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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 47 : Spad XII/XIII Aces of World War I

This book details the exploits of the pilots who flew the hugely successful SPAD XIII and the trickier SPAD XII. Built in response to the combat inadequacies of the SPAD VII, the SPAD XIII featured the Hispano-Suiza 8B engine of 200 hp, which greatly boosted the French scout's performance. Dubbed the 'geared SPAD' due to the arrangement of its powerplant, the XIII bore a striking resemblance to the VII, but was larger overall. The first examples entered service with the French Aviation Militaire in late 1917, and by 1 April of the following year, 372 had been delivered. Despite being handicapped by engine unreliability, the XIII enjoyed great success on the Western Front, being flown by numerous French, American, Italian and Belgian aces, including Eddie Rickenbacker, leading US ace of World War 1. Over 7500 SPAD XIIIs were built. The SPAD XII was a limited production (300) fighter which embodied numerous improvements over the SPAD VII, including the spur-reduction gear Hispano-Suiza engine. Entering service in July 1917, the aircraft boasted a single-shot 37 mm Puteaux cannon, which had to be hand-reloaded in flight! Tricky to fly, the XII was only issued to experienced pilots, and was flown briefly by a number of aces. Text and illustrations by John Guttman.

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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