Nieuport 17 Fighter History
Introduced during WW1 in 1916, the French Nieuport 17 fighter was a
single seat biplane of wood and canvas construction. Many of the
allied air forces acquired this aircraft and in consequence many
well known Allied fighter aces of the era flew this
fighter plane in
combat, these included Albert Ball V.C.,
Billy Bishop V.C. and Mick Mannock V.C.
Nieuport 17 Fighter Design
This WW1 fighter did have one
obvious weak point in it's design, the lower wing was smaller and
weaker than the upper one. Therefore when violent manoeuvres were undertaken
the lower wing could break, collapse, or even fall off. This
apparent design fault must be taken in context as there was an inverse link between
mass and agility. Reinforcing the wings made the aircraft slower and
less agile and therefore more likely to loose an aerial combat.
Many types of
fighter aircraft were lost due to structural failures in WW1,
including this one; sadly it was one of the
problems pilots had to face as an occupational hazard. There was
little time to develop, test and evaluate new biplane fighters due to the necessities of war.
Nieuport 17 Fighter Performance
This WW1 fighter was highly
manoeuvrable, and possessed an excellent rate of climb. It's
performance enabled the Allies to end the so called "Fokker scourge"
with the assistance of the British Airco DH.2 fighter. The Fokker
Eindecker which had achieved such aerial dominance for the Germans had finally met
models, model kits and plans of this aircraft have been available in
the market place.
Nieuport 17 Biplane Specifications:
Wing Span: 8 m (26 ft 9 1/4 in)
Nieuport 17 Length: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Nieuport 17 Height: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 1/2 in)
Nieuport 17 Empty Weight: 375 kg (827 lb)
Nieuport 17 Gross weight: 560 kg (1,235 lb)
Nieuport 17 Maximum Speed: 165 km/h (102 mph)
Nieuport 17 Service Ceiling: 5,300 m (17,390 ft)
Nieuport 17 Range: 249 km (155 mi)
Nieuport 17 Engine: Single 110/130 hp Le Rhone 9Jb rotary engine
Nieuport 17 Armament:
Single Vickers 0.303 in
machine-gun firing through the propeller arc
or a 0.303 in Lewis gun
mounted "over-wing". Occasionally both guns were fitted but were
found to adversely affect the fighters performance.