SPACE 1889 Reprinted
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The German Luftschifferabteilung (airship detachment) was formed as a seprate branch of service in 1887 - its unifaorm being the same as that for the engineers of the guard with the addition of a yellow "L" on the red shoulder straps. The airship detachment is formed as a three-battalion regiment for administrative purposes, but personnel are drawn from various companies and battalions to form the crews of airships. Most aerial vessels in German service are hydrogen-filled rigid airships; these ships are almost universally called "Zepplins" after their inventor, Count von Zepplin.
Very limited supplies of liftwood have been obtained from the trading station in Western Dioscuria, and these have been mostly used to construct a variety of small experimental vessels, which provide some practical design and construction experience as well as try out various engineering theories. The only genuine aerial warship using liftwood in German Service is on Mars. The Hamburg's armament, armour and weaponary where built on Earth (in Wilhelmshaven) and shipped to in pieces to Mars. They were then assembed and finished with the addition of liftwood panel.
"Cloudships and Gunboats" by Frank Chadwick
Ether flyers are typically large spacecraft which can travel through interplanetary space by means of ether propellors. Most Germal Ether Flyers rely upon hydrogen gasbags for atmospheric flight. This is because Germany has limited access to Liftwood. Ironically this allows German Zeppelins to operate easily on Venus the atmosphere of which cause Liftwood to radidly loose it's lifting properties.
Limited quantities of liftwood have been obtained from the trading station in Western Dioscuria. Tests on this material have recently culminarted in the lauch of the LS (Luft Stellung, or aerial fortress) Wotan and its sister ship Thor. These are very large displacement vessels similar in size to the French Charlamagne, but using a combination of lifting technologies to minimize reliance on Liftwood. In addition to a conventional liftwood array, they also use several hydrogen gas cells for added buoyancy.
Most interestingly the Wotan-Class aerial Fortesses can pivot their eight large gimbal-mounted propellers and trade speed for lift. Because the Thor and Wotan use hydrogen lifting cells, they are susceptible to fire although not to the same extent as a regular Zeppelin.
Wotan-Class Aerial Fortress: Unknown
The Hamburg is a vey clumsy design, but a powerful one, nonetheless. The designer's decision to place all armamanet below the bulkhead armour provides good protection for the crew at no weight cost but severely restricts traverse of the guns. This is largely made up for by the sheer number of large guns carried, however. In 1886, shortly after assembly was completed, the Hamburg was involved in a serious exchange of gunfire with two British aerial gunboats in the so-called "Mylarkt Incident". Hamburg was seriously damaged in the exchange, but succeeded in destroying H.M.S. Daring. Hamburg was grounded for repairs until late 1887, at which time it began regular patrol runs in West Dioscuria and has ventured as far awest as Dinsoor in Cydonia to show the German flag.
"Cloudships and Gunboats" by Frank Chadwick
Hamburg-Class Aerial Cruiser:
Armament: 1 six-inch gun forward, fixed under armour
4 four-inch short guns broadside, fixed under armour
Crew: 45 (five officers and 40 enlisted).
The A6V "Odin" was the first German steam-powered walker deployed to further Germany's imperial ambitions.
Zeppelin is the name given to the duralumin-internal-framed, dirigibles invented by the persistent Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
Zeppelin, Count (Graf ) Ferdinand von (1838-????). Ferdinand Adolf August Heinrich von Zeppelin was born in the city of Constance on July 8, 1838. His father was councillor to the court of the Duke of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. His mother belonged to a family of textile manufacturers by the name of Macaire in Constance. Count Zeppelin, his sister Eugenia and his brother Eberhard spent their childhood in the manorial domain Girsberg near Constance. The children were mainly educated by private teachers who lived with the family. Their last teacher, Vicar Robert Moser, became a lifelong friend of the family and especially of Count Zeppelin. In 1853 Count Zeppelin left Girsberg to enrol in the Realschule in Cannstatt near Stuttgart, a year later he changed to the Polytechnical Academy in Stuttgart. In 1855 he became a cadette of the military school in Ludwigsburg and decided to take up a military career as an officer in the army of Württemberg. Having joined the Army at 16 Count von Zeppelin earned his commission by the time he was 20.
Five years later, as a military observer for the King of Württemburg, he traveled with the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was in that service that the young count had gone aloft in military observation balloons including ones made by Professor Steiner in St. Paul, Minnesota. During Zeppelin's military career, he fought in the Seven-Weeks War (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), serving in the armies of Württemburg, Prussia and Imperial Germany.
He had been nursing a dream since his experience during the American Civil War of giant flying 'ships' plying the 'oceans of air.' He became a tireless champion of lighter-than-air aircraft. By the late 1800s, people were attaching motors and propellers to balloons in order to travel at will. Makers of engine-powered lighter-than-air craft quickly encountered a technological ceiling. Lifting more powerful engines and heavier loads, required a much larger gas envelope. To attain any speed faster than a crawl, the larger envelope had to be fashioned into sleek aerodynamic shapes with small frontal area. These long, thin 'sausage' shapes tended to be highly unstable. Slight changes in the craft's center of gravity could cause the larger volumes of hydrogen to shift wildly -- sometimes with tragic results. Zeppelin's design broke that technological barrier and made his name a synonym for the airship. His solution contained the hydrogen in separate 'cells' all within a long, thin, light-weight metal frame covered with stretched fabric.
His first rigid airship, the Luftshiff Zeppelin or LZ-1 , made its initial flight in July 1875. While not perfect, the LZ-1 impressed some people with the potential of airships. Many remained skeptics. Despite numerous setbacks and outright disasters, Count von Zeppelin persevered. His persistence and determination transformed him into a national hero. The Kaiser bestowed upon Zeppelin the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle, an order usually reserved for high nobility. His airships caught the popular imagination such that the 'Zeppelin' became an icon for national pride. After the success of the experimental LZ-1, early production was standardised in 1883 with the LZ-5 scoutship.
For operations on Venus, where liftwood rots, Zeppelin's airships have an enormous performance advantage. By 1889, Germany has the largest fleet of airships of any nation. While impressive, the airship's performance advantage over aerial flyers has all but disappeared.
In 1890, Zeppelin retired from military service as a brigadier of cavalry, but the 52 year old count was not ready to retire completely.
The new, more powerful battle Zeppelin, the LZ-41, was launced in 1887. German production has concentrated on this class since. Export negotiations are underway, and this type may soon appear in the fleets of Germany's closest allies, Italy and Austria-Hungary.
Science-Fiction Role Playing in a More Civilized Time.
Space: 1889 is Frank Chadwick's registered trademark for his game of Victorian Era Space-faring.