The SPAD S.XV was evolved from 1917 into 1919 but never managed to leave the prototype stage.
Detailing the development and operational history of the SPAD S.XV Biplane Fighter Prototype. Entry last updated on 6/4/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
This biplane fighter was of largely traditional design. The wing mainplanes were of near-equal-span and parallel struts were used for bracing the members, creating a single bay arrangement. The fuselage relied on streamlining to achieve the desired aerodynamics and a well-rounded cowl ring was set over the engine compartment a the nose. The pilot's position (seated in an open-air cockpit) was positioned just ahead of midships while the fuselage tapered to the rear where a low-profile rudder was fitted. Horizontal planes were affixed to the sides of the empennage. The undercarriage was fixed and wheeled at the main leg members. Internally, the frame of the aircraft was of monocoque arrangement and wood and canvas featured heavily into the construction of this fighting aircraft.
Armament was 2 x 7.7mm Vickers machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
The first form of the aircraft - S.VI/1 - was outfitted with the Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine developing 160 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller (a large spinner was noticeably seated over the propeller hub). This aircraft achieved first-flight on July 31st, 1917.
The work then led to a second prototype in the S.XV/2. This version had a simplified engine fitting (lacking the spinner), extended wing mainplanes and a new tail design. It was evaluated from August 1917 onward but found wanting when matched against contemporaries. Dimensions of this model included a length of 5.35 meters, a height of 2.3 meters and a wingspan of 7.1 meters. Empty weight was 368 kilograms against a MTOW of 625 kg. Maximum speed reached 200 kilometers per hourand mission endurance was 2.5 hours.
The S.XV/3 then arrived with a lengthened fuselage to help work out control/stability issues and this variant flew sometime in January 1918. Still not perfected, the series evolved to include the S.XV/4 which installed the Rhone engine of 170-180 horsepower but appears to have only been worked on into late-April / early-May 1918.
By the time of the S.XV/5's arrival in 1919, the war was over (November 1918) and some additional work was conducted on the aircraft to serve in the air-racing role as there proved little need for a new biplane fighter in the post-war period. The S.XV/5 was developed into a pair of flyable prototypes and these were heavily modified from their wartime forms, carrying Le Rhone engines of 80 horsepower and featuring seating for two. At least one of these went to French Ace Rene Fonck.
Any available statistics for the SPAD S.XV Biplane Fighter Prototype 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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (124mph).
Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
Graph showcases the SPAD S.XV/2's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.