Roden Aircraft 1/72 Zeppelin Staaken R VI (Schutte-Lanz Built R27/16) WWI German BiPlane Bomber Kit
Without any doubt, the Zeppelin Staaken R.VI was state of the art in aviation technology in 1918. It was exceptional for its size; along with other Staaken R-types, it was by far the biggest aircraft flown in action in WWI. But more than that, its construction demanded a host of technological advances. Its structure employed wood and aluminium and steel. Its massive 18 wheel undercarriage had to bear unheard-of weights, and on frequently sandy terrain. There was continuous innovative work on communication in flight, crucial for such a large machine, leading to a very effective electrical telegraph.
Size was not the only difference between the G-types and the R-types. The R-type specifications laid special stress on the requirement for engine accessibility in flight. R-plane history is full of incidents of engines being shut down and repaired while on long flights, including in the R.VI, which carried a lonely mechanic in each of the engine gondolas.
At least six of the R.VIs survived the Great War. They were destroyed according to the conditions of the Armistice Agreement; all that is left now is a gondola from the R.35 in a museum in Krakow. Despite Graf Zeppelin's high hopes, Germany's Giants were not able to affect the course of the War. However, the R.VI remains an outstanding achievement, and many of the engineers who developed it like Claudius Dornier would go on to have celebrated careers in aviation.