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N.S.7 (North Sea-class)

United Kingdom (1917)

Detailing the development and operational history of the N.S.7 (North Sea-class) Non-Rigid Airship.

 Entry last updated on 10/18/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

Basic Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United Kingdom
Year: 1917
Type: Non-Rigid Airship
Manufacturer(s): United Kingdom
Production: 14

N.S.7 served from 1917 through to the end of World War 1, completing her final flight in 1921.

At the start of World War 1 (1914-1918), the British air service could claim just six airships to its name. This inventory eventually grew as the war advanced and airships and blimps played an ever-increasing role throughout the conflict until matched by the latest fighters and "blimp busters". The North Sea-class airships - or NS-class - of Britain were developed as non-rigid (lacking an internal framework structure) for Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) operation in mind and arrived in 1917, a first-flight recorded on February 1st of that year. Fourteen of the class were eventually completed and the series flew into the early 1920s. One of the stock was N.S.7 which managed to survive the remainder of the war. She was based out of East Fortune for her part in the conflict.

Airships of the period were used to provide crucial wartime service such as submarine hunting, maritime reconnaissance, naval artillery direction and convoy escort.

As a class, the ship's design carried a crew of ten personnel and were powered by 2 x Rolls-Royce Eagle engines of 250 horsepower. These were later replaced on some airships by 2 x Fiat engines of 240 horsepower each. Performance included a maximum speed of nearly 60 miles per hour with an endurance window of 24 hours and a service ceiling of 9,500 feet.

Three to five 7.7mm Lewis Gun machine guns were carried for point defense against marauding enemy fighters. A bombload of 1,380lb was made up of conventional drop stores.

Of the fourteen NS-class airships available, just six were in service at the end of the war. N.S.7 was used as an aerial escort of the surrendered German High Seas Fleet in the voyage to Rosyth after the war. The airship completed its final flight on October 25th, 1921.
Any available statistics for the N.S.7 (North Sea-class) Non-Rigid Airship are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 10
Length: 262.01 ft (79.86 m)
Width: 54.13 ft (16.50 m)
Height: 69.23 ft (21.10 m)
Empty Weight: 4,409 lb (2,000 kg)
MTOW: 8,818 lb (4,000 kg)

Installed Power
EARLY: 2 x Rolls-Royce Eagle engines developing 250 horsepower each; LATER: Fiat engines developing 240 horsepower each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 57 mph (92 kph; 50 kts)
Maximum Range: 1,367 mi (2,200 km; 1,188 nm)
Service Ceiling: 9,514 ft (2,900 m; 1.80 mi)

3 to 5 x 7.7mm Lewis Gun machine guns

Up to 1,380lb of conventional drop ordnance across six hardpoints.

Operators List
United kingdom

Series Model Variants
• NS7 - Base Series Designation