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SPAD S.XIII

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPAD_XIII

S.XIII
SPAD S.XIII in the colors of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, U.S. 94th Aero Squadron
Role biplane fighter
National origin France
Manufacturer SPAD
Designed by Louis Béchéreau
First flight 4 April 1917[1]
Primary users Aéronautique Militaire
Royal Flying Corps
US Army Air Service

The SPAD S.XIII was a French biplane fighter aircraft of World War I, developed by Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) from the earlier highly successful SPAD S.VII. It was one of the most capable fighters of the war, and one of the most-produced, with 8,472 built and orders for around 10,000 more cancelled at the Armistice.

Design and development

The S.VII had entered service in September of 1916, but by early 1917 it had been surpassed by the latest German scouts, leading French flying ace, Georges Guynemer to lobby for an improved version. SPAD designer Louis Béchereau initially produced the cannon-armed S.XII, which had limited success, and finally the S.XIII.

The S.XIII differed from its predecessor by incorporating a number of aerodynamic and other refinements, including larger wings and rudder, a more powerful Hispano-Suiza 8B engine fitted with reduction gearing, driving a larger "right-hand" propeller, and a second 0.303 Vickers machine gun for added firepower. The sum of these improvements was a notable improvement in flight and combat performance. It was faster than its main contemporaries, the British Sopwith Camel and the German Fokker D.VII, and was renowned for its ruggedness and strength in a dive. The manoeuvrability of the type was however relatively poor, especially at low speeds. A steep gliding angle and a very sharp stall made it a difficult aircraft for novice pilots to land safely.

Operational history

It first flew on April 4, 1917, and the following month was already being delivered to the French Air Service. Other Allied forces were quick to adopt the new fighter as well, and nearly half of the 893 purchased for the United States Army Air Service were still in service in 1920. It was also exported to Japan, Poland, and Czechoslovakia after the war.

The S.XIII was flown by famous French fighter pilots such as Georges Guynemer and Rene Fonck. Italy's Francesco Baracca and the United States Army Air Service's Eddie Rickenbacker, also became leading aces with 34 and 26 confirmed victories, respectively.

Operators


Spads, 1930s magazine illustration with the French Great War fighter plane flown by all of the Allied airforces
Spads, 1930s magazine illustration with the French Great War fighter plane flown by all of the Allied airforces
 Argentina
(Two aircraft)
 Belgium
 Brazil
 Czechoslovakia
(Post-war)
 France
 Greece
 Italy
 Japan
 Poland
(Post-war)
 Russian Empire
Siam (Thailand)
Kingdom of Spain
 Turkey
 United Kingdom
 United States
 Uruguay

Specifications (SPAD S.XIII)

Data from Sharpe, 2000. p 272.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 6.25 m (20 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 6.5 in)
  • Wing area: 21.1 m² (227 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 566 kg (1,245 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 856 kg (1,888 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 845 kg (1,863 lb)
  • Powerplant:Hispano-Suiza 8Be 8 cylinder vee-type, 220 hp (164 kw)

Performance

Armament

External links

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft




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Published - July 2009














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