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Spartan 7W Executive
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
$23,500 US$
Variants Spartan 12W

Spartan Executive at Sun 'n Fun 2006

Spartan Executive at Sun 'n Fun 2006

The Spartan 7W Executive was an 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. The 7W Executive was popular with affluent buyers worldwide.[1]


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, 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

Thirty four 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 outfitted with his Coat of Arms, an extra-luxurious interior, and customized features.[3]


Spartan 7X Executive
(also known as Standard Seven) The 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)

Data from [1][not in citation given]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: 3 or 4 passengers
  • Length: 26 ft 10 in (8.18 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 0 in (11.89 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)
  • Wing area: 250 ft² (23.23 m²)
  • Empty weight: 3,400 lb (1,545 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 4,400 lb (1,996 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN3 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 450 hp (336 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 223 knots (257 mph, 414 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 186 knots (215 mph, 346 km/h)
  • Range: 870 nm (1,000 miles, 1,610 km)
  • Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7315 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,080 ft/min (330 m/min)

An Executive 7W arrives for the 2014 Royal International Air Tattoo, England

Military operators


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

 Republic of China (1912–1949)

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.[4]

 United Kingdom

One example (AX666) was built for King Ghazi of Iraq. Used by No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit RAF. Three examples with serials KD100, KD101 and 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


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "American airplanes: Spartan". 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  2. National Air Races
  3. Spartan Executive FS Review & History
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Berry, Peter (1980). "The Spartan Executive". Research Project 7233. Huntington Beach, CA: American Aviation Historical Society. pp. 145–153. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peek, Chet; George Goodhead (1994). The Spartan Story. Three Peaks Publishing. ISBN 0-943691-16-8. 
  • FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet TC628

External links

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