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Nieuport 28


Biplane Fighter Aircraft


France | 1918



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

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Gnome 9N 9-cylinder air-cooled rotary engine developing 160 horsepower.
Propulsion
123 mph
198 kph | 107 kts
Max Speed
17,388 ft
5,300 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
217 miles
350 km | 189 nm
Operational Range
855 ft/min
261 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
21.3 ft
6.50 m
O/A Length
26.8 ft
(8.16 m)
O/A Width
8.2 ft
(2.50 m)
O/A Height
1,047 lb
(475 kg)
Empty Weight
1,323 lb
(600 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Nieuport 28 Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
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
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Nieuport 28 family line.
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.


Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/15/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

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.

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Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Nieuport 28. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 300 Units

Contractor(s): Societe Anonyme des Etablissements Nieuport / Liore et Olivier - France
National flag of Argentina National flag of France National flag of Nicaragua National flag of Switzerland National flag of the United States

[ Argentina; France; Nicaragua; Switzerland; United States ]
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