Aéroplanes Deperdussin became Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) in 1912 with the talented engineer Louis Béchereau (1880 – 1970) as technical director. Béchereau was responsible for Deperdussin and SPAD aircraft designs thereafter. The S.XIII was a derivative of S.VII as a single engined biplane of mainly wooden construction and fabric covering but was larger and heavier. Two Vickers machine guns and 400 rounds per gun replaced the single gun of the earlier aircraft. It was powered by a geared Hispano-Suiza engine giving 200 hp (150 kW) but later 220 hp (160 kW) but these were unreliable. These improvements gave improvement in flight and combat performance. It was faster than its main contemporaries, the British Sopwith Camel and the German Fokker D.VII, and its relatively higher power-to-weight ratio gave it a good rate of climb. The SPAD was renowned for its speed and strength in a dive, although the manoeuvrability of the type was relatively poor and the aircraft was difficult to control at low speeds. By the end of the War, the S.XIII had equipped virtually every fighter squadron of the Aéronautique Militaire in existence. The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and United States Army Air Service also procured the type in bulk during the conflict.