The aircraft is of great interest to present-day aero historians and modelers; many consider it to be the most elegant fighter design of the War. It was the first fighter aircraft to serve with the US military.


The Nieuport 28 descended from a line of successful fighter aircraft developed by Société Anonyme des Établissements Nieuport during WW1, however it was not as well received as it forebears.


The French Air Force preferred the SPAD. The US Air Service, recently arrived in France and desperate for suitable aircraft, adopt the Nieuport 28 and took it into battle.


The Nieuport 28C1 was first officially test-flown in June 1917. The lightweight Nieuport 28 biplane fighter was noted for its excellent maneuverability, easy handling, good visibility, high rate of climb, excellent glide ratio, and low landing speed.


The main features of the Nieuport 28 were its fully faired fuselage, two-spar upper and lower wings of unequal chord and braced by parallel interplane struts, fully elliptical wing tips, and ailerons on the lower wing.


Wartime production Nieuport 28 fighters were armed with twin .303 Vickers machine guns or guns modified to fire the 11 mm tracer cartridge intended for setting observation balloons alight.


The US Air Service was the only air service to employ the Nieuport 28 in combat.


Post War

The post war production Nieuport 28A (an advanced trainer for the US Air Service), replaced the Vickers machine guns with twin American-built Marlin .30-06 calibre guns and added a bomb carrier capable of dropping four Cooper Mark II-B bombs. Other modifications were made to improve performance and safety.



There are over seventeen original and replica Nieuport 28s in museums and private collections today. The author of “The Nieuport 28: America’s First Fighter”, Theodore Hamady, was the project researcher during the five-year restoration of the example display at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center.
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Powered by a 160 hp Gnôme rotary engine, the Nieuport 28 achieved:
• Speed: 122 mph at 6,560 feet and 115 mph at 13,120 feet
• Rate of Climb: 5.5 min. to 6,560 feet and 14 min. to 13,120 feet
• Service Endurance: One and one half hours
• Ceiling: 19,000 feet

The complete history of the development and service of the Nieuport 28 is covered in the book

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Prototype N.28

First Nieuport 28 prototype. One of four development


Contemporary dimensioned drawing of the production Nieuport 28

Contemporary dimensioned drawing of the production Nieuport 28