Spartan’s Aircraft Manufacturing History

spartan college vintage photo of airplane
October 3, 2012
Spartan’s Aircraft Manufacturing History
American Airlines Banner

Not only has Spartan contributed to the evolution of the aviation industry by training highly skilled pilots and aircraft technicians. Spartan has also had a history in manufacturing quality aircraft. The aviation school is the only college in the nation to have also been involved in the manufacturing as well as development of new airplanes.


1927 – Spartan C3-120

Designed and test flown in 1927, the Spartan C3-120 was the first of a series of three-place, open cockpit biplanes produced for flight training schools, sportsmen fliers, and fixed base operators. It was granted approved Type Certificate Number 73 by the Department of Commerce.

Early models were powered with a Walters 120 horsepower engine. Changes were made later in the structure of the airplane to accommodate the 165 h.p. Wright “Whirlwind Five.” These Spartan aircraft were manufactured until 1930.


1928 – Spartan C3-225

Carrying three persons and 40 lbs of baggage, the C3-225 offered greater all around performance, higher speed and a wider cruising range than the C3-165. It was granted A.T.C. Number 286 and mounted the “Whirlwind Seven” with a rated horsepower of 240 at 2,000 r.p.m.

Performance figures approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce were High Speed, 132.7 m.p.h., Landing Speed, 52 m.p.h., Climb, at sea level, 1160 f.p.m., and Service Ceiling, 15,100 feet.


1930 – Spartan C2-60

Quite the airplane for the flying sportsman was this 60 horsepower, two place, open cockpit, low-wing monoplane. It was one of the nation’s early light planes.


1930 – Spartan C2-165

Using the Wright Whirlwind Five 165 h.p. engine, the C2-165 saw considerable service in civilian flying schools as a “blind flying” trainer. Military authorities said low-wing monoplanes were not suitable for pilot training.


1931 – Spartan C4-300

This model was conceived, designed, and built with the idea of producing an airplane embodying five primary qualities; namely, luxury in appointments, highest possible performance, low upkeep and operation costs, controllability, and safety.

The C4 cabin monoplane was manufactured to accommodate engines of 225 h.p. and higher. Ahead of its time in many respects, it was conclusive testimony to the success of Spartan designers and craftsmen.


1935 – Spartan Executive

Powered with Pratt & Whitney 450 h.p. Wasp, Jr., the model 7W “Executive” is a four or five place, closed, low-wing, all-metal monoplane designed in 1934 and first produced in 1935. It has proved exceptionally popular with business concerns and individuals who want air transportation of the high performance class.

The cabin interior was designed for comfort. Both front seats slide back eighteen inches, giving full door opening to both pilots and passengers. Arm rests, ash trays, dome lights, interior and exterior openings to the 100 lb., capacity luggage compartment, deep cushions, cabin heaters and ventilators, sound proofing, and exceptionally large windows for excellent visibility are just a few of the features contained in the Spartan “Executive.”

“The Spartan Executive was a true aviation legend. From an unlikely beginning in a small Midwestern factory during the depths of the Great Depression, it was destined to become one of the most highly regarded planes of that era. Built to the luxurious tastes of the rich oil “Executives”, it rivaled in comfort the most opulent limousines of the day. In performance, it was second to none, cruising at a remarkable 200 miles an hour and with a range of over one thousand miles.” – Taken From The Spartan Story

Even though the Spartan Executive was an aircraft which was created during the years before WWII, its design was replicated repeatedly in postwar aircraft.

Performance: Cruising, sea level, 190 m.p.h.; Landing Speed. with flaps, 57 m.p.h.; Maximum Rate of Climb, 1530 f.p.m.; Cruising Range, 950 miles; Service Ceiling, 22,000 feet; Gross Weight, loaded, 4400 lbs.


1937 – The Spartan Zeus

The Spartan Model 8W “Zeus” was a two place, all-metal, low-wing, military airplane of advanced design when it was produced in 1937. It carried a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine rated at 600 h.p. for take-off, and had a range of 760 miles. All-metal construction insured its ability to withstand severe weather conditions without deterioration.

The Zeus was readily adaptable for use as an advanced trainer, fighter, light bomber, scout, or photographic plane.


1940 – Spartan NP-1

Built in quantity for the United States Navy, the Spartan NP-1 was a biplane primary trainer. The Fuselage was welded chrome moly steel tubing, fabric covered; Wings, Clark Y airfoil section, laminated spruce spars, spruce truss type ribs, aluminum alloy leading edge, fabric covered; Power Plant, Lycoming R-680-B4C, 225 h.p. Former President Bush trained and soloed in this aircraft.

More Latest News

View More News
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram