Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
National Flag Graphic


SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship


SSZ 65 represented one of the 77 SSZ-class airships constructed by Britain for World War 1 service.

Detailing the development and operational history of the SSZ.65 SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship.  Entry last updated on 10/25/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The "Submarine Scout Zero" ("SSZ") airships were manufactured across seventy-seven examples during World War 1 (1914-1918) beginning in 1916. These were devised as overwater patrol airships and thusly utilized heavily by the Royal Navy as well as the United States Navy (2 examples) and France (2 examples). The vessels took on the typical dirigible shape of the period and, internally, they lacked the rigid structural support network common to German Zeppelins - and therefore nicknamed "blimps". Their lifting properties came from helium gas held within an envelope which conformed to a predefined shape of its material construction.

As with the Zeppelins, the SSZ class showcased a cabin (known as a "car") along the ventral side of the craft and a ventral rudder fin as well as horizontal tailplanes. The air vehicles were manned by a crew of three (seated inline), measured a length of 44 meters, a beam of 12 meters and a height of 14.3 meters. Power was served through a single Rolls-Royce Hawk series engine of 75 horsepower which provided a top speed of 52 miles per hour. The engine was held at the extreme aft of the underslung car nacelle. Defensive armament was minimal, restricted to just 1 x 7.7mm Lewis machine gun on a trainable mount in the forward-most cockpit. Offensively, the airship could stock some 65lbs of conventional drop bombs.

In practice, such vessels could be called upon for maritime reconnaissance, bombing sorties and escort protection as they provided a much-needed "eye-in-the-sky" quality that surface warships lacked. Additionally, airships held inherently long endurance in the air and were, for a time, better alternatives tan shorter-ranged fixed-wing aircraft then in service. While fragile, an airship allowed warplanners a certain level of strategic flexibility that would prove crucial during the height of the war years.

SSZ.65 was part of the SSZ class and was able to survive all of the war through some 254 hours in the air, most of these coming during 1918, the last year of the global conflict. SSZ.65 was eventually removed from service in 1919 during the massive world-wide post-war drawdown.


YEAR: 1918
MANUFACTURER(S): Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) - United Kingdom
LENGTH: 143.37 ft (43.7 m)
WIDTH: 39.50 ft (12.04 m)
HEIGHT: 46.98 ft (14.32 m)
POWER: 1 x Rolls-Royce Hawk engine in pusher configuration developing 75 horsepower.
SPEED: 53 mph (85 kph; 46 kts)
RANGE: 898 miles (1,445 km; 780 nm)
OPERATORS: France; United Kingdom; United States

1 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mount in forward cockpit.

Up to 65lbs of conventional drop ordnance.
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants / Models

• SSZ ("Submarine Scout Zero") - Class Designation
• SSZ.65 - Base Series Designation

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (53mph).

Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the SSZ.65 (Submarine Scout Zero)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo