Société Pour L’Aviation Deperdussin and Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés

The Société Pour L’Aviation Deperdussin was founded in 1911 by businessman Armand Deperdussin (1867-1924) and engineer-designer Louis Béchereau.  It produced some remarkably advanced aircraft in the years before and during the early part of World War I, pioneering the use of hard-shell fuselages built of wood monocoque, in which sheets of wood impregnated with water and glue was warped over a form to create a smooth, streamlined shell.  These were the highest performance aircraft of the pre-1914 era and were almost unbeatable in air races of that time.

Deperdussin declared personal bankruptcy in 1913 and the assets of his company were bought by Louis Blériot and others, who renamed the company Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés so that they could keep using the acronym SPAD while eliminating Deperdussin’s name.  SPAD produced some of the best and most famous French fighter aircraft of World War I, used not only by France but also by Britain, the United States, Italy, and several other countries.

SPAD and its successor Blériot-SPAD produced a few aircraft types after World War I, but none of them was a great success.  The company gradually disappeared and was gone by 1926.

Deperdussin aircraft

SPAD S.VII

SPAD S.XIII

SPAD S.XVI