Please contribute and help the
Golden Age Air Museum achieve its goal of completing this aircraft.
courtesy of Alan D. Toelle
The 13th Aero Squadron’s insignia, the “Oscar” , is a
skeleton with exposed ribs.In
keeping with the rib theme, the museum is offering a “Sponsor a
Wing Rib” program.Sponsor
a wing rib for $100, and the funds will be used directly for the
construction of the aircraft. The SPAD XIII features 100 wing ribs.
Cost of materials is expected to exceed $25,000, and of course the
labor for the build will be all volunteer. The donors’ names will
be permanently part of the SPAD’s legacy, a flying time capsule.
is a wing rib?
rib, in this case made out of wood, is airfoil-shaped and many of
them together give a wing its aerodynamic shape.The ribs are constructed individually and then slid on to the
wood spars. The final appearance is much like a ladder and its
rungs.The wing is then
fabric covered for flight.
choose a method of payment below, check or Paypal, and follow the
a rib details
For a $100 minimum contribution the donor will receive
The donor’s nameand
town will be affixed to a single wing rib. The inscription may be a
The donor may come out to the museum and sign the rib
personally. If that is not possible we will do it.
A photograph of the completed rib installed in the wing.
A certificate showing a top view of the aircraft and the
location of their sponsored rib.
All donations are considered charitable contributions and
are federal tax deductible.
Mail in the completed application
with your payment.
Card / Paypal
(2) Vickers .303
In late 1916, French WWI ace Georges
Guynemer lobbied for an improved version of the successful but
quickly outdated SPAD VII fighter.The Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés developed the
SPAD XIII and it first flew on April 4, 1917. The XIII featured a
geared Hispano-Suiza 8B 220 horsepower engine.With a water cooled V-8 engine the aircraft had a unique
sleek appearance that featured a radiator with cooling shutters
just aft of the propeller.The
construction was all wood with wire and turnbuckle bracing.They were produced by many different manufactures across
France and featured subtle differences between manufacturers.The color schemes were multicolored green and brown
camouflage from the factories and then personal markings were
applied by the pilots.
Many pilots became aces while flying the SPAD XIII.The aircraft that the museum is recreating was flown by
Charles J. Biddle, commander of the 13th Aero Squadron,
the Grim Reapers. The squadron insignia, which was painted on the
sides of all of the aircraft, was called the “Oscar” and was a
skeleton swinging a scythe. Each pilot displayed a different
number on their aircraft for identification, Biddle’s aircraft
carried the number "0" to signify that he was the
The project underway in the
workshop will offer a true and correct outward appearance as the
original, but it will differ significantly internally.The wood and wire braced fuselage is being replaced with a
lighter and stronger welded steel type.An original Hispano-Suiza engine is very difficult and
expensive to obtain so a more modern Continental O-470 six
cylinder 230 horsepower engine was acquired.The aircraft will be much more reliable than the original
and will be very capable of flying to away locations very safely.The goal for completion is for it to fly by the spring of