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WORLD WAR 1

SSZ.65


SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship (1918)


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



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/25/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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.

Specifications



Service Year
1918

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Crew
3

Production
1
UNITS


Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) - United Kingdom
National flag of France National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States France; United Kingdom; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Special-Mission: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy underwater elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and weapons.
Special-Mission: Anti-Ship
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.


Length
143.4 ft
(43.70 m)
Width/Span
39.5 ft
(12.04 m)
Height
47.0 ft
(14.32 m)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the SSZ.65 (Submarine Scout Zero) production variant)
Installed: 1 x Rolls-Royce Hawk engine in pusher configuration developing 75 horsepower.
Max Speed
53 mph
(85 kph | 46 kts)
Range
898 mi
(1,445 km | 2,676 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the SSZ.65 (Submarine Scout Zero) production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mount in forward cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 65lbs of conventional drop ordnance.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0


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


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