Monday, February 20, 2012

France - 1917 Nieuport 24

The First Round Body Nieuport

In 1917 the Nieuport 17 and the improved N.23 were seen as a dead end. Aviation technology development had rendered it less able to perform as a front line fighter. Gustave Delage took what was learned from previous models and created a new design with a new rounded shape and improvements to make Nieuport aircraft viable again. Even though the new design had some problems it served in several nations well after the end of the Great War.

William Wellman was an American flying with the French Black Cat Squadron. The paint scheme is the standard aluminum finish with the squadron insignia on the fuselage. The numbers on the rudder are missing. The wing roundels are the standard 4 point scheme. I am not sure if the number ten was painted on the upper wing or not. I assume it was not, however I may be wrong.

This example has a four color camouflage pattern. I have not seen references for the wing pattern. The insignia is a not a squadron one, but a personal one chosen by the famous French ace Roland Garros. The rudder markings are just the serial number.

The red rear section adds a lot of sizzle to the standard aluminum finish. The insignia is the late version used by the 501st squadron. The rudder markings include the tare and loaded weights.

This example does not carry the squadron insignia (A circle quarter red and dark blue). However the wide tri-color bands add a lot of visual impact. Sané was flying this plane when he was credited with bringing down a Gotha bomber assigned to Kaghol 1 in 1917.

A Short History of the Nieuport 24

The Nieuport 24 introduced a new fuselage with improved aerodynamic characteristics. Other changes included rounded wingtips, and a tail unit incorporating a small fixed fin and a curved rudder. The tail skid was sprung internally and had a neater appearance than that on earlier Nieuports. Power was provided by a 130 hp Le Rhône rotary engine .

In the event, there were problems with the new tail, most production aircraft of the type were of the Nieuport 24bis model, which retained the fuselage and wings of the 24, but reverted to the Nieuport 17 type tailplane, tail skid and rectangular balanced rudder. The new tail design was finally standardized on the Nieuport 27.

A batch of Nieuport 24bis were built at British Nieuport and General Aircraft Co. in England for the Royal Naval Air Service.

The standard armament of the Nieuport 17 (a synchronized 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers in French service - a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun on a Foster mounting on the top wing in British service) was retained to save weight and retain a good performance, although many 24s were used as advanced trainers and normally flown without guns.

In the summer of 1917, when the Nieuport 24 and 24bis. were coming off the production line, most French fighter squadrons were replacing their Nieuport 17s with SPAD S.VIIs - and many of the new fighters went to fighter training schools, and to France’s allies, including the Russians, and the British, who used theirs well into 1918, due to a shortage of S.E.5as. A few French units retained the Nieuport through late 1917 - the type was actually preferred by some pilots, especially the famous Charles Nungesser.

Some of the Nieuport advanced trainers bought by the Americans for their flying schools in France in November 1917 may very well have been 24s or 24bis.

Both Poland and Russia continued to use the Nieuport 24 into the the early 1920's. There are many examples where the same plane fought on both sides of the Polish Russian War of 1919-1921. In some cases it was due to defection of the pilot, or the aircraft was captured by the opposing side.


  1. Nieuport 24. (2010, July 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10: 18, July 23, 2010, from http: //
  2. Escadrille 501
  3. Nieuport Fighters in Action published by Squadron/Signal Publications.
  4. Escadrille 501
  5. Nieuport Gallery
  6. Bruce, Jack M. More Nieuport Classics. Air Enthusiast, Number Five, November 1977-February 1978. Bromley, Kent, UK: Pilot Press. pp. 14-28.
  7. Cheesman E.F. (ed.) Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War Letchworth, Harletford Publications, 1960 pp. 96-97

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