Military Factory logo

SPAD S.XX

France (1920)
Picture of SPAD S.XX Two-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The SPAD S.XX arrived too late to see combat action in World War 1.


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

During World War 1 (1914-1918), the advantage in the air war over Europe had changed hands several times, driven by a combination of evolving tactics, experienced pilots and advancing technologies of the period. Aircraft could now fly farther, higher and faster than ever before and carried increasingly potent armament. Towards the end of the war, French engineer Andre Herbemont headed another entry in the storied S.P.A.D. ("Societe Pour L'Aviation et ses Derives") fighter line with the introduction of the S.P.A.D. S.XX (S.20) fighter.

First flying on August 7th, 1918, the aircraft was still in development by the time of cessation of hostilities in November. The S.XX was not officially introduced, therefore, until 1920 and this limited production to approximately 100 units due to the world-wide military draw-down. Manufacture of S.P.A.D. S.XX aircraft was handled by Bleriot while the primary operator of the series became the French Air Force. The aircraft series also saw limited, post-war numbers and service under the flags of Bolivia and Paraguay.

The S.XX was born from the preceding single-seat SPAD S.XVII, itself derived from the single-seat S.XIII fighter. The S.XX differed primarily in its two-seat configuration with the pilot and gunner/observer seated inline across two individual, open-air cockpits. The stout fuselage was of a conventional shape, well-contoured and rounded, with the engine compartment at the front and a single rudder fin at the rear (with applicable horizontal tailplanes). The wings were of equal span with parallel and v-shaped struts joining an upper and lower wing assembly. The upper wing assembly was given considerable sweep while the lower wing was of a conventional straight design. The undercarriage was fixed with two landing wheels while a simple skid aided the tail when the aircraft was at rest. The pilot was afforded 2 x fixed, forward-firing .303 Vickers machine guns over the engine cowl as primary armament while the rear gunner managed a single .303 Lewis gun atop a trainable mount.

Dimensionally, the S.XX sported a wingspan of 32 feet with a fuselage length of 24 feet and height of 9 feet. Empty listed weight was 1,900lbs with a gross weight of 2,880lbs. Power was served through a Hispano-Suiza 8Fb inline piston engine developing 300 horsepower and driving a two-bladed wooden propeller. Performance included a maximum speed of 135 miles per hour, a range out to 250 miles, a service ceiling of 26,240 feet and a rate-of-climb of 1,100 feet per minute.

While the French government originally envisioned a staggering production total during peak war months, its order was severely cut short with the Armistice of November 1918. The Armistice interrupted all manner of programs to date and this included the S.XX which had not yet entered quantitative production by war's end. A bulk of the completed aircraft (95) were of the standard S.XX model while only two of the "improved" S.XX bis were seen - these with larger wing surface areas for better control. One of these was then sold off to Japan's Mitsubishi. From there emerged a line of "one-off" racer platforms that began with the S.20 bis-1 and ended with the S.20 bis-6. Several of these airframes claimed speed records during their time aloft. S.XX/S.20 aircraft served during the 1920s before being given up for more modern types heading into the 1930s.

Any available statistics for the SPAD S.XX Two-Seat 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: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (135mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the SPAD S.XX's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
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
100
100


  * 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  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: France
Service Year: 1920
Classification Type: Two-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Societe Pour l'Avions et ses Derives (SPAD) - France
Production Units: 100
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Bolivia; France; Paraguay
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the SPAD S.XX model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
23.95 ft


Meters
7.3 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
31.89 ft


Meters
9.72 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.19 ft


Meters
2.8 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,918 lb


Kilograms
870 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,866 lb


Kilograms
1,300 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hispano-Suiza 8Fb inline piston engine developing 300 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
135 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
217 kph


Knots
117 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
249 mi


Kilometers
400 km


Nautical Miles
216 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
26,247 ft


Meters
8,000 m


Miles
4.97 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,100 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
335 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 7.7mm Vickers fixed, forward-firing machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
1 x 7.7mm Lewis machine gun on trainable mount in rear cockpit.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• S.XX - Base Series Models; 95 completed.
• S.XX bis - Improved S.XX with larger wing surfaces; improved control; 2 examples.
• S.20 bis-1 - Standard racer model
• S.20 bis-2 - Racer with shortened wing appendages.
• S.20 bis-3 - Racer with revised, shortened wings
• S.20 bis-4 - Racer with revised, shortened wings
• S.20 bis-5 - Gordon Bennett racer; revised wings; two examples completed.
• S.20 bis-6 - Racer model with special Hispano-Suiza engine installation.