Built in France by Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (aka SPAD) this single-seat fighter aircraft had a single synchronized Vickers machine gun and was powered by a water cooled V-8, 200 horsepower (150kW) engine which was later improved to 220 hp / 160 kW. Renowned for its speed and strength, especially during a dive, it was faster than the British Sopwith Camel, and more importantly faster than the German Fokker D.VII, but the maneuverability left much to be desired. The Spad had to land with power on unlike contemporary biplanes. Most of the U.S. Army Air Corp squadrons featured Spad IIIs although the US complained the French gave the Americans lower quality engines than they gave to the the French.
If you are ever in Phoenix check out the Spad II painted to represent Frank Luke Jr., the first aviator awarded the Medal of Honor during World War I. Click here to see
This Spad III replica hearkens us back to the era of courageous aces, known and unknown, who were the pioneers of what was to become the greatest Air Force in the world.