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Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 19 Jan 20, Sunday
Random information on the term “SPAD”:
SPAD (Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés) was a French aircraft manufacturer active between 1911 and 1921. Its SPAD S.XIII biplane was the most produced French fighter airplane of the First World War.
The company was set up in 1911 as Aéroplanes Deperdussin, becoming the Société de Production des Aéroplanes Deperdussin in 1912. Its founder Armand Deperdussin (born 1867) had been a travelling salesman and a cabaret singer in Liège and Brussels, before making his fortune in the silk business. Deperdussin became fascinated by aviation in 1908, and in 1909 he established an aircraft works at Laon. Deperdussin himself was not a designer, but he hired the engineer Louis Béchereau (1880–1970) as technical director. Béchereau was responsible for Deperdussin and SPAD aircraft designs thereafter.
The first Deperdussin aircraft was an unsuccessful canard, but their next aircraft, the Type A, was an immediate success, and led to a series of closely related monoplanes. Similar to the Nieuport IV and Morane-Saulnier G, this was a popular layout before the First World War. The Deperdussin TT was a considerable export success, and 63 were built by the Lebedev company in Russia and others at Highgate in London by the British Deperdussin Company. From 1911 onward Deperdussin produced aircraft at a new factory at Grenelle, in the suburbs of Paris.