Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
HOME
AVIATION
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
WORLD WAR 1


SSZ.65


SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship


SSZ 65 represented one of the 77 SSZ-class airships constructed by Britain for World War 1 service.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 10/25/2016
National Flag Graphic

Specifications


Year: 1918
Manufacturer(s): Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) - United Kingdom
Production: 1
Capabilities: Ground Attack; Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Anti-Ship; Reconnaissance (RECCE);
Crew: 3
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
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.






Armament



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

OPTIONAL:
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
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map

www.MilitaryFactory.com. Site content ©2003- MilitaryFactory.com, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com 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 gmail.com.

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


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo