The SPAD S.XIII was a French biplane fighter aircraft of World War I, developed by Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) from the earlier highly successful SPAD S.VII. It was one of the most capable fighters of the war, and one of the most-produced.

S.P.A.D. XIII camouflage

S.P.A.D. XIII camouflage

During the WW1 service S.P.A.D. XIII has used two or three basic camouflage patterns. First one was all cream where the plane was painted in Ecru color. From the October 1917 new camouflage pattern is introduced with five colors at the top and one or two at the bottom. In order to reduce weight for the fabric surfaces is used cellulose based paint with metal powder mixed in and for the wooden and metal surfaces was used enamel based paints, without metal powder. This given significant appearance and this could be also seen on photos. Research states that 40% of the paint for fabric was metal powder. Bottom surfaces was mostly painted with cream color but with option that metal surfaces was painted in grey (some French sources name that color as Gris Metalise). Top surfaces colors are medium green, dark green, red brown and ochre. As patch was also used black and it does not contain metal powder even it is used over fabric surfaces. Some info indicate that at the end of war some sample was painted in the new color Kaki, overall, but not much images is available.

Srecko Bradic

References
SPAD XII/XIII Aces of World War 1, Jon Guttman, Osprey Publishing Limited, 2002
The SPAD XIII C. 1, C.F. Andrews, Profile Publications No. 17
SPAD 13.C1, J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 32
Project Butterfly, three parts published in Cross and Cockade Journal
Various researched and published materials of Ian Huntley
Vitochart, color chart for French Aeronavale

Special thanks to John Grech and Dan San Abott!