THE NEW ZEPPELINS.
WAR MANOEUVRES OVER LAKE CONSTANCE.
The renewed activity of German airships revives interest in what is going on at the birthplace of Zeppelins on Lake Constance. The Swiss "St. Galles Tagblatt" has an interesting article on the subject, although it is not without signs of proGerman inspiration. The writer says that, even if one could not get into the actual area of the huge yards and workshops, enough is to be seen from the Swiss banks of the lake, and he asserts that every week either one or two airships are completed for service. The finished Zeppelin moves off its staples and is brought to the large "harbour" for airships near the town ; from here it makes its trial flights. Meanwhile work goes on uninter-: ruptedly at two other new airships which grow in magic fashion. From the Maybach Motoren abrik, which is attached to the Zeppelin yards, one hears (says the writer) the incessant roar of airship motors undergoing their tests; and when the cold wind blows across the lake it bears the mighty buzzing and rushing sound right away over the houses on the Swiss side.
The test trials, it seems, are no longer mere distance trials, but purely and simply war manoeuvres. The form and dimensions of the Zeppelin have altered considerably from the original types. The latest models are much longer and thinner—more fishshaped—than before, and the two cars hang lower from the body of the airship, apparently without the usual connection between them, unless a passage has been built into the gigantic body itself. The cars are armoured, and each carries at least six machine-guns and a cannon or two, besides special apparatus for bomb-throwing, and for the discharging of air-torpedoes. The point of the new model shows a metallic gleam up to about a fifth part of the whole length, and it seems that the Zeppelin Company has acquired the Schoop metalspraying process, and probably uses it to reinforce the front part of the envelope.
The battle manoeuvres are very interesting. One can see (says a Swiss writer) that the Zeppelins have increased their speed capacity, are more easily dirigible, and have improved considerably their ascending powers. Machine gun exercise can be seen and heard, and also experiments with smoking gases, which envelop the airship suddenly in an
extensive cloud of mist. If there is any mist or fog about, then the airship can suddenly disappear in the mist mysterious fashion. In the night manoeuvres the invisible Zeppelin flashes its searchlights and drops flare bombs which light up the [darkness of the lake in a ghostly Iway for several minutes. As regards the much-talked-of airtorpedoes, naturally nothing is seen of them, but, from hints that leak out, they seem to the writer to be a most important weapon of air warfare. It is said that experiments have just been successfully concluded. The newest Zeppelin that the writer saw was labelled L Z 95, and he concludes from the fact that there is another series labelled only L, that the number of German airships is well over 100. As for losses, the total so far cannot, he says, be placed at more than fifteen. Workshops for the repair of damaged Zeppelins exist in Potsdam, the Rhineland, and Belgium.
Permanent link to this item
THE NEW ZEPPELINS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3539, 26 April 1916
THE NEW ZEPPELINS. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3539, 26 April 1916
Using This Item
Akaroa Mail Co is the copyright owner for the Akaroa Mail. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Akaroa Mail Co. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.