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SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship

United Kingdom | 1918

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

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the SSZ.65 (Submarine Scout Zero) SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship.
1 x Rolls-Royce Hawk engine in pusher configuration developing 75 horsepower.
53 mph
85 kph | 46 kts
Max Speed
898 miles
1,445 km | 780 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the SSZ.65 (Submarine Scout Zero) SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship.
143.4 ft
43.70 m
O/A Length
39.5 ft
(12.04 m)
O/A Width
47.0 ft
(14.32 m)
O/A Height
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the SSZ.65 SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship .
1 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mount in forward cockpit.

Up to 65lbs of conventional drop ordnance.
Notable series variants as part of the SSZ.65 family line.
SSZ ("Submarine Scout Zero") - Class Designation
SSZ.65 - Base Series Designation

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/25/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this 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.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SSZ.65. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): 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 ]
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Image of the SSZ.65
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Going Further...
The SSZ.65 SSZ-class Maritime Blimp Airship appears in the following collections:
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