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Spad VII

Copy of 'Vieux Charles,' the 1916 Spad VII of French ace Georges Guynemer, landing at Olde Rhinebeck Aereodrome, Rhinebeck, New York, September 15, 2013.

Copy of 'Vieux Charles,' the 1916 Spad VII of French ace Georges Guynemer, landing at Olde Rhinebeck Aereodrome, Rhinebeck, New York, September 15, 2013. © 2013 John M. Shea

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Vieux Charles



Old Charles

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Established in 1911 as Aéroplanes Deperdussin, the Société de Production des Aéroplanes Deperdussin went through bankruptcy and emerged as the Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés, the latter two company names both having the acronym S.P.A.D.

The Spad V had official trials in May, 1916, but became operational with the Spad VII. The Spad VII first saw service on September 2, 1916 with Escadrille N.3 which received two planes, the second going to Georges Guynemer.

The Spad VII was superseded by the Spad XIII, which was based on the Spad VII, but was a larger, more powerful plane. It entered service in May 1917.

By the end of the war, nine French companies had built close to 8,500 of the planes.

Engine: 150hp Hispano-Suiza 8Aa water-cooled V-8

Armament: single fixed forward-firing 7.65mm Vickers machine gun

Spad VII is an aircraft: single-seat scout plane.