The SPAD S.VII was the first of a series of highly successful biplane fighter aircraft produced by Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) during the First World War. Like its successors, the S.VII was renowned as a sturdy and rugged aircraft with good climbing and diving characteristics. It was also a stable gun platform, although pilots used to the more manoeuvrable Nieuport fighters found it heavy on the controls. It was flown by a number of the famous aces, such as France's Georges Guynemer, Italy's Francesco Baracca and Australia's Alexander Pentland.

When America entered the war in 1917, an order for 189 SPAD VIIs was placed for the United States Army Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force. The first aircraft were delivered in December 1917. Most were used as advanced trainers to prepare the American pilots for the SPAD XIII.

After the war, surplus SPAD VIIs were used into the late 1920s by numerous countries, including Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Greece, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Siam, the United States and Yugoslavia.

General Characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 6.08 m (19 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 7.81 m (25 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.20 m (7 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 17.85 m² (192 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 510 kg (1,124 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 740 kg (1,632 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Hispano-Suiza 8Aa inline engine, 112 kW (150 hp)
  • Performance

  • Maximum speed: 192 km/h (119 mph)
  • Range: 360 km (225 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,335 m (17,500 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 4.5 min to 2,000 m (6,560 ft)


  • 1 x .303-cal. Vickers machine gun