The Nieuport 17 incorporated a dimensionally larger airframe and biplane wing assembly while retaining the same general single-seat layout. Additionally, a more powerful engine was utilize for improved performance at altitude - this being a Le Rhone 9J series 9-cylinder rotary engine of 110 horsepower. The airframe, therefore, could reach speeds of 110 miles per hour and fielded an endurance of nearly two hours while being able to fight at altitudes reaching 17,400 feet. Rate-of-climb was listed at 9,800 feet within 12 minutes.
Outwardly, the Nieuport 17 following along the lines of accepted World War 1 fighter design. The engine and wing arrangement were all set well-ahead in the layout, the engine powering a simple two-bladed wooden propeller in a "puller" configuration. The upper and lower wing assemblies were of uneven span utilizing "V-struts". Such a wing development was traced back to the sesquiplane arrangement on the original Nieuport 10 racer which essentially identified a lower wing assembly that was decidedly smaller than the upper assembly. The wings were completed with single-bays so only a single instance of the V-strut support was apparent to either side of the fuselage. The engine compartment was covered over in a rounded metal cowling which was well-integrated into the boxy fuselage constructed primarily of canvas and wood. The open-air cockpit was situated behind and under the upper wing assembly. The fuselage tapered off at the aft end to which a single, shallow rounded vertical tailplane was fitted as well as a pair of horizontal planes. The undercarriage was fixed and consisted of two landing wheels set about a reinforced structure with a tail skid at the rear. This arrangement gave the Nieuport design a noticeable "nose-up" appearance when at rest. Such aircraft were also called to operate from rough airfields and did so under many circumstances during the war.
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