Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Olham

Nieuport 28

Recommended Posts

NIEUPORT 28 First fighter craft for the American pilots

 

The Nieuport 28's principle claim to fame is that it was the first aircraft to see service with an American fighter squadron.

 

Design and development

By the middle of 1917 it was obvious that the Nieuport 17 was unable to cope with the latest German fighters, and that

direct developments of the 17, such as the Nieuport 24bis. were unable to offer a substantially improved performance.

In fact, the Nieuport was already being rapidly replaced in French service with the SPAD S.VII.

 

The Nieuport 28 design was an attempt to adapt the concept of the lightly built, highly maneuvrable rotary engined

fighter typified by the 17 to the more demanding conditions of the times. It was designed to carry an up-to-date armament

of twin synchronized machine guns, had a more powerful engine, and a new wing structure – for the first time a Nieuport

biplane was fitted with conventional two spar wings, top and bottom, in place of the sesquiplane "v-strut" layout of earlier

Nieuport types.

The tail unit's design closely followed that of the Nieuport 27, but the fuselage was much finer, in fact it was so narrow that

the machine guns had to be offset (*) to the left.

 

Operational history

By early 1918, when the first production Nieuport 28s became available, the type was already "surplus" from the French

point of view. The SPAD S.XIII was a superior aircraft in most respects, and was in any case firmly established as the

standard French fighter.

 

On the other hand, the United States Army Air Service was desperately short of fighters to equip its projected "pursuit"

(fighter) squadrons. The SPAD was initially unavailable due to a shortage of Hispano Suiza engines – and the Nieuport

was offered to, and perforce accepted by, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), as an interim alternative.

A total of 297 Nieuport 28s were purchased by the Americans, and they were used to equip the very first American fighter

squadrons, starting in March 1918. All together, four AEF "pursuit" squadrons flew 28s operationally, the 27th, 94th, 95th

and 103rd Aero Squadrons.

On 14 April 1918, the second armed patrol of an AEF fighter unit resulted in two victories when Lieutenants Alan Winslow

and Douglas Campbell (the first American-trained ace) of the 94th Aero Squadron each downed an enemy aircraft. Several

well known WWI American fighter pilots, including Quentin Roosevelt, the son of US president Theodore Roosevelt, as well

as American aces like the 26-victory ace, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, began their operational careers on the Nieuport 28.

 

[Picture: Rickenbacker with his Nieuport 28 – note * offset guns]

 

On the whole the type was not a success, however. Although very maneuverable and easy to fly, its performance turned out to

be mediocre and its engine unreliable. More seriously, the mixed plywood/fabric skinning of the wings proved problematic – the

fabric which covered the rear portion of the wings tending to "balloon" and become detached from the plywood leading section.

Although a solution to this problem was speedily found, the operational Nieuports in American service were replaced with SPADs

as soon as sufficient of the latter became available. This process was complete by the end of July 1918.

 

 

Got this text fro English Wikipedia (hope they got their facts right here); I shortened it a little.

Photograph Rickenbacker borrowed from Wikipedia

Photograph Nieuport in flight: Michael Fast - borrowed from www.flugzeuginfo.net

Nieuport shemes borrowed from www.flugzeuginfo.net

Edited by Olham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post Olham. I enjoyed reading it while I had my morning coffee.

 

I have some great virtual memories of the N28. I flew it extensively in RBII/3D. It was a solid fighter in both offline and online play and I enjoyed the American campaigns I flew with it. It couldn't turn nearly as fast as the German fighters I came up against, but if I could somehow get them in my sights, I could drop them pretty quickly with those duel Vickers machine guns. I seemed to have better accuracy with the one machine gun mounted off to the side. I never understood why, but I always enjoyed toasting a target with my Nieuport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning coffee? At 03:22 PM? Unbelieveable... (Lol!)

 

Thanks, but again: it's Wikipedia info, not mine (but who would nowadays have 1. hand info).

I'm really wondering, if the Nupe 28 could have been WORSE than flying a SPAD.

The Nieuport looks so beautifully shaped, and they said, she was more manoeuverable; she had

two Vickers - was she really so bad, or was she just a victim of the decisions made after those

wing failures? I tried the SPAD several times now, but there's not much for turning - very much

boom and zoom; and the DVIIs beat me up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Morning coffee? At 03:22 PM? Unbelieveable... (Lol!)

 

Thanks, but again: it's Wikipedia info, not mine (but who would nowadays have 1. hand info).

I'm really wondering, if the Nupe 28 could have been WORSE than flying a SPAD.

The Nieuport looks so beautifully shaped, and they said, she was more manoeuverable; she had

two Vickers - was she really so bad, or was she just a victim of the decisions made after those

wing failures? I tried the SPAD several times now, but there's not much for turning - very much

boom and zoom; and the DVIIs beat me up.

 

 

from what i red from rickenbackers book the first couple days or weeks they didn't have any guns at all. they had to fly just to being present. according to his book the wing failures happend quite often. sometimes fatal, sometimes it happend to the same pilots 2 or 3 times within the time. to himself at least once. some even refused to make missions as long as the spad didn't arrive or the wing failure is sorted out. the nieuport 28 would have never seen the front if the americans didn't join and would have own aircraft. but they had to use what was available. otherwise she would have been dismissed as a failure like so many aircraft before we have never heard of. it was for a short period rickenbacker flew the one and only spad in his squadron till the rest arrived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I searched quite a bit and finally found this link: http://www.airminded.net/n28/n28.html

 

From the readings (different sites) there were between 4 to 6 wing failures

All of them were in 94th and 95th Squadrons

When Spad replacements came, these 2 squads were eager to get them

The other 2 squadrons, 27th and 147th, were described as heartbroken and called it a catastophe

 

To my mind the N.28 has always been the tainted plane

Every article starts out "American's 1st combat aircraft ...plagued by wing failures"

Even though;

The problem was fixed by Summer of 1918

The USAS still ordered 600 more at the end of the war

They remained in USAS service (and others) into the 20's

All that is said is "wing failures"

 

The Camel is generally considered WWI's most succesful AC and flown right to the end

This and the Snipe prove rotaries weren't obsolete yet

The N.28 with it's excellent manueverability, climb, and good speed, still had useful service life in it

Most probably the descision was made to switch to Spads and the brass just weren't gonna change it

 

The N.28 did have many engine problems though

The Gnome Monosoupe's problems are detailed pretty well

 

As you no doubt can tell this is my favorite WWI bird

Olham's right, she is cute, but a real performer too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen the N.28 described as "the most beautiful scout" of the war. I can see why-- it had very clean, smooth lines on the whole. It's a shame it had problems around the edges. I'm convinced if it was given a more reliable engine and better construction techniques right from the start, it could have been a first class dogfighter. I think it's one of those planes that never fully got to its potential. It would be nice to add this to the trifecta of v-strut Nieups. I think it suffered from relegation behind the Spad XIII from the start and was never given a real chance to live up to its potential.

 

(In RB2 and 3d online this was the go-to plane for allied pilots, along with the Sopwith Camel/Snipe. We flew it almost exclusively in US94th under Maj. Clay, since the RB3d Spads could be real pigs in the air. I scored most of my RB3d online competition kills in an N.28.)

Edited by SirMike1983

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NIEUPORT 28 First fighter craft for the American pilots

Several

well known WWI American fighter pilots, including Quentin Roosevelt, the son of US president Theodore Roosevelt, as well

as American aces like the 26-victory ace, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, began their operational careers on the Nieuport 28.

 

Quentin Roosevelt, of course, famously lost his life in one. SirMike probably has a point, the N28 never got its chance. Still think it's aesthetically unpleasant looking though... too long for the narrowness of the fuselage. But I like the 'quirkiness' of the gun placement - forced on it by the narrowness of the design, IIRC... and I've always liked 'quirky'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know, Dej - look at her from above: beautiful!

 

(Picture: thanks to www.callie-graphics.com)

Edited by Olham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't know, Dej - look at her from above: beautiful!

 

(Picture: thanks to www.callie-graphics.com)

 

So beautiful I'm thinking of asking her out! :biggrin:

 

The N28 is probably my favorite WWI aircraft - I just love that goofy MG arrangement! Also, I've had a thing for "almost but not quite" successful combat aircraft, or planes that were overshadowed by more famous models. The Short Stirling & the P-40 are a couple of my other faves, though from the WWII era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the side, she looks a bit 'nosy' perhaps. That Swedish N.29 is looking great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am not sure, but i think in the old movie "dawn patrol" they were flying nieuport 28s as far as i can remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooner or later, it should find it's way into BHaH, as the Americans flew it, and they don't have

any choice yet. I could imagine, that this craft would have been really good after the solving of

that wing problem, but was by then already overrun by decisions made.

I'd like to experience the craft. And if the wing failures where really only in some 4 occasions,

maybe they could be made like after the problem solved? Shouldn't a manoeuverable fighter

be fun, as a contrast to the b/z SPAD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This picture (Olham's above) really shows the 28's design philosohy the best

post-46143-1246100780_thumb.jpg

Big Engine (relatively)

Lithe Slim Fusalage saves weight and improves aerodynamics

Thin Wings for speed

Big Balloon Rudder for manueverability

 

She'll be a nice addition

Can't imagine her not being a real performer

So what if the top wing sheds it's canvas

I believe all the pilots survived without crashing (ailerons were on the lower wings)

It'll make for some harrowing stories in the Reports Sticky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..