Nieuport 17

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Nieuport 17

Nieuport 17 Biplane History
Introduced during WW1 in 1916, the French Nieuport 17 fighter was a single seat biplane of wood and canvas construction. Many of the allied air forces acquired this aircraft and in consequence many well known Allied fighter aces of the era flew this fighter plane in combat, these included Albert Ball V.C., Billy Bishop V.C. and Mick Mannock V.C.

Nieuport 17 Fighter Design
This WW1 fighter did have one obvious weak point in it's design, the lower wing was smaller and weaker than the upper one. Therefore when violent manoeuvres were undertaken the lower wing could break, collapse, or even fall off. This apparent design fault must be taken in context as there was an inverse link between mass and agility. Reinforcing the wings made the aircraft slower and less agile and therefore more likely to loose an aerial combat.

Many types of fighter aircraft were lost due to structural failures in WW1, including this one; sadly it was one of the problems pilots had to face as an occupational hazard. There was little time to develop, test and evaluate new biplane fighters due to the necessities of war.

Nieuport 17 Fighter Performance
This WW1 fighter was highly maneuverable, and possessed an excellent rate of climb. It's performance enabled the Allies to end the so called "Fokker scourge" with the assistance of the British Airco DH.2 fighter. The Fokker Eindecker which had achieved such aerial dominance for the Germans had finally met it's equals.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of this aircraft have been available in the market place.

Nieuport 17 Biplane Specifications:

Nieuport 17 Wing Span:
8 m (26 ft 9 1/4 in)
Nieuport 17 Length:
5.8 m (19 ft)
Nieuport 17 Height:
2.4 m (7 ft 10 1/2 in)
Nieuport 17 Empty Weight:
375 kg (827 lb)
Nieuport 17 Gross weight:
560 kg (1,235 lb)
Nieuport 17 Maximum Speed:
165 km/h (102 mph)
Nieuport 17 Service Ceiling:
5,300 m (17,390 ft)
Nieuport 17 Range:
249 km (155 mi)
Nieuport 17 Engine:
Single 110/130 hp Le Rhone 9Jb rotary engine

Nieuport 17 Armament:

Single Vickers 0.303 in machine-gun firing through the propeller arc
or a 0.303 in Lewis gun mounted "over-wing". Occasionally both guns were fitted but were found to adversely affect the fighters performance.
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Modified 2018