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Bleriot-SPAD S.510 Aircraft Information

Bleriot-SPAD S.510

SPAD S.510

Manufacturer: Blériot-SPAD
First flight: 1933
Introduction: 1936
Primary user: French Air Force
Number built: 61

The Blériot SPAD S.510 was the last French biplane fighter to be produced.


Conceived in 1930, this clean, open-cockpit biplane first flew in 1933 and entered service in 1936. Performance was similar to the British Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Fury. The S.510's armament generally consisted of 4 machine guns (installed as either a combination of 2 engine-mounted guns, plus 2 in under-wing gondolas or with all 4 in under-wing gondolas) this gave it a much heavier attack capability than many earlier biplane fighters and parity with the final biplane-types employed by the British and Italians - e.g. the Gladiator and Falco.

The S.510 was doomed to obsolescence before it even flew. Though at the time it was designed, many pilots and experts strongly believed that biplanes would prove better fighters than monoplanes because of their tighter turning circles.

Largely overshadowed by the faster Dewoitine D.510 monoplane, an order of 60 planes was secured in August 1935 when French ace pilot Louis Massot demonstrated the S.510 to excellent effect showing its superior maneuverability and rate of climb.

Despite its strengths, the S.510 only enjoyed about a year of utility. A decent fighter for 1936, it was quickly overshadowed by the new, modern monoplanes developed by Germany, England, and France. It had fixed landing gear as well as a weak fuel system and undercarriage.

Operational history

The S.510 entered service in early 1936, being assigned to the GC I/7 in May 1937 and the GC II/7 in July, 1938. They were intended as transition aircraft between the Morane-Saulnier MS-225 and the Morane-Saulnier MS-406 and served in the Weiser Circus, a military acrobatic group. Upon the outbreak of World War 2, the S.510 served in reserve squadrons only. The metropolitan reserves were mobilized into the II/561 based in Havre-Oteville. From January 18, 1940 over a period of weeks, the S.510s were replaced with Bloch MB.151 aircraft, the groupe changing designation to GC III/10. The displaced S.510s returned to their training role. Approximately ten S.510s had been sent to French North Africa where, by the Battle of France, they were mobilized into a fighter group, the GC III/5, but their age allowed them to be used for training flights only.

Twenty-seven examples were reported delivered to the Spanish Republican Air Force during the Spanish civil war (sometimes the number is 15), but there is no evidence that they were ever actually sent.


S.510.01 - First prototype aircraft.
S.510 - Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs, 4 x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 MGs (60 built)
S.710 - One prototype only

The S.510 saw service with the Armée de l'Air (60), and possibly the Spanish "Escuadrilla Internacional" (15-27?)

Total production (including prototypes): 61



Armée de l'Air

Spanish Republic

Spanish Republican Air Force
Escuadrilla Internacional

Specifications (S.510)

Data from {name of first source}

General characteristics

Crew: one, pilot
Length: 7.46 m (24 ft 5.75 in)
Wingspan: 8.84 m (29 ft 0 in)
Height: 3.72 m (12 ft 2.5 in)
Wing area: 22.0 m² (237 ft²)
Empty weight: 1250 kg (2,755 lb)
Loaded weight: 1830 kg (4,034 lb)
Powerplant: 1x— Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs liquid-cooled V12 engine, 516 kW (690 hp)


Maximum speed: 370 km/h (200 knots, 230 mph)
Range: 875 km (472 nm, 543 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,500 m (34,650 ft)
Rate of climb: 14.85 m/s (2,920 ft/min)


4 x— 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns

Breffort, Dominique & Jouineau, André. French Aircraft from 1939 to 1942
Weal, Elke C., Weal, John A., Barker, Richard F. Combat Aircraft of World War Two

Comparable aircraft

Dewoitine D.510
Gloster Gladiator
Hawker Fury
Heinkel He 51
Fiat CR.42
Boeing P-26

Bleriot-SPAD S.510 Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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