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Nieuport 28C-1

21 October 2011

Nieuport 28C-1

Ironically, although the USA first demonstrated controlled flight under power (thanks to the Wright Brothers) the nation went to war in WW I with an inexcusable technological disadvantage behind France, Great Britain and Germany (also thanks to the Wright Brothers). So, when the Army went to war it bought foreign designed aircraft, one of which is the aircraft in these images — a French made Nieuport 28C-1 fighter. This is a design by Gustave Delage in 1917 and was the first aircraft to see squadron service in a U.S. armed force. The French air force regarded these aircraft as surplus and were then flying superior aircraft — but the USA court system and lack of leadership by Congress as well as the military placed the USA in a position to accept leftovers. Nonetheless, American aviators flew the unreliable aircraft into combat with zeal while awaiting a better design.

The Nieuport 28C-1 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum — photo by Joseph May

The Nieuport 28C-1 has a rotary engine as well as plywood construction — photo by Joseph May

Although a poor performer at the time of U.S. service, the Nieuport  28C-1 had a nice look — photo by Joseph May

The aircraft in these photos is on display in the U.S. Army Aviation Museum — pasting the museum’s name into the search window and selecting ENTER will bring you to more posts about the museum and its other aircraft.

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