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Big German WW I Floatplanes

12 February 2014

Big German WW I Floatplanes

Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Among the first strategic bombers were the WW I vintage Zeppelin-Staaken Riesenflugzeuge aircraft but three were built as the Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 floatplane to serve with the Kaiserliche Marine and painted in the lozenge pattern of the time. This family of aircraft had four or five engines as well as an almost unique fully enclosed fuselage and cockpit. The fuselage and wings were largely fabric-over-wood construction though the floats were built with duralumin. — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Passengers boarding into the capacious fuselage of the Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 floatplane at the dock boarding passengers — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD-2 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

The Gotha WD.2 floatplane was the first of Gotha’s Wasser Doppledecker (water biplane) series — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD-8 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD.8 Wasser Doppledecker (water biplane) floatplane was built as an unarmed reconnaissance aircraft — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD-11 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD.11 Wasser Doppledecker (water biplane) floatplane was Gotha’s reply for the design of torpedo bomber during WW I with pilot and observer/rear gunner sitting in tandem — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD-14 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD.14 Wasser Doppledecker (water biplane) floatplane was an enlarged and improved WD.11 with a wider fuselage allowing for side-by-side seating (pilot and observer/gunner) as well as a rear gun position — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD-15 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD.15 Wasser Doppledecker (water biplane) floatplane was an improved WD.2 with plywood skin as opposed to fabric as well as a more powerful engine — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Gotha WD-27 Floatplane — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

Possibly the sole Gotha WD.27 Wasser Doppledecker (water biplane) floatplane built, it was immense and had four engines (two pusher-puller pairings) — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 February 2014 11:09

    The Zeppelin-Staaken 8301 floatplane was quite an aircraft for the day!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      12 February 2014 11:35

      I was struck the in the same way when I ran across the photos of it 🙂

      • 13 February 2014 21:51

        I have never seen anything about these large types of float planes from that period. Thanks for sharing

      • travelforaircraft permalink*
        16 February 2014 11:06

        More than welcome. Like you I had been unaware of these, as well, and was quite happy to simply run across them by happy accident.

      • 17 February 2014 17:55

        Yes, great photos

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