|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Bleriot|
The last fighter design of Andre Herbemont to bear the SPAD appellation, and intended to participate in the 1934 fighter competition, the Bleriot SPAD 710 was a single-seat, single-bay biplane embodying a number of interesting features. Of all-metal construction with a duralumin monocoque fuselage and an 860hp Hispano- Suiza 12Ycrs 12-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled engine, it had a proposed armament of one engine-mounted 20mm cannon, four wing-mounted 7.5mm machine guns and one aft-firing 7.5mm gun in the rear fuselage. Furthermore, the Bleriot SPAD 710 embodied inward-retracting main undercarriage members, a completely enclosed cockpit with aft-sliding canopy and a V-type or "butterfly" tail assembly. The initial flight took place in April 1937, and, on 8 June, 300km/h was exceeded in level flight with the undercarriage extended. A week later, on 15 June, tail flutter developed at an altitude of only 200m and the aircraft crashed, killing the pilot, Louis Massotte. Further development was then abandoned.
W.Green, D.Swanborough "The Complete Book of Fighters", 2000
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