Thursday, May 24, 2012

Germany - 1918 - Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII

Riesenflugzeug Fever is Driving Me Crazy! (Baby!)

Slowly but surely I am working my way through a large number of 3 view plans to turn into profiles. I have taken a break from posting Staaken R types for the moment while I get more master files completed. I may start with the V.G.O series first. It provides a reference point design evolution of that family of giant aircraft. I think it is time for a side trip on our journey through the land of giants, so I'm going to work our way back in time to illustrate giant aircraft designed by Siemens-Schuckert Werke G.m.b.H., Siemensstadt. Berlin. My next post in the current series will be the on the Siemens-Schuckert Steffen R.I. I am still working on the master files for the R.III and 3 versions of the Forssman Giant.

A Short History of the Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII

The Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII was a bomber aircraft designed and built in Germany.

Armed with the experience gained in the development of the Steffen R series, Siemens-Schuckert felt confident in their ability to produce even larger bombers. Their next project was developing a new design that dwarfed anything they had previously built. Their plan was to produce a six engined Riesenflugzeug for the Military Air Service.As with many of the other contemporary R projects the R.VIII had all six engines inside the fuselage, where they were tended by mechanics, driving two tractor and two pusher propellers, mounted between the main-planes, via leather cone clutches combining gearboxes, shafts and bevel gearboxes. Two aircraft were built but only the first, R23/16, was completed. Ground trials began in 1919, after the armistice. The trials were interrupted by a gearbox failure which resulted in a propeller breaking up and causing extensive damage to the aircraft.

The second airframe, R24/16 was never completed and the first not repaired after the ground running accident due to the Versaille Treaty restrictions. At the time of its completion the Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII was the largest complete airplane in the world, (the Mannesman-Poll triplane was to have been much bigger but was not completed before the Versaille Treaty restrictions were applied).


  1. Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI. (2012, May 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:11, May 17, 2012, from
  2. Mark's Lists German Giants Retrieved 01:01, May 17, 2012, from
  3. The Aerodrome Forum Zeppelin Staaken Type L Seeflugzeug Bomber Camouflage Retrieved 01:01, May 17, 2012, from
  4. E. Offermann, W. G. Noack, and A. R. Weyl, "Riesenflugzeuge, in: Handbuch der Flugzeugkunde" (Richard Carl Schmidt & Co., 1927).
  5. Haddow, G.W. & Grosz, Peter M. "The German Giants, The Story of the R-planes 1914–1919". London. Putnam. (1962, 3rd ed. 1988).ISBN 0-85177-812-7
  6. Gray, Peter & Thetford, Owen. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London, Putnam. (2nd Ed.) 1970. ISBN 0-370-00103-6
  7. Wagner, Ray and Nowarra, Heinz, "German Combat Planes", Doubleday, 1971.


Alcides said...

Very nice profile. I'd like to build some R-planes but even at small scale they are too big!!
Maybe in this profiles you have to add a fighter in scale to show how big these planes really are.
Ah, the page which shows your French aircraft profiles has some problem. It don't show the pictures.

W. I. Boucher said...

Thanks Luis, I checked the page and got that error too. I should have it fixed. It now loads properly for me.

The scaling issues comes down to this. I need standard size images to fit into the formatting of the site. The profiles are made to fit a specific size "window" and not sizing the window to the size of the aircraft. I use a standard size for the images, large are 600x300 pixels, thumbnails are 300x150 pixels. The dimensions are given in the specification section of the detailed description for that aircraft.

The format was dictated by my objectives for the site. My main focus was for use in schools. It is impossible to be all things to all people. Unfortunately different viewers have different needs. It comes down to a compromise which will serve the most users. Adding scale three view drawings would mean a completely new set of graphics. At the moment I don't have the time to take on another large project. I know there are other three view line drawings out there. The problem is 1. I do not want to post other people's work because of copyright issues. 2. I would not use them because of poor line quality and inaccuracies in those drawings.