Spad SXI A2


Spad SXI A2 Sp 28




Single engine two-seat reconnaissance aircraft

 The Spad S.XI A2 was a twin seat development of the Spad (Socit anonyme Pour l'Aviation et ses Drivs) S.VII C1 fighter. As of March 1918 an estimated 40 Spad XI A2's replaced the war weary Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters and the R.A.F. RE.8's of the Belgian Air Service. Main Belgian Spad S.XI operators were: N 4 Squadron (Zebra) based at Hondschoote, N 5 Squadron (Swallow) based at Bray-Dunes (F.) and N 6 Squadron (Bee) based at Houtem. A number of these Spad's were also used by N 2 and N 7 Squadrons (along their Breguet XIV's). The Spad S.XI A2 was a very popular aircraft among its crews as its top speed at 3.500 meters was higher than even that  of the Sopwith Camel fighter and equalled that of the Hanriot HD.1. As such these Spads  were more than a match for the German fighters. Belgian King Albert I also favoured the Spad XI in which he flew several missions over the front. In the summer/fall of 1918 two Spad S.XI's were continuously reserved for flights with King Albert and for that reason three pilots (Crombez, Stampe and Ledure) were assigned as personal pilots to his majesty, thus creating the nucleus of what would become the Royal Flight". It was a Spad S.XI A2 crewed by Adjudant Joseph Wittewrongel and Lieutenant Yvon Van Thornburg which flew the last war mission of the Aviation Militaire Belge on November 11th, 1918. After the First World War the Spad S.XI also served at Bockum (Germany) with N 4 Squadron as part of the post war occupying forces but by 1925 the type was withdrawn from operational service having been replaced by the Ansaldo A.300-3 and -4. (Daniel Brackx)

Picture   Belgian Serial Date In Date Out History
Sp-1 1918 - N 4 Squadron (Zebra)
Sp-11 1918 Oct 1918 N 4 Squadron (Zebra), Shot down on 3 Oct 1918
Sp-13 1918 - N 4 Squadron (Zebra) Bockum (Germany)
Sp-16 1918 - N 4 Squadron (Zebra) Bockum (Germany)
Sp-17 1918 - N 6 Squadron, Houtem
Sp-19 1918 - N 4 Squadron (Zebra)
Sp-28 1918 - N 4 Squadron (Zebra) Bockum (Germany)
Sp-38 1918 - N 4 Squadron (Zebra) Bockum (Germany)
The crew Rondeau & Mesmaekers in front of their Spad Spad SXI of the 4th Observation Squadron
Spad SXI A2's Sp6 and Sp17 together with Sopwith Camel Sc11 and Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter S10 in early 1918.







Last updated 26/03/15 07:48   Daniel Brackx