Military Factory logo

Nieuport 28

France (1918)
Picture of Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft Picture of Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft
+ Images
This entry's gallery contains additional pictures.

The Nieuport 28 was the first operational fighter to be fielded by incoming American forces during World War 1.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/15/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Aerial combat in World War 1 (1914-1918) turned into a tit-for-tat affair as technology ruled the latest performance gains for aircraft fielded by both sides. The French concern of Nieuport made a name for itself in the war by producing a line of well-known biplane fighters that began with the early-war Nieuport 11 "Bebe". This fighter, based from a commercial racing plane, allowed for excellent performance and handling during 1915 and helped to end the dreaded "Fokker Scourge" - a period of aerial supremacy held by the Germans. From the Bebe spawned a series of like-minded biplanes built upon agility that eventually culminated with the Nieuport 28 (N.28) of 1918. Like many of the previous Nieuport offerings, this fighter's design was attributed to Gustave Delage.

As supplies of the new SPAD S.XIII were limited for the incoming Americans, the Nieuport 28 was passed on to them - becoming the first operational fighter to be flown by American airmen in the war. The N.28 was the aircraft that spawned the careers of aces like Eddie Rickenbacker (26 kills). Unlike the preceding Nieuport 17 design, the N.28 was handed a more powerful engine in the Gnome 9N rotary of 160 horsepower (over the N.17's Le Rhone 9J of 110hp). All-new wings were also fitted (the upper and lower sections of nearly the same area) as were a pair of fixed, forward-firing Vickers machine guns (the N.17 carried just one machine gun). The V-struts so common to earlier Nieuports were now replaced by a more traditional parallel strut approach which offered increased strength to the upper and lower wing spans. The fuselage took on an ever more streamlined shape from nose to tail - the engine shrouded by a curved metal assembly and the tail unit set at the extremely end of the tapered fuselage. The empennage included a single vertical fin and low-set horizontal planes. The pilot sat under and aft of the upper wing unit. The undercarriage remained fixed with wheels at the main legs and a simple skid at the tail. First flight of this product was recorded on June 14th, 1917.

297 N.28s were ultimately produced - as well as several prototypes beyond these - and a bulk of these served with the Americans. Production was eventually handled by both Nieuport and Liore et Olivier though early deliveries were seen sans their machine guns. The lack of proper armament limited the aircraft to training for the interim. In time, as the required machine guns became available, the aircraft proved went on to make its own legacy as a suitable gunnery platform. The American groups fielding the N.28 were the 27th, 94th, 95th, and 147th Aero Squadrons while a few N.28s made their way into U.S. Navy service where they were launched from USN battleships for over-the-horizon work.

In practice, the N.28s were more maneuverable than the SPAD.XIII series but suffered from being fragile under the stresses of combat. Upper wing elements were particularly prone to losing their fabric in a dive - the dive being a basic defensive maneuver used by pilots throughout the war, the build-up of speed proving the difference between life and death in many confrontations. Nevertheless, the Americans made do with what was given to them and kill-loss ratios were quite good.

Performance from the Gnome 9N rotary - coupled with the airframe's light weight and streamlining - allowed for a maximum speed of 125 miles per hour with a range out to 180 miles. The aircraft's service ceiling reached 17,400 feet with a rate-of-climb to 9,840 feet being 11.5 minutes.

Towards the end of the war, the United States Army looked to purchase 600 of an improved Nieuport 28 model as the Nieuport 28A (N.28A). These aircraft were slated for advanced training work in the American air service but were required to hold combat capabilities if required to strengthen needed stocks. The aircraft were fitted with mountings for American Marlin machine guns and given improved wings and fuel systems. Production of this type was from Liore et Olivier but netted just 170 N.28As of the expected 600 total due to the end of the war. Spares for 100 more aircraft were also part of the final drive.

The Nieuport 28 was one of the wartime aircraft that managed a useful post-war existence. A few governments - Argentina, Greece, Guatemala, and Switzerland - managed a small collection in frontline service while others became museum showpieces and Hollywood props. Amazingly, the last operational Nieuport 28s were released from service in 1930.


Picture of the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).




Cockpit picture from the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Nieuport 28 Cockpit Picture


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (123mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Nieuport 28's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
300
300


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: France
Service Year: 1918
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Societe Anonyme des Etablissements Nieuport / Liore et Olivier - France
Production Units: 300
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Argentina; France; Nicaragua; Switzerland; United States
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Nieuport 28 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
21.33 ft


Meters
6.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
26.77 ft


Meters
8.16 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.20 ft


Meters
2.5 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,047 lb


Kilograms
475 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,323 lb


Kilograms
600 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Gnome 9N 9-cylinder air-cooled rotary engine developing 160 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
123 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
198 kph


Knots
107 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
217 mi


Kilometers
350 km


Nautical Miles
189 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
17,388 ft


Meters
5,300 m


Miles
3.29 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
855 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
261 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 0.303 caliber Vickers machine guns in fixed, forward-firing arrangement over nose OR 2 x .30 caliber M1895 Marlin Machine Guns
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• N.28 - Base Series Designation
• N.28C-1 - Formal Designation
• N.28A - U.S. Army designation for improved Nie.28 fighters to be used as trainers; 2 x Marlin machine guns under the fuselage; revised upper wing element; modified fuel system; 600 on order to be produced by Liore et Olivier; final production numbering 170 examples with spares for 100 more aircraft.