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Role Fighter
Manufacturer S.P.A.D.
First flight May 1915 [1]
Primary user Roundel of the French Air Force before 1945.svg France
Number built 10 [1]
Variants SA.2, SA.3, SA.4
Engine 80hp Le Rhône rotary
Armament front flexible Lewis
Crew 2
Max Speed 135 km/h (84 mph) [2]
Endurance 2:45 [2]

The pre-synchronizer days led to many innovative ideas to provide a front-firing gun: pushers, top-wing mounts, deflector plates, etc. SPAD chose a unique route in the SPAD SA.1: a hinged pulpit for a gunner attached in front of the propeller of a traditional tractor biplane. The pulpit was hinged at the undercarriage so it could be moved out of the way for engine maintenance. A speaking tube ran from the pulpit through the propeller hub to the pilot, so that the crewman could maintain at least the semblance of communication.

Ten were built before production switched to the improved SA.2.[1]

For more information, see Wikipedia:SPAD S.A.

Miniatures and Models[edit]

Any of the SA models make a fine substitute.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Davilla, p.474.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Davilla, p.478.
  • Dr. James J. Davilla and Arthur M. Soltan. French Aircraft of the First World War. Flying Machines Press, 1997. ISBN 0-9637110-4-0.