Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 1: S.P.A.D. S.VII Scout


Data current to 28 Dec 2020.

The SPAD S.VII Scout was the first of a series of highly successful biplane fighter aircraft produced by the 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.


S.P.A.D. S.VII Scout flown by Canadian Captain William S. Stephenson, ca. 1917.  (RAF Photo)

S.P.A.D. S.VII Scout (Serial No. A8798).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390913)

S.P.A.D. S.VII Scout (Serial No. B9913), British built version.  (SDA&SM Photo)  

 (Author Photos)

S.P.A.D. S.VII Scout (Serial No. B9913), (103), CF-RFC.  The Canada Aviation and Space Museum's SPAD was built in England in 1917 by Mann Egerton and Company Limited.  Its British service history is unknown, but in 1918 it was transferred to the United States for use in the Army Air Service. Colonel J. B. Jarret, who operated a museum at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, obtained the SPAD in 1932 from aviation junk dealer Arrigo Balboni of California.  Balboni claimed that the aircraft had been featured in the motion picture Wings (1927).  From 1949 until 1964, the Spad passed between the hands of several private owners.  From 1964 onward, it was displayed and flown at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, until this Museum purchased it in 1965.  The Museum has restored the Spad on numerous occasions: little of the original woodwork remains.  (CA&SM)