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PLEASE NOTE: The Spring 2017 price changes that Shapeways introduced for Frosted Detail printed items increased the price of this model enormously. Rather than remove it altogether, I have placed it in the LEGACY section of my shop. I will introduce a new version in other materials and at a lower price as soon as I can . I do have a number of models to work through however, so please bear with me. Please message me if you would like to know when the new model is likely to be available.
This model includes a kit of parts to complete either a ZPG-2 (initally designated ZP2N) with belly radar OR the ZPG-2W variant with an additional radar dome on the top of the envelope. You have the option of completing the model "in flight" with the undercarriage retracted or "landed", with the undercarriage down. Additionally the model can be completed on it's own or attached to a 23 ton mobile mooring mast and the accompanying towing tractor.
To extend range and endurance, the ZPG-2 was often fitted with drop tanks in two positions on each side of the envelope. These drop-tanks are also provided (on a sprue for safety, because they are so small in this scale!), should you wish to fit them.
The N-Class, affectionately called "Nan Ships" by their crews, were large, non-rigid type airships built by the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation of Akron, Ohio for the US Navy. The Class developed through various configurations including anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning (AEW) versions. The first of the type (Nan-ship, ZP1N) was delivered in 1952, with an envelope capacity of 875 000 cu ft.
Experience with ZP1N resulted in the larger (1 011 000 cu ft) and more capable ZP2N - later redesignated ZPG-2N - and the introduction of the distinctive large radar housing on the belly of the control car. The 2N carried the most up-to-date submarine hunting equipment then available and was a match for any conventional submarine in the world. Deliveries started in 1954.
1955 saw the delivery of the first of the ZPG-2W, AEW version of the N-Class with a height-finding radar mounted on the top of the envelope. Production of the ZPG-2 series ended in 1957 with a total of 17 built including 12 ZPG-2Ns and 5 ZPG-2Ws.
The last version of the N-Class was the even larger ZPG-3W type which first flew in 1958. Four were built and they carried a massive 42 ft diameter radar inside the envelope. All of the N-Class had been retired by the end of 1962.
My Inspiration for producing models of the N-Class 'ships came from reading through the pages of Larry Rodrigues's www.battleblimps.com website and from the e-book that he provides as a free download in pdf file format from the site. Larry describes his experiences as an aviation electronics technician in the US Navy in the mid nineteen fifties and gives a brilliant insight into what serving aboard the Nan Ships (and K-Ships) was actually like. His straightforward accounts of the very special considerations needed in taking off, flying and landing an airship are a joy to read.
60 years since the Flight Of The Snowbird, March 4-15, 1957
On March 4 1957, ZPG-2 N°.561 nicknamed "Snowbird" after previous exploits during all-weather winter operations, set off on her world record making endurance flight. She flew across the Atlantic and down the coast of Africa and back to the US without touching down or refuelingand was in the air for 264 hours and 14 minutes - that'sjust over 11 days!
SCALE and MATERIAL: Please Note that you have the choice of scale and of material - please check your choices in the top right corner of this page.
ZPG-2 Length = 343 feet, or 104.55 meters
1/700 scale model length = 149.4 mm
1/600 scale model length = 174.2 mm
Please Note that when landed, the N-Class rested in a nose-down attitude on it's under carriage. Once moored at the mast the craft was usually in a horizantal position with the nose-wheel off the ground or even slightly retracted.
For the 1/1250 and 1/1200 scale versions of the ZPG-2 and ZPG-2W Nan-Ship, please click HERE.
For the mighty ZPG-3W, please click HERE.