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SPAD S.XII

France (1917)
Picture of SPAD S.XII Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The cannon-armed SPAD S.XII was produced in only 300 examples with many of these reserved for experienced pilots.


Detailing the development and operational history of the SPAD S.XII Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 11/20/2015. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

French flying ace Georges Guynemer pushed the idea of a cannon-armed fighter plane after his experiences in aircraft such as the SPAD S.VII. This led the Societe Pour l'Aviation et ses Derives (SPAD) company to develop such a system. The follow-up design came to be known as the S.XII (or S.12) and featured a 37mm cannon along with its standard single machine gun armament.

Externally, the SPAD S.XII looked every bit as a further development of the SPAD S.VII model. Due to the extra weight imposed on the airframe by the new cannon armament, the fuselage was lengthened over that of the S.VII. A Hispano-Suiza engine was once again used by SPAD and consisted of the 8Bc or 8Bec types, each offering 220 horsepower. What made the 8Bec unique was that the 37mm cannon could be nestled between the cylinder banks. Subtle changes to the wings were also necessitated by the increase in weight.

First flight for the SPAD S.XII was achieved on July 5th, 1917 with limited production examples following. The system proved a handful for the inexperienced but lethal in the hands of a proven military aviator. As the cannon system extended into the cockpit, the aircraft was not controlled through a traditional flight stick. Additionally, reloading the cannon while flying the plane added another responsibility while in-flight. The standard single 7.7mm Vickers machine gun remained a part of the offensive toolbox for the S.XII, a carry-over from the S.VII design.

Though the cannon-mounted SPAD S.XII's initially proved successful, they really required an experienced pilot at the controls of both aircraft and armament. With more and more resources being dedicated to the already proven S.VII and S.XIII designs, the S.XII was limited to a mere 300 production examples and, as such, the system never equipped an entire unit. In any case, the idea of a cannon-armed aircraft was intriguing and perfected to the extreme in the Second World War and beyond.

Like the SPAD S.VII before it and the SPAD S.XIII after it, the SPAD S.XII was designed by Louis Bechereau.

Any available statistics for the SPAD S.XII 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 (126mph).

    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.XII'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
300
300


  * 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: 1917
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Societe Pour l'Aviation et ses Derives (SPAD) - France
Production Units: 300
Global Operators:
France; Imperial Russia; Serbia; United Kingdom; United States; Yugoslavia
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the SPAD S.XII model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
21.00 ft


Meters
6.4 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
26.25 ft


Meters
8 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.37 ft


Meters
2.55 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,294 lb


Kilograms
587 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,947 lb


Kilograms
883 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hispano-Suiza HS 8Bc engine developing 220 horsepower OR 1 x Hispano-Suiza HS 8Bec engine developing 220 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
126 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
203 kph


Knots
110 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
217 mi


Kilometers
350 km


Nautical Miles
189 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
22,474 ft


Meters
6,850 m


Miles
4.26 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,090 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
332 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm Vickers machine gun

Some with HS 8Bec engines featured a 1 x 37mm Puteaux cannon mounted between the cylinder banks.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Variants: Series Model Variants
• S.XII - Base Series Designation