Wednesday, October 12, 2011

France - 1916 SPAD VII


I have recently started my new series of SPAD VII using my new master file. The SPAD VII was used by many countries and produced under license in Britain, Italy, and Russia. The SPAD VII was designed as a replacement of the aging Nieuport 17. Here is a sampling of my latest profiles.

This French SPAD sports an unusual paint scheme in that it is not the simple yellow varnish or a multiple color camouflage scheme. The black elephant was the Lt. Frederic Loiseau's personal insignia. As with almost all French aircraft it does not carry a roundel.

The Italians mainly used a simple paint scheme with national roundels and the pilot's personel insignia. The identification numbers on the rudder were painted over.

This British SPAD is the standard yellow varnish and a darker paint on the forward section. The fuselage bears the British Roundel as was standard practice. The red stripe and black C were probably flight markings. The red wheel covers are unusual. The serial numbers are painted in black on the tail fin and identification markings on the rudder are painted over.

The 103rd Aero Squadron was composed of pilots who served in the French Escadrille SPA 124 (Lafayette Escadrille). Unlike many American piloted SPAD VII which kept the yellow varnish finish which came from the factory, this example is painted in a five color camouflage pattern. The Indian head is the unit insignia and the red diamond with the white S is the pilots' personal marking.

Russia used both SPAD aircraft produced in France and under license in the DUX factory, The paint is simple and the only markings are the Russian roundel and serial number on the rudder.

Spad VII: Overview

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.

No comments: