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Bleriot-SPAD S.51



Designed by Andre Herbemont and of generally similar configuration to the Type 41, the Bleriot SPAD 51 had fabric-covered metal wings and a wooden monocoque fuselage, power being provided by a 420hp Gnome- Rhone Jupiter nine-cylinder radial.

The first prototype, the Type 51-1, was flown on 16 June 1924, a second modified prototype, the Type 51-2, following on 18 March 1925. Powered by a Jupiter IV and carrying an armament of two 7.7mm MAC (Vickers) guns in the upper wing, the Bleriot SPAD 51-2 was ordered for the Polish air arm, the Lotnictwo Wojskowe, 50 being delivered during 1925-26.

Another prototype, the Type 51-3, with an improved propeller, flew on 7 September 1926. This offered a 12km/h speed superiority and improved ceiling over the 51-2. On 30 August 1928 the Type 51-4 final derivative with a special 600hp version of the Jupiter first flew.

Of ten production Type 51-4s were completed, one being sold to Turkey and another to the Soviet Union, these having provision for two fuselage-mounted Vickers and two wing-mounted Darne machine-guns, and a 420hp Jupiter 9Ab.

Engine: 1 x 420hp Gnome & Rhone 9Ab Jupiter
Take-off weight: 1360 kg    2998 lb
Empty weight: 990 kg / 2183 lb
Wingspan: 9.47 m / 31 ft 1 in
Length: 6.45 m / 21 ft 2 in
Height: 3.10 m / 10 ft 2 in
Wing area: 24.27 sq.m / 261.24 sq ft
Max. speed: 245 km/h / 152 mph
Cruise speed: 225 km/h / 140 mph
Ceiling: 8850 m / 29050 ft
Rate of climb: 444 m/min / 1450 ft/min
Armament: 2 x 7.7mm
Crew: 1





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