GARY L. SMITH COLLECTION
No. 11915. Nieuport 28 (N4434) French Air Force
Charles Donald Photo No. R-14

Nieuport 28

05/15/2013. Marking the final abandonment by Gustave Delage of the V-strutted sesquiplane configuration, the Nieuport 28 was an elegant fighter of conventional biplane configuration with parallel interplane struts. Powered by an 150 hp Gnome Monosoupape 9N rotary, the type was initially fitted with a single 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers gun.

The pictured prototype was flying in June 1917 with 'dièdre total' (pronounced dihedral) on the upper wing, an abbreviated cabane and no dihedral on the lower wing. At least one other aircraft was flown with this configuration. The upper wing arrangement proved unsuccessful, and, in mid-October, the aircraft was tested with a raised upper wing from which dihedral was eliminated.

This arrangement was, in turn, superseded a month later by a compromise which retained the wing position but adopted 1.5° dihedral for the upper wing, and this was standardized for production. The single-gun armament was deemed inadequate and a second Vickers gun was attached to the fuselage portside.

The type was not adopted by the French forces, but it was acquired for the American Expeditionary Force, which received 297 from March 1918. Unpopular for its tendency to shed its wing fabric at high speeds or during high-g maneuvers, the Nieuport 28 was found to be no match for the Fokker D.VII and was withdrawn after four months of unsatisfactory service. Twelve were acquired by the USN, fiteen by Switzerland and a few by Greece.

Created May 15, 2013