The Spartan 7W Executive was an aircraft produced by the Spartan Aircraft Company during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The 7W featured an all-metal fuselage as well as a retractable undercarriage. The 7W Executive was popular with affluent buyers worldwide.
Designed for comfort, the interior of the 7W was spacious and featured 18 in (46 cm) of slide-back seat room for front-seat passengers, arm rests, ash trays, dome lighting, deep cushions, cabin heaters, ventilators, soundproofing, large windows, and interior access to the 100 lb (45 kg) capacity luggage compartment. Built during the Great Depression, the 7W was the brainchild of company-founder William G. Skelly of Skelly Oil who desired a fast, comfortable aircraft to support his tastes and those of his rich oil-executive colleagues.
The Executive’s high performance allowed the aircraft to compete in the 1939 Bendix Air Races piloted by Arlene Davis where it earned fifth place. A military variant of the 7W Executive with a greenhouse canopy covering a tandem cockpit was produced by Spartan with a more powerful 600 hp (447 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine and named the Spartan 8W Zeus.
Thirty four 7W Executives were built. Notable owners of 7Ws included aircraft designer and aviator Howard Hughes, wealthy industrialist J. Paul Getty, and King Ghazi of Iraq. King Ghazi’s Spartan Executive was designated “Eagle of Iraq” and was outfitted with his Coat of Arms, an extra-luxurious interior, and customized features.