Nieuport 28

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Nieuport 28

Nieuport 28 Biplane History
Designed by Gustav Delage and built by the French aircraft company Nieuport, the Nieuport 28 was produced in 1918 as a biplane fighter aircraft. It was an improvement on previous Nieuport models with the more conventional two-spar wings replacing the V-strut, a more powerful engine and twin .303 Vickers machine guns replacing the single machine gun that had previously been fitted. This highly maneuverable aircraft also had a longer and narrower fuselage. The prototype first flew on June 14, 1917. Two variants followed the prototype, with the third aircraft being the model that went into production. The French Air Force preferred to use the SPAD S.XIII, so the majority of the Nieuport 28s were supplied to the United States Army Air Service using the designation 28A. The French aircraft manufacturer Lioré et Oliver took on production of the Nieuport 28A when Nieuport began to concentrate on later models.

The Nieuport 28 Biplane During World War 1
As the Nieuport 28s were supplied without armament, and the American Expeditionary Force had no spare guns to fit to them, the initial aircraft supplied were used for training. As guns became available, some of the Nieuport 28s were fitted with a single gun and used for patrols.

Several defects became evident while this aircraft was being used by the 94th and 95th Aero Squadrons. Solutions were found for collapsing undercarriages and engine fires, however there remained a more serious fault with the structure. When the aircraft was pulled out of a steep dive, the top wing’s plywood leading edge was known to come away and take the wing fabric with it. Towards the autumn of 1918 it was being replaced with the SPAD S.XIII. Twelve of the Nieuport 28s were transferred to the United States Navy for use on eight battleships, where they were flown from platforms that had been mounted above the forward turrets. Each aircraft was
fitted with hydrovanes and wing flotation gear.

The first victories achieved in the Nieuport 28 occurred on April 14, 1918, when 94th Aero Squadron Lieutenants Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow each shot down enemy aircraft. Notable American pilots of the this aircraft included the son of United States President Theodore Roosevelt, Quentin Roosevelt, who was shot down and killed in his plane, and World War 1 flying ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, who was credited with 26 victories.

The Nieuport 28 Biplane Later Years
After World War 1, the Nieuport 28 was used by the Swiss and Argentinean Air Forces, and several appeared in Hollywood movies including: Ace of Aces (1933), two versions of The Dawn Patrol (1930 and 1938) and Men with Wings (1938).

Surviving Nieuport 28s are displayed at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne.

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

Nieuport 28 Biplane Specifications:

Nieuport 28 Crew:
Pilot Only
Nieuport 28 Length:
21ft 4in (6.50m)
Nieuport 28 Wingspan:
26ft 9in (8.16m)
Nieuport 28 Height:
8ft 0in (2.50m)
Nieuport 28 Wing area:
169ft² (15.8 m²)
Nieuport 28 Empty weight:
1,227lb (475kg)
Nieuport 28 Loaded weight:
1,635lb (560kg)
Nieuport 28 Engine:
Single Gnome 9-N rotary, 102kW (160 hp)
Nieuport 28 Maximum speed:
123mph (198 km/h)
Nieuport 28 Range:
180 mi (349 km)
Nieuport 28 Service Ceiling:
17,390ft (5,300m)

Nieuport 28 Biplane Armament:

2 x .303 in Vickers machine guns
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