SPAD XIII / S.17
The SPAD XIII designed by M.Béchereau replaced the S.VII from mid-1917 with more power and double the armament. A two bay biplane, the two spar wooden wings and wooden fuselage are fabric covered. Conventional controls are fitted with ailerons are on the top wing only. Wings and control surfaces all have wire trailing edges giving the scalloped look.
The SPAD XIII had an exhaust-driven supercharger mounted vertically behind the cockpit. But this early development was hampered by lack of suitable alloys for the supercharger rotors.
It was the Spad S.XIIIC.1 which was used almost exclusively by US and French squadrons in France in 1918. It was built initially with a 200 hp Hispano engine, but later models had a 235 hp Hispano, which made them very fast indeed. Standard armament was twin Vickers guns, but some, re‑designated S.17, carried cameras for high‑speed photo-reconnaissance duties.
Spad XIII C 1 of Czech Agustin Kharvaht (centre) SPA 315 Sqn, Les Mores AF, September 1918
There were flown about sixty Spad VII and XIII in Czechoslovakia after the Great War.
The Spad XIII was produced and deployed in great numbers. By the end of 1918, the parent company and eight other French manufactures had built 8,472. Almost every French fighter squadron was equipped with them by the end of the war, as well as the American units that were part of the American Expeditionary Force. Spads were also used by the British, the Italians, the Belgians, and the Russians.
Engine: 220-horsepower Hispano-Suiza 8Be
Wingspan: 8.2 m (26 ft 11 in)
Length: 6.3 m (20 ft 8 in)
Height: 2.4 m (7 ft 11 in)
Weight: Empty, 566 kg (1,245 lb)
Gross, 820 kg (1,808 lb)
Max speed: 130 mph at 6000 ft
Service ceiling: 22,300 ft
Endurance: 2 hr
Armament: 2 x Vickers mg
Engine: Hispano Suiza, 220 hp
Span: 8.08 m
Length: 6.22 m
Empty weight: 570 kg
Top speed 215 km.p.h
Climb to 2000 m: 4 min 24 sec
Service ceiling: 6650 m
Range: 295 -400 km
Armament: two synchronized machine guns over the engine