Wings of Honor
Wings of Honor Title Wings of Honor

Dawn Of Aces - Tutorials

Tactical notes on the SPAD VII

by =finn=
DoA Training Staff

The Spad VII is one of the better climbing planes in the game at this point. And unlike its heavier brother the SPAD XIII, (which can climb a bit faster) it is also fairly agile-provided you don’t think of agility in terms of turning with camels. Its zoom climb and reasonably good dive and Energy retention allow it to control a one on one with a camel provided the Spad driver can gain an energy advantage and then hang on to it.


Using a trimmed climb speed of around 70 IAS it can get to from a standing start on the runway to 1000 feet in  about 1 minute; then from 1000-2000 in another 52 or so seconds.

The Camel, by contrast takes around 1:12 to get to 1000 from a standing start and over a minute to get from there to 2000. In practical terms, this is not enough of an advantage to allow the spad to run away in a flat climb out. Nor is it easy to spiral up and away from a camel.


Almost every plane in the game outturns the spad, and few of them lose more energy in  vertical manuevers. Minimum speed for a vertical or oblique manuever is around 100 ias, but any such move is best done at around 110. It is best to  use low  G turns in the vertical,  pulling just hard enough to keep the  bogie in view, preferably using the the back and left view and then shifting to the side up or up views as you reach the top of  your manuever. Keep the speed up. It is  unwise in a Camel  filled environment to let the Spad get lazy over the top. I prefer to make left hand manuevers in the oblique because  neither the Camel nor the DRI are at their best in  hi angle left hand  oblique manuevers.

To be successful in a 1 on 1 versus a camel, it is necessary to start with 3 advantages. First, you must have vertical separation. I like to start with about 800 yards or better. Too much separation and you can wind up blowing  off E and having to back off in your dive attacks. Still, too much is better than too little.

Always try to engage with a vertical separation of 800-1000 yards and make slashing yo yo attacks always trying to maintain that separation after each pass.  Never turn more than 1/4 turn in a tracking shot and be very conscious of how much speed you are  burning off. Remember, start above him, roll your nose onto the bandit, looking  down, and ROLL to track him. If you keep your speed at 110 or so, (and that's not hard to do  in a dive) your roll performance will be good, and even a Camel can't turn faster than you can roll.  You should be able to roll onto his path and get a brief tracking shot. Remember, the word of the day here is BRIEF tracking shot. You don't have to ping him every pass, just keep him turning and unable to build up the E to climb up and kill you.

Patience is not just a virtue in the Spad, its a requirement. Avoid using pure half loops. Try to keep the manuevers  from getting too slow at the top. Always keep one eye on the situation around you … be alert for other enemies  who may join the fight. In the spad, you have a slight speed advantage in level flight, and you can exit the fight  with reasonable safety provided you do it with vertical separation between you and the immediate enemy and before  any others get within  say, d8. Remember, leave the party before they can get between you and home. The spad simply is not enough faster to fly through a pack of camels and leave them  far enough behind  fast enough to be safe.

If you find the camel is avoiding you and sucking you lower, then at the  top of the next vertical  do not yo yo down but rather start as  tight and hard a climbing turn up to the left as you can. As long as you have vertical separation at the start of this spiral in the range of  500 or so, you should be able to use the Spad's slight climb advantage to both get the camel slower and lugging in a climb and increase the separation. Once you have a safe amount of air between you and the bogie you can reassess the situation and either extend .. if it looks like he has friends coming in, or start attacking again.

When Fighting a DRI the task is  quite bit simpler. Starting with D5 separation at  minimum - and D8 is better-  I simply start a left hand max rate  spiral climb and wait for the DRI  to either go away or stall   out trying to get a shot at me. Its a simple Rope a Dope situation. You can also, if you see his E state get quite low…ie: he is well below you, nose high and lugging a bit- reverse direction and spiral right. The idea is to make him try a move he lacks the energy to complete. Ideally, he will keep after you, never realizing his E state is getting into the danger zone and eventually spin never quite getting the shot he thought he was a second away from having. But be careful. Mainatin SA. if you see cons within range 20 and they appear to be close to co alt and moving fast… start looking to egress in a shallow max speed climb towards home or the nearest friendlies. As long as you can keep all of the enmies in sight and all of them safely below you, you can rope em all. :)

However, remember, if you blow off too much E trying to force a shot once you think you have the triplane at a disadvantage, you are very likely to wind up back in the tower. Patience, timing and accurate shooting pay off in the Spad VII.   The  single most important thing to know in the SPAD is WHEN to get out of  Dodge.

The Spad is the most difficult plane in the game in which to chase a good kill/death ratio. Its under-gunned, only marginally faster than the camel and although sturdier than any other plane can still easily exceed its structural limits in a high G manuever or prolongued dive.

On the other hand, there is no kill as satisfying as that of a Camel from your Spad VII :)


Standing start runway, stop watch started with throttle up.
0-1000 1.0 minutes
0-2000 1 minute 51 seconds.

Roll rate at level top speed.
left aileron roll, no rudder 10 seconds
right aileron roll, no rudder 10 seconds

Roll rate at 100 ias (indicated air speed)
left 11.9 seconds
right 13.2

As you can see, roll performance falls off dramatically as speed drops.

Once you are down to 100 ias or less, don't roll without using co-rudder and a nose down attitude.

Turn Performance:

Left hand turn, sustained 14.8 seconds for 360 degrees.
left hand turn, instantaneous 11.4 seconds.
Right hand turn, sustained 12.8 seconds for 360
Right hand instantaneous 11.4 seconds for 360.

An instantaneious turn is the down starting from level flight and pulling one hard  turn,  slightly nose down.  I had to guess at corner velocity, but essentially what i did was trim for full throttle level flight  and then do a single slicing 360 as hard as I could allowing  E to bleed off.

A Sustained rate turn is done neither gaining nor losing alt.. When speed bleeds off to the minimum at which the turn is still possible you have established the sustained turn rate.

Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on your setup.

A perfectly calibrated stick setup, with no spiking will naturally yield better turns than a less adequate stick setup.

DoA Training Staff