Sunday, April 10, 2011

France - 1917 SPAD S.VII

The SPAD VII a Worthy Replacement for the Nieuport 17

SPAD VII - 1917
SPAD VII - 1917

Some aircraft just look "right" the SPAD S.VII. is one of those planes. I have loved drawing different schemes for it. Since SPAD licensed production to Britain and Italy, and provided aircraft to the Belgium Air Force and Americans serving with the Aéronautique Militaire, there are many varied examples to refer to for inspiration. This SPAD S-VII served with Escadrille SPA.65 from February to June 1917. The serial number for this example was given as S1377, however that is not confirmed.

The French Air Service replaced the Nieuport 17 with the SPAD S.VII. Although disadvantaged by poor forward and downward visibility from the cockpit, the SPAD S.VII was fast, durable and difficult to shoot down. It was a good performer, flown by nearly all the French aces. However it proved to be less successful in the hands of British, possibly due to the combat tactics employed by the pilots of the Royal Flying Corps. With 18 victories, Irish ace William Cochran-Patrick scored more victories with the SPAD S.VII and SPAD S.XIII than any other ace.


  1. From Wikipedia SPAD S.VII, ""
  2. Bordes, Gerard. "SPAD." Mach 1, L'encyclopédie de l'Aviation, Volume 8. Paris: Atlas, 1981, pp. 2173-2187.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The First Fighting SPADs". Air Enthusiast, Issue 26, April - July 1981. Bromley, Kent: Pilot Press, p. 59, p. 61-62. ISSN 0143-5450.
  4. Connors, John F., Don Greer and Perry Manley. "SPAD Fighters in Action" (Aircraft in Action No. 93). Carrollton, Texas: Squadron-Signal Publications, 1989. ISBN 0-89747-217-9.
  5. Crosby, Francis. "A Handbook of Fighter Aircraft". London: Hermes House, 2003. ISBN 1-84309-444-4.
  6. Sharpe, Michael. "Biplanes, Triplanes, and Seaplanes". London: Friedman/Fairfax Books, 2000, p. 270. ISBN 1-58663-300-7.
  7. "United States Air Force Museum Guidebook". Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio: Air Force Museum Foundation, 1975, p. 9.

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