: 22.5 m (73 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 42.2 m (138 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 6.5 m (21 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 340 m2 (3,700 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 10,400 kg (22,928 lb)
  • Gross weight: 14,650 kg (32,298 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Benz Bz.VI (pusher) V-12 water-cooled piston engines, 400 kW (530 hp) each
  • Powerplant: 2 × Benz Bz.IV (tractor) 6-cyl. water-cooled in-line piston engines, 160 kW (220 hp) each
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch wooden tractor and pusher propellers


  • Maximum speed: 130 km/h (81 mph; 70 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 135 km/h (84 mph; 73 kn)
  • Range: 800 km (497 mi; 432 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 3,710 m (12,170 ft)


  • Guns: Provision for nose, dorsal, ventral and two upper-wing machine-gun positions


  1. ^ "Zeppelin-Stakken". Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  2. ^ 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).
  • The German Giants by G.W. Haddow and Peter M. Grosz.

External links[edit]