(Société Pour L'Aviation
et ses Dérivés)
SPAD S.XIII "1917"

Role biplane fighter
National origin France
Manufacturer SPAD
Designer Louis Béchéreau
First flight 4 April 1917
Primary users Aéronautique Militaire
Royal Flying Corps (Royal Air Force from April 1918)
United States Army Air Service
Number built 8,472a

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(Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés)
SPAD S.XIII "1917"

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(Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés) SPAD S.XIII "1917"

The SPAD S.XIII was a French biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War, developed by Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) from the earlier and highly successful SPAD S.VII.

During early 1917, the French designer Louis Béchereau, spurred by the approaching obsolescence of the S.VII, decided to develop two new fighter aircraft, the S.XII and the S.XIII, both using a powerful new geared version of the successful Hispano-Suiza 8A engine. The cannon armament of the S.XII was unpopular with most pilots, but the S.XIII proved to be one of the most capable fighters of the war, as well as one of the most-produced, with 8,472 built and orders for around 10,000 more cancelled at the Armistice.[2]

By the end of the First World War, the S.XIII had equipped virtually every fighter squadron of the Aéronautique Militaire. In addition, the United States Army Air Service also procured the type in bulk during the conflict, and some replaced or supplemented S.VIIs in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), pending the arrival of Sopwith Dolphins


The SPAD S.XIII was a single-engine biplane fighter aircraft. In terms of its construction, it shared a similar configuration and layout to the earlier S.VII,[nb 1] featuring a mainly wooden structure complete with a fabric covering; however, it was generally larger and heavier than its predecessor. Other changes included the tapered chord of its ailerons, the rounded tips of the tailplanes, bulkier cowling accommodating the gear-drive Hispano-Suiza 8B engine choice, and enlarged fin and rudder.[11] The S.XIII was armed with a pair of forward-mounted Vickers machine guns with 400 rounds per gun, which took the place of the single gun that had been used on the earlier aircraft.

The S.XIII featured relatively conventional construction, that being a wire-braced biplane with a box-shaped fuselage and a front-mounted engine, except for its interposed wing struts located half-way along the wing span, which gave the fighter the deceptive appearance of being a double-bay aircraft instead of a single bay. This change prevented the landing brace wires from whipping and chafing during flight, and was attributed by Andrews as a key factor for the aircraft’s high rate of climb. Otherwise,

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(Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés) SPAD S.XIII

United States

Crew: 1

Length: 6.25 m (20 ft 6 in)

Wingspan: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in) late examples had a span of 8.08 m (26.5 ft)

Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)

Empty weight: 601.5 kg (1,326 lb)

Gross weight: 856.5 kg (1,888 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8Ba, 8-cylinder, 200 hp)

Maximum speed: 211 km/h (131 mph, 114 kn) at 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

Endurance: 2 hours

Service ceiling: 6,800 m (22,300 ft)

Time to altitude:

2 minutes 20 seconds to 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

Guns: 2 x .303 in (7.70 mm) Vickers machine guns or on USAS Examples, 2 x Marlin M1917 or M1918 machine guns

Bombs: 4 x 25 lb (11 kg) Cooper bombs


Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

Following the end of the Second World War the company concentrated on the design of a two-seater light training/touring aircraft, the Max Holste MH.52.A low-wing monoplane with twin fins and rudders, the MH.52 first flew in 1945. The company then built a high-wing version of the MH.52 to meet a French Army requirement. Being too small this was developed into the MH.1521 Broussard and the company went on to build 370 Broussards, mainly for the French military