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Blériot-SPAD S.61

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Blériot-SPAD S.61

S.61
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Blériot, and CWL/PZL under licence
Designer André Herbémont
First flight 6 November 1923
Primary users Polish Air Force
Romanian Air Force
Number built ca. 350, plus 30 built under licence in Poland

The Blériot-SPAD S.61 was a French fighter aircraft developed in 1923. Designed by André Herbémont, the S.61 was a conventional biplane, abandoning the swept upper wing used by Herbémont in several previous designs. The prototype S.61 was evaluated by the French Air Force alongside the S.51 as a potential new fighter, but like its stablemate, was rejected. The Polish Air Force (which had also purchased the S.51) was impressed enough to order 250, as well as purchase licences for local production. The Romanian Air Force also ordered 100 aircraft. About 30 were built in Poland, by the CWL (Centralne Warszaty Lotnicze - Central Aviation Workshops, a predecessor of PZL).

Operational history

Apart from their military service, S.61s were used in France for racing and record-setting attempts. On 25 June 1925, Pelletier d'Oisy won the cross-country Coupe Michelin in an S.61, and another of the type won the 1927 race and was placed second in the 1929 race. An S.61 was also used by Jean Callizo in his fraudulent attempt on the world altitude record that saw him stripped of his Légion d'Honneur. A Polish S.61 placed second in the Capitaine Echard race at the Zürich aerial meeting in 1927.

The S.61 (known in Poland simply as Spad S.61) had a poor reputation in Poland due to numerous crashes, many attributed to a weak wing mounting. During the period from 1926 to 1931, 26 pilots were killed while flying the S.61.[1]

Variants

S.61/1
prototype for French evaluation, powered by a 320 kW (430 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew W-12 engine with supplementary supercharger.
S.61/2
production version for Poland and Romania, powered by a 340 kW (450 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew W-12 engine with supplementary supercharger.
S.61bis
converted S.61/2, powered by a 320 kW (430 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew W-12 engine with supplementary supercharger.
S.61/3
single machine with reduced wingspan, powered by a 320 kW (430 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew W-12 engine with supplementary supercharger.
S.61/4
single machine with a 360 kW (480 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ee W-12 engine
S.61/5
three machines with a 340 kW (450 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Gb W-12 engine
S.61/6
racer prototype converted from the S.61bis, powered by a 320 kW (430 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew W-12 engine with supplementary supercharger.
S.61/6a:single racer
S.61/6b:The S.61/6a converted with extra fuel tankage for the 1924 Coupe Michelin race
S.61/6c:single aircraft built to contest world airspeed record; destroyed in the attempt
S.61/6d:single aircraft built for unsuccessful attempt on world airspeed record
S.61/7
Powered by a 340 kW (450 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb W-12 engine, with Rateau supercharger for world altitude record attempt
S.61/8
A single S.61/5 refitted with a 370 kW (500 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Hb V-12 engine.
S.61/9
single S.61/6d modified for 1929 Coupe Michelin race, powered by a 170 kW (230 hp) Lorraine 7Ma Mizar radial engine.
S.61 Ses
(Ses for Sesquiplane) This was the final version of the Bleriot S.61, fitted with seaquiplane wings, powered by a 340 kW (450 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb W-12 engine. (1 built).

Operators

 Poland
  • Polish Air Force
    • 2nd Fighter Regiment
    • 3rd Fighter Regiment
    • 4th Fighter Regiment
    • 11th Fighter Regiment
 Romania
 Soviet Union

Specifications (S.61/2)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Length: 6.98 m (22 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.57 m (31 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 29.3 m2 (315 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1,055 kg (2,326 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,565 kg (3,450 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew, 336 kW (450 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 227 km/h (141 mph)
  • Range: 603.5 km (375 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,605 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 6.9 m/s (1,360 ft/min)
Armament
  • 2 × fixed, forward-firing .303 Vickers machine guns
  • See also

    Related lists
    • List of Interwar military aircraft

    References

    • Taylor, John W. R., and Jean Alexander. "Combat Aircraft of the World" New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 68-25459 (Pg.129-130)
    • aviafrance.com


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