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Zeppelin-Lindau CL.I & CL.II

During World War I, the German aircraft manufacturer Zeppelin-Lindau constructed the Zeppelin-Lindau CL.II, a biplane with a single engine and two seats.

This aircraft was notable for its all-metal structure, a significant deviation from the wooden structures commonly used at the time.

The metal construction of the CL.II enhanced its durability and strength, making it a valuable asset for the German military.

Zeppelin-Lindau, a leading German aviation company, was instrumental in developing and producing military aircraft during the war.

The Zeppelin-Lindau CL.II was one of their remarkable innovations, featuring an all-metal structure that set it apart from other aircraft of the era.

This design not only increased the CL.II’s sturdiness but also reflected Zeppelin-Lindau’s dedication to advancing aircraft technology.

The Zeppelin-Lindau CL.II marked a significant technological progression in aviation during World War I, with its single-engine, two-seat configuration being well-suited for a variety of military tasks.

The CL.II stood out for its all-metal structure, marking a significant shift from the wooden structures typically used at the time.

Zeppelin-Lindau’s use of metal significantly improved the aircraft’s strength and durability, crucial for combat scenarios.

The CL.I, a precursor to the CL.II, was an all-metal, wire-braced biplane with a single bay. Its fuselage featured stressed skin, and fabric covered its flying surfaces.

This design was a transitional phase leading to the development of the smaller, more sophisticated D.I.

After the CL.I failed to reach the designated altitude of 5,000 meters and crashed in February 1918, the modified CL.Ia, later reclassified as CL.II, featured a 100 mm increase in the chord of the top wings and a raised top wing, which increased the height from 2.835 to 2.95 meters.

The rudder was also redesigned based on the test pilot’s feedback.

Initially, the CL.I had its radiator located between the wing spars of the upper wing, slightly to the right of the pilot’s position.





7.46 m (24 ft 6 in)

Upper wingspan

10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)

Lower wingspan

9.0 m (29 ft 6 in)


2.95 m (9 ft 8 in)

Wing area

15.84 m2 (170.5 sq ft)

Empty weight

727 kg (1,603 lb)

Approximate, based on CL.I

Gross weight

1,067 kg (2,352 lb)

Approximate, based on CL.I

Fuel capacity

130 L (29 imp gal; 34 US gal)

Oil capacity

14 L (3.7 US gal; 3.1 imp gal)


1 × Mercedes D.IIIa

6-cylinder inline water-cooled piston engine,

120 kW (160 hp)


2-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller,

2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) diameter



128 minutes longest test flight, full endurance likely 2 hours.

Service ceiling

5,200 m (17,100 ft) maximum altitude reached during test flights



1 × trainable 7.92 mm (0.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun in observer’s cockpit


1 × fixed forward-firing 7.92 mm (0.312 in) LMG 08/15.


German Aircraft of the First World War-Peter Gray & Owen Thetford.

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