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Smithsonian Institution Collections

Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine

  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
  • Maybach VL-2, V-12 Engine
Smithsonian Museum
National Air and Space Museum
Physical Description
Type: Reciprocating, 12 cylinders, V-type, fuel injected, water-cooled
Power rating: 425 kW (570 hp) at 1,600 rpm
Displacement: 33.3 L (2,029 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke: 140 mm (5.51 in.) x 180 mm (7.09 in.)
Weight: 1,148 kg (2,530 lb)
Summary
Although possibly better known by its later luxury automobiles, Maybach Motorenbau G.m.b.H. of Friedrichshafen, German was originally the engine building subsidiary of the German Zeppelin Company (Luftschiffbau Zeppelin G.m.b.H.). The first Maybach engines were six-cylinder vertical types constructed in 1909, and powered the World War I Zeppelin, Schutte-Lanz, and Parseval airships or airplanes such as the Rumpler C4 and C5.
The company’s activities were curtailed following the war by the Treaty of Versailles. The larger vee-type VL-2 engine was developed following successful use of the 1924 Maybach-Zeppelin engines in the U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles airship. The directly reversible VL-2 engines were developed primarily to operate continuously for long periods of time with minimum possible fuel consumption. It powered the German Graf Zeppelin and the U.S. Akron, and Macon airships. From 1928 until December 1934, the Graf Zeppelin covered 1,008,000 km (630,000 miles) with its original engines.
Manufacturer
Maybach Motorenbau G.m.b.H. (Friedrichshafen a/Bodensee, Germany)
Date
Circa1925-1935
Credit Line
Gift of Maybach Motor Company
Materials
Aluminum, Steel, Copper, Rubber, Preservative coating, Paint, Wood, Phenolic, Textile
Dimensions
Overall: 38 x 36 x 77in., 2530lb. (96.5 x 91.4 x 195.6cm, 1147.6kg)
Approximate (Weight on Stand): 809.2kg (1784lb.)
Length 195.6 cm (77 in.), Width 91.4 cm (36 in.), Height 96.5 cm (38 in.)
Type
PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary