Nieuport 17 Fighter
Designed by Gustave Delage and incorporating ideas from Eduoard Nieuport and Franz Schneider, the Nieuport 17 was part of a series of designs beginning with the Nieuport 11 (Baby) and continuing through the postwar Nieuport 29. The Nieuport 17 reached the front lines in March 1916 and quickly replaced the Nieuport 11 in French service. Because it was superior to all British fighters at that time it was also ordered by the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. The Nieuport 17 was the premier fighter plane of the time, equipping all of the French fighter squadrons in 1916. It easily out climbed and outperformed its main opponent the Fokker E.III. In fact it was so successful that the design was copied by the Germans as the Siemens-Schuckert D.I. The Nieuport 17 was designed to combine the best features of the monoplane and the biplane by adopting a sesquiplane configuration for better visibility and lower drag and by grouping the pilot, fuel, engine and guns into a small area. Unfortunately the narrow lower wing was weak due to its single spar construction and had an unfortunate tendency to disintegrate in high speed dives. By the end of 1917 the Nieuport 17 was outclassed by the latest German fighters and it was generally withdrawn from the front lines. It continued to fly as a trainer during and after the war. It was flown by many of the great allied aces including W. A. Bishop, Albert Ball, Philip Fullard, Billy Bishop and Charles Nungesser. The Nieuport 17 was flown by Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russian Empire, Siam, The Soviet Union, Ukraine, United Kingdom and The United States. It was armed with one synchronized Vickers .303 cal. machine gun. This model shows a Nieuport 17 flown by French 45 victory Ace Charles Nungesser in March 1917.