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Bleriot-SPAD S.61 Aircraft Information

Bleriot-SPAD S.61


Manufacturer: Blériot, and CWL/PZL under licence
Designed by: 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.

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 Zx¼rich aerial meeting in 1927.

About 30 were built in Poland, by the CWL (Centralne Warszaty Lotnicze - Central Aviation Workshops, a predecessor of PZL). All S.61 (known in Poland simply as Spad S.61) had very bad opinion in Poland - there were numerous crashes, mostly due to weak wing mounting. In 1926-1931 26 pilots were killed on S.61.


S.61/1 - prototype for French evaluation
S.61/2 - production version for Poland and Romania
S.61-bis - converted S.61/2
S.61/3 - single machine with reduced wingspan
S.61/4 - single machine with Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ee engine
S.61/5 - three machines with Hispano-Suiza 12Gb engine
S.61/6 - racer prototype converted from S.61-bis
S.61/6a - single racer with Lorraine W-engine
S.61/6b - S.61/6a converted with extra fuel tankage for 1924 Coupe Michelin race
S.61/6c - single machine built to contest world airspeed record; destroyed in the attempt
S.61/6d - single machine built for unsuccessful attempt on world airspeed record
S.61/7 - machine with Rateau supercharger for world altitude record attempt
S.61/8 - single S.61/5 refitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Hb engine
S.61/9 - single S.61/6d modified for 1929 Coupe Michelin race
S.61 SES - this was the final version of the Bleriot S.61, it was fitted with redesigned wings. The S.61 SES never went into production.



Polish Air Force
2nd Fighter Regiment
3rd Fighter Regiment
4th Fighter Regiment
11th Fighter Regiment


Romanian Air Force

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 x— Lorraine-Dietrich 12Ew, 336 kW (450 hp)


Maximum speed: 227 km/h (141 mph)
Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,605 ft)
Rate of climb: 6.9 m/s (1,360 ft/min)


2 x— fixed, forward-firing .303 Vickers machine guns

Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 164.
World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 890 Sheet 42.

Bleriot-SPAD S.61 Pictures

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Source: WikiPedia

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