In 1920, the Nieuport-Delage Ni-D 29 was the fastest airplane in the world. Designed by the Nieuport firm for the French Aviation Militaire in 1918, the Ni-D 29 appeared too late for combat in WWI. Following its record-breaking performance in the 1920 Gordon Bennett Trophy race, when it flew 168 miles per hour, it was adopted by several air forces: France, Sweden, Japan, Spain, and Belgium. Overall 1180 were manufactured, just over half of those license-built in Japan, designated as the Ko-4. Continue reading
This late variant of Nieuport’s biplanes was used mainly by American pilots, notably Eddie Rickenbacker, the French having switched over to Spads.
The Type 28 looked quite different from the earlier Nieuports: it had a longer, rounded fuselage; it dispensed with the sesquiplane configuration (and the associated V struts); and it had rounded, not angular wingtips. A very distinctive feature was pair of machine guns mounted on the port side cowling, the only aircraft so equipped by any country. (Detail photo from Airminded.net.) Continue reading
The most successful of the Nieuport biplanes of WWI, flown by the French, British, Americans, Italians, and Russians. Often referred to in contemporary sources as the “15 meter” Nieuport (based on its total wing surface). Continue reading
78 miles per hour!
In 1911, at the third competition for the Gordon Bennett trophy in Eastchurch, England, an American aviator, Charles Weymann, won the cup while flying an extraordinary new monoplane – the Nieuport II. With an overall speed of 78 MPH, but allowing for turns, he must have done around 90 miles an hour on straightaways. This airplane was small, but fast, fast, fast, a style which would serve its successor biplanes well in WWI, starting with the Nieuport 11. In comparison to the lumbering Wright & Curtiss biplanes of the day, the little Nieuport looks quite modern, with its monoplane design, streamlined fuselage, wheeled landing gear, rudder + elevator tail unit, and tractor propeller. Continue reading