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Capt Biddle's SPAD XII Ca.1 by yankeedog Capt Biddle's SPAD XII Ca.1 by yankeedog
During WWI, several specially equipped SPAD XII Fighter planes were built with 37 MM cannons that fired through the propellor shaft. The design had several faults including noxious gas that filled the cockpit after firing the cannon. Another problem was that the cannon was a single shot and had to be reloaded by hand after each shot! Couple that with the violent energy of the recoil, the stress of aerial combat and the speed of the plane, this was no easy task. Still, if you hit your target, it was destroyed. SPAD "0" was the only Ca.1 in the American Air Service, it was originally intended for the American Ace David Putnam, but when Putnam was KIA over the front, the machine was given to his friend Capt Charles J. Biddle, CO of the 13th Aero Squadron, The Devil's Own Grim Reapers. Capt Biddle found the SPAD XII Ca.1 37 mm cannon difficult to operate, but stated that "if a shot ever hits a Hun, he might as well say his prayers...".

Capt. Biddle had 7 confirmed victories (10 probable) in WWI flying first with the Escadrille N. 73, then with Lafayette Escadrille and later with the 103rd Aero Squadron U.S.A.S. and the 13th Aero Squadron U.S.A.S. where he was CO, he eventually ended the war as CO of the 4th Pursuit Group.

SPAD: Societe pour l'Aviation et ses Derives - Society for Aviation and its Derivatives

Adobe Illustrator 8.0, Apple G4 Power Mac, OS 9.2.
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:iconstilgar:
stilgar Featured By Owner May 25, 2007  Professional General Artist
LOVE your work... I copy your info on the vector as a partial history of the planes and people... Love it.
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner May 25, 2007  Professional General Artist
Thanks! There is usually a bigger picture behind my illustrations, I kind of feel the need to tell the story in words as well.
-YD
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:iconmasterofpointillism:
MasterOfPointillism Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2007
Are you sure he flew with the Lafayette Escadrille? I just got done reading a lenghty book on the sqaud and I don't remember his name at all .....
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2007  Professional General Artist
Yes, I'm sure. [link] He wasn't one of the founding members of the Lafayette Escadrille, but Capt Charles J. Biddle served in both N73 and N124 of the French Air Service before transfering to the US Army Air Service. I believe he had one confirmed victory. He didn't become an Ace until he commanded the 13th Aero Squadron. He ended the war with 7 confirmed victories. Biddle wrote an excellent book about his service in WWI called The Way of the Eagle, sometimes reprints of it turn up on Ebay for a reasonable price, I think I paid about $18 for my copy. First editions of the book are pretty expensive.
-YD
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:iconmasterofpointillism:
MasterOfPointillism Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2007
Thanks for the link! I wonder why they don't meantion Bert Hall? Have you read his book, One Mans War? Most of it is full of B.S., but it is fun to read from his point of view ...
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2007  Professional General Artist
You're welcome. That's odd, I know Bert Hall wasn't the most popular with his fellow aviators, but he did walk the walk and talk the talk, it must be an oversight. They have James Norman Hall listed. I'll have to pick up Bert Hall's book. If you are interested in WWI aviation, there is a cool web site called The Aerodrome [link] that is a wealth of information. If you ever see a book by Leighton Brewer called "Riders of the Sky", pick it up. It's pretty rare, but from time to time a copy turns up. It's an epic "poem", but don't expect something light & rhymey, it's a harsh tale of life with the Devil's Own Grim Reapers of the 13th Aero Squadron. I have a few passages in the description of this deviation: [link]
-YD
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:iconmasterofpointillism:
MasterOfPointillism Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2007
I found it on Amazon, but that's about it ...
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:iconluigibrasile:
luigibrasile Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2006
You could publish a book with your great aircraft images, compelte with your excellent captions!
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks Luís! I would love to do a book someday, that would be cool! My dad keeps telling me I should do one.
-YD
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:iconfirefox446:
FireFox446 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
great job i like it :salute:
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks! :-)
-YD
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:iconjojomercury:
jojomercury Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
I especially like the frame and colors in this image Don.Lovely work mate and how about those Steelers.The wearing of the Black and Gold has begun.
Peace&Respect Jojo
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks Jojo! That was a hell of a game! The STEELERS are on a roll, ya gota love the underdog.
-YD
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:iconscarredwolfphoto:
ScarredWolfphoto Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
great work and interesting history as always :D

Buzz - :salute:
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks Buzz! I just updated the image, check it out.
-YD
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:iconscarredwolfphoto:
ScarredWolfphoto Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
great work and interesting history as always :D

Buzz - :salute:
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks Buzz! :-)
-YD
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:iconkhizarmalik:
khizarmalik Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
do you do these vectors as a hobby? or are you getting commission for these? all in all, these are great! lovin' the detail on the exhaust!
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks! Yes and no. Some are commissions and some are just for fun. This is for a poster I did for the 13th Bomb Squadron. [link] New information became available, so I redrew the SPAD and plus my skills have improved a bit since I first drew Capt Biddle's SPAD for the poster over 4 years ago. I've been working on the poster for 5 years now and every time I think I'm done, something new pops up. Here is a link to a web site that shows the presentation of the poster to the new CO, Lt Col Tom Bussiere of the 13th Bomb Squadron at Whiteman AFB last September [link] The photos were taken by my friend Jack Heyn [link] Note too, I designed the main gear door graphics on the 13th's B-2 Stealth Bombers.
Thanks again for the comment!
-YD
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:iconkhizarmalik:
khizarmalik Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
oh wow! great stuff! you must enjoy what you do;)

Khizar
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:iconkenpoist:
kenpoist Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006
Again Don quality work, not to mention another history lesson, one filled with interesting details.
Thanks for the lesson. :) :clap:
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks Buff! Check out the updated image.
-YD
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:iconkenpoist:
kenpoist Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2006
Beautiful work Don.
Thanks for sharing your talent with us. :)
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:iconxyphid:
xyphid Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
very very nice
shadowing is fucking cool
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:iconyankeedog:
yankeedog Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
-YD
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