Spartan Executive

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Spartan 7W Executive
Spartan Executive Old Warden 7 Oct 2013 1.jpg
Spartan Executive NC17633
Role Personal luxury transport
National origin United States
Manufacturer Spartan Aircraft Company
Designer Spartan Aircraft Company
First flight March 8, 1936[1]
Introduction 1936
Produced 1936 - 1940
Number built 34
Unit cost
$23,500 USD
Variants Spartan 12W
Spartan Executive at Sun 'n Fun 2006
Spartan Executive at Sun 'n Fun 2006

The Spartan 7W Executive was the most popular and well-known aircraft produced by the Spartan Aircraft Company during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The 7W features an all-metal fuselage as well as a retractable undercarriage. Designed specifically for a wealthy clientele, the 7W Executive was popular with affluent buyers worldwide.[1]

Development[edit]

Designed for comfort, the interior of the 7W was spacious and featured 18 in (46 cm) of slide-back seat room for front-seat passengers, arm rests, ash trays, dome lighting, deep cushions, cabin heaters, ventilators, extensive soundproofing, large windows, and interior access to the 100 lb (45 kg) capacity luggage compartment. Built during the Great Depression, the 7W was the brainchild of company-founder William G. Skelly of Skelly Oil who desired a fast, comfortable aircraft to support his tastes and those of his rich oil-executive colleagues.

The Executive's high performance allowed the aircraft to compete in the 1939 Bendix Air Races piloted by Arlene Davis where it earned fifth place.[2] A military variant of the 7W Executive with a greenhouse canopy covering a tandem cockpit was produced by Spartan with a more powerful 600 hp (447 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine and named the Spartan 8W Zeus.[1]

Notable owners[edit]

Only 34 7W Executives were built. Notable owners of 7Ws included aircraft designer and aviator Howard Hughes, wealthy industrialist J. Paul Getty, and King Ghazi of Iraq. King Ghazi's Spartan Executive was designated "Eagle of Iraq" and was specially outfitted with his Coat of Arms, an extra-luxurious interior, and many additional customized features.[3]

Variants[edit]

Spartan 7X Executive
(aka Standard Seven) First prototype, fitted with a 285 hp (213 kW) Jacobs L-5 radial engine. One built - identifiable by the very small vertical tail.[citation needed]
Spartan Executive
Spartan 7W-P Executive
Second Prototype, indistinguishable from 7W. Sole example exported to China in 1937.[4]
Spartan 7W Executive
Production version powered by a 400 hp (298 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp SB radial engine. 34 built[4]
Spartan 7W-F
A two-seat armed version with two fixed forward firing guns and one flexibly mounted machine gun in the rear cabin, as well as provision for 10 x 25lb bombs on wing racks. One built which was later converted to 7W Executive standard.[4]
Spartan UC-71-SP
Spartan 7W Executives impressed by the US Army Air Corps.[4]
Spartan 8W Zeus
Two seat fighter version.[4]
Spartan 12W Executive
Postwar nosewheel-equipped variant.[4]

Specifications (Spartan 7W Executive)[edit]

Data from [1][not in citation given]

General characteristics

Performance

Military Operators[edit]

 Canada

3 Examples based in Montreal, formerly Royal Air Force examples used in California.[4]

 China

The second prototype was exported to China and serialed 1309. It was damaged beyond repair and captured by the Japanese who displayed it along with other captured Chinese aircraft.[4]

 Spanish Republic

At least one example was received by the by LAPE (Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas) to be used as an airliner marked as EC-AGM until requisitioned by the Spanish Republican Air Force and marked as 30+74. It was later captured by the Nationalists. Several others were purchased by the Republicans but don't seem to have made it past the Mexican docks.[4]

 United Kingdom

1 Example impressed as AX666, was originally built for King Ghazi of Iraq. Used by No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit RAF. 3 Examples with serials KD100, KD101 & KD102 were used in California for flight training.[4][5]

 United States

16 Examples impressed from civil owners. All but two survived to return to civil service.[4][5]

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "American airplanes: Spartan". Aerofiles.com. 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  2. ^ National Air Races
  3. ^ Spartan Executive FS Review & History
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Berry, Peter (1980). "The Spartan Executive" [Research Project 7233]. AAHS Journal (Huntington Beach, CA: American Aviation Historical Society) 25 (Summer): 145–153. 
  5. ^ a b Peek, Chet; George Goodhead (1994). The Spartan Story. Three Peaks Publishing. ISBN 0-943691-16-8. 
  • FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet TC628

External links[edit]