Military Factory logo

SPAD S.XI

France (1917)
Picture of SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft Picture of SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft
+ Images
This entry's gallery contains additional pictures. Click to View.

The two-seat SPAD S.XI was dogged by issues which led to limited production during World War 1.


Detailing the development and operational history of the SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/4/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The storied engineering career of Frenchman Louis Bechereau spanned decades and several popular designs during World War 1 (1914-1918). Hired by Armand Deperdussin to head design at Societe de Production des Aeroplanes Deperdussin ("S.P.A.D."), Bechereau delivered the early SPAD S.VII and later SPAS S.XIII. In between these two notable designs fell the oft-forgotten SPAD S.XI, a two-seat reconnaissance-minded biplane fighter attempting to fulfill Specification C2 for the French Air Service. The SPAD S.XI did not prove itself an outright success as other SPAD designs did and witnessed only a short shelf-life during the war, dogged by issues throughout its career. This led to a rather limited production reach of about 1,000 aircraft in the series.

To fulfill the French air Service (Aeronautique Militaire) requirements, Bechereau attempted to continue using the proven qualities of his previous single-seat biplane fighter offerings. A longer fuselage was necessary when incorporating a second observer's/gunner's cockpit aft of the pilot. Sections of the wings were cut out for improved viewing while many other qualities of the design remained consistent with the period - the front-mounted engine driving a two-bladed wooden propeller, parallel struts and cabling to stiffen and control the "over-under" wing structure and conventional single-finned tail unit. The undercarriage was wheeled though fixed through reinforced struts and the tail supported by a simple skid. The pilot was given a single fixed, forward-firing 7.7mm Vickers series machine gun and the observer could manage an optional 7.7mm Lewis machine gun on a trainable mounting. The aircraft emerged under the company model number of "SPAD 11", also written as SPAD S.XI.

Power to the S.XI was served through 1 x Hispano-Suiza 8Bc series V-8 water-cooled engine of 200 horsepower and this allowed a maximum speed was 112 miles per hour with an mission endurance time of approximately 2.25 hours. The aircraft's service ceiling was listed at 23,000 feet with a rate-of-climb of 9,850 feet reached in roughly 12.5 minutes. Some airframes were also fitted with a Renault 12-cylinder engine instead of the aforementioned Hispano-Suiza installation, though this powerplant actually reduced performance figures and was not popular.

The SPAD S.XI joined the war during 1917 and eventually proved itself not a success. The modified single-seat fighter approach for a larger two-seat design made the airframe tricky in its handling while performance from the engine of choice proved underwhelming. The type did hold characteristics that superseded some existing types then in service with French forces so the aircraft still managed to serve in notable numbers. It managed a frontline status until the fall of 1918 before being replaced by the SPAD S.XVI - itself a direct offshoot of the S.XI though outfitted with a Lorraine-Dietrich engine of 250 horsepower. These proved no better than the originals but were kept in action nonetheless.

Operators beyond the French Air Service became Belgium, Italy, Japan, Russia (into the Soviet Union years), Uruguay and the United States (American Expeditionary Force - "AEF").


Picture of the SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the SPAD S.XI Biplane Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (112mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the SPAD S.XI A2's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1000
1000


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: France
Year: 1917
Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Societe Pour l'Avions et ses Derives (SPAD) - France
Production: 1,000
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Belgium; France; Kingdom of Italy; Imperial Japan; Imperial Russia; Soviet Union; United States; Uruguay
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the SPAD S.XI A2 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
25.72 ft


Meters
7.84 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
36.78 ft


Meters
11.21 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.19 ft


Meters
2.8 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,499 lb


Kilograms
680 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,293 lb


Kilograms
1,040 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hispano-Suiza 8Bc V-8 water-cooled engine developing 220 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
112 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
180 kph


Knots
97 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
249 mi


Kilometers
400 km


Nautical Miles
216 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
22,966 ft


Meters
7,000 m


Miles
4.35 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
788 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
240 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

1 x 7.7mm Vickers fixed, forward-firing machine gun
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm Lewis machine gun on trainable mount in rear cockpit.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• S.XI - Base Series Designation
• S.XI A2 - Formal production model designation