Evolution of The Nieuport Fighter
The Nieuport 23 in French Service
The Nieuport 23 in Belgian
The Nieuport 23 was a fighter aircraft produced in France during the First World War. It was a development of the Nieuport 17 intended to address structural weakness of the earlier type, and most were produced with a lighter version of the Le Rhône 9J engine that powered the Nieuport 17, offering a better power-to-weight ratio. Internally, the main difference between the Types 17 and 23 was a redesigned wing spar in the upper wing. This, however, did not prove satisfactory, and when the fighter displayed an unacceptably high accident rate due to shedding its wings in flight, the Général chef du service aéronautique ordered that either additional reinforcement be added to the wings or that the type be withdrawn from service. One hundred and fifty new sets of wings were ordered to keep the type flying.
External differences included better streamlining of the forward fuselage and a synchronized machine gun mounted on the upper fuselage and firing through the propeller disc. Nieuport 23s ordered for Britain's Royal Flying Corps nevertheless were fitted with machine guns that fired over the top of the upper wing, in the way that the Nieuport 17 had been armed.