Aircraft Type Index

WW1 Fighter Planes Index

                   

 

SPAD S.VII WW1 Fighter

The SPAD S.VII was designed by Louis Béchereau the chief designer of SPAD to meet their requirement of the French Government for a new fighter aircraft to utilise designer Marc Birkigt's aero-engine based on the existing Hispano-Suiza V8 car engine, flown by test pilot Bequet the prototype SPAD S.VII made it's maiden flight in April 1916. The SPAD S.VII entered service in early 1917 and proved to be a sturdy and stable gun platform but like most "stable" flying aircraft lacked the agility of fighters like the Nieuport 11 and Nieuport 17 desired by many experienced and successful fighter aces.

SPAD S.VII Fighter Plane

 

The high rate of attrition of allied fighter aircraft resulted most of the SPAD S.VII being produced equipping French squadrons and as an interim solution 100 aircraft were produced under licence in Russia at the Duks factory in Moscow, a further 220 aircraft were licence built by "Mann Egerton" and "Blériot & SPAD" in the UK. The licence built aircraft suffered reliability and performance problems as a result of low material and construction standards, the British built aircraft were retained as trainers and the RFC used the French built aircraft it could obtain as operational fighters, when in 1917, America entered WW1 they brought 189 SPAD VII's for the States Army Air Service where most were used as trainers in preparation for the much improved SPAD XIII fighter aircraft.

SPAD S.VII Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 6.08 m (19 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 7.81 m (25 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.20 m (7 ft 2 in)
  • Empty weight: 510 kg (1,124 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 740 kg (1,632 lb)
  • Engine: Single 112 kW (150 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Aa V8 engine
  • Maximum speed: 192 km/h (119 mph)
  • Range: 360 km (225 mi)
  • Service ceiling 5,335 m (17,500 ft)

SPAD S.VII Armament:

  • Single .303-cal. Vickers machine gun
 

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