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Subject: Live to fly another day... rss

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Marc Figueras

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This is my second Luftschiff AAR. My first one can be read here.



Mission J6. London raid 1915. Type P zeppelin

With a sunny and quiet dawn at our sheds in Gontrode we take off. Too beautiful to be true...


[image source: http://www.airships.net/]

Around half an hour after liftoff, when we were around 300 meters high, we encounter a Royal Navy Air Service raid with a Cauldron G4 and a Sopwith Tabloid at an altitude of 1000 meters. Diving toward us, the Tabloid drops his fléchettes and bombs, damaging sections C and D, with oxygen contamination in cell V. The G4 was still too high for an attack and made a sharp turn while diving. We ascend to prevent its passing above us but then, just at our tail, it fires its forward machine gun, damaging cells in section D and jamming the elevators because of damaged canvas from the fins. Moreover, the airframe of section D is damaged enough so it will not be able to withstand high positive or negative lifts. In the midst of the combat with the British fighter we caught sight of a British submarine, so we decided to go for it and trying to sink it while battling against the fighter. We keep ascending to prevent the G4 dropping its bombs and darts, but matching our speed it keeps chasing us, in a position where our machine guns can do little damage while pouring fire over our tail section. Its repeated machine guns bursts damage even more our D section, with many cells already contaminated by oxygen. We managed to hit the fighter but with little consequences. Ultimately, due to low fuel level, the C4 withdraws and we can bomb the sub. We drop two bombs on it, but without success. Anyway, we radioed its position. Some hours later, just at nightfall and already flying over England, the crew is successful in repairing the elevators.


After the nightmarish and endless pursuit by the Cauldron G4 (blue: water ballast; orange: fuel; red: oxygen-contaminated cells; white cubes: empty cells) + elevators jammed

Now over England, we encounter some searchlights but no fighters nor antiaircraft guns. The danger now comes from the weather: heavy rain, which lowers our lift and stresses the already structurally damaged D section, so that the crew has to manually drop ballast from the tail section D to prevent its collapse (automatic dropping was out of order due to the previous attack). The danger is momentarily warded off, but we keep descending due to the soaked canvas. We drop all ballast and at a height of 200 meters and still without enough lift, we decide to throw off board the engine car machine gun and the control car machine gun. Finally rain stops and we can ascend again. In the meantime, no target has been sighted, so we head again for the coast.



The first part of the route back home is quiet and we can repair all damaged cells and venting those too contaminated by oxygen. The problem is now the low fuel level. Then a new Royal Navy raid finds us. We were at around 1500 meters, so they pass under us without possibility of dropping aany of their darts or bombs.


Two RNAS fighters directly in front of us

When we were ready to face the second pass of the fighters, a storm and a strong frontal wind save our day: due to lack of fuel, both fighters withdraw before having the opportunity to attack us: But in fact this is a bitter success, because, due to the storm, we also burn all our remaining fuel and remain adrift. Once the storm passes, we radio our position: we are not very far from the German coast, so we'll try to land on the sea and await a rescue vessel to pick us up. Fortunately a slight tail wind gets up, which slowly pushes us towards the coast, so we can gently touch down in a meadow near the coast.


Back at home (barely)... all ballast dropped, all fuel burned, two machine guns thrown off-board, 6 cells emptied, section D structurally damaged... and landed in a meadow near the German coast...

An unsuccessful mission, but at least we returned home alive to fly another day!
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Adam Douglas
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Wow - close call with the tail wind.

Nice AAR by the way. I likey!
(Where did you get such a nice clean picture of the L13 Zeppelin?)
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Marc Figueras

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wile wrote:
Wow - close call with the tail wind.

Nice AAR by the way. I likey!


Thanks!

Quote:
(Where did you get such a nice clean picture of the L13 Zeppelin?)


From the website http://www.airships.net/ I forgot to cite the source, sorry. I'll add it.
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Adam Douglas
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No probs on the source, do they have other images for different types of zeps?
 
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Marc Figueras

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wile wrote:
No probs on the source, do they have other images for different types of zeps?


Yes, but mainly photos and blueprints of the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin.
 
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