Avro Spider

The Avro 531 Spider was a British fighter aircraft built by Avro during the First World War. It did not proceed past the prototype stage.

Avro Spider
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Avro
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1918
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Avro 2 View

The Spider was a sesquiplane with a largely conventional configuration, but it used Warren truss-type interplane struts, hence the appellation "Spider". In tests, the aircraft demonstrated exceptional performance, handling, and pilot visibility. By the time it flew, the War Office had already selected the Sopwith Snipe for mass production.

A second, refined version, the 531A was apparently never completed, but some of its components seem to have been used to build a derivative design, the 538. This had standard interplane struts and was intended as a racing aircraft. It was never used for this purpose, however, since it was discovered that it had a faulty wing spar, so the Avro firm used it as a hack instead from May 1919 to September 1920.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Avro
Designer Clifton Britt
First flight April 1918
Number built 2

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Length: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
  • Wingspan: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m)
  • Wing area: 189 ft (17.6 m)
  • Empty weight: 963 lb (437 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,517 lb (688 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Clerget rotary, 130 hp (97 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 120 mph (193 km/h)
  • Range: 250 miles (400 km)
  • Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,970 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,250 ft/min (6.4 m/s)


  • 1 x fixed, forward-firing .303 Vickers machine gun

End notes