Bleriot-SPAD 51


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Bleriot-SPAD 51

Designed by Andre Herbemont and of generally similar configuration to the Type 41, the Bleriot SPAD 51 had fabric-covered metal wings and a wooden monocoque fuselage, power being provided by a 420hp Gnome- Rhone Jupiter nine-cylinder radial. The first prototype, the Type 51-1, was flown on 16 June 1924, a second modified prototype, the Type 51-2, following on 18 March 1925. Powered by a Jupiter IV and carrying an armament of two 7.7mm MAC (Vickers) guns in the upper wing, the Bleriot SPAD 51-2 was ordered for the Polish air arm, the Lotnictwo Wojskowe, 50 being delivered during 1925-26. A further prototype, the Type 51-3, with an improved propeller, flew on 7 September 1926, this offering a 12km/h speed superiority and improved ceiling over the 51-2. On 30 August 1928, the final derivative of the basic model flew, this being the Type 51-4 with a special 600hp version of the Jupiter. Ten production Type 51-4s were completed, one being sold to Turkey and another to the Soviet Union, these having provision for two fuselage-mounted Vickers and two wing-mounted Darne machine-guns, and a 420hp Jupiter 9Ab.

W.Green, D.Swanborough "The Complete Book of Fighters", 2000

Bleriot-SPAD 51A three-view drawing (1680 x 1240)

 ENGINE1 x 420hp Gnome & Rhone 9Ab Jupiter
  Take-off weight1360 kg2998 lb
  Empty weight990 kg2183 lb
  Wingspan9.47 m31 ft 1 in
  Length6.45 m21 ft 2 in
  Height3.10 m10 ft 2 in
  Wing area24.27 m2261.24 sq ft
  Max. speed245 km/h152 mph
  Cruise speed225 km/h140 mph
  Ceiling8850 m29050 ft
  Rate of climb444 m/min1450 ft/min
 ARMAMENT2 x 7.7mm

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