Niueport 11
Bébé "1916"

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Nieuport
Designer Gustave Delage
Introduction 5 January 1916
Status retired
Primary users Aéronautique Militaire (France)
Corpo Aeronautico Militare (Italy), Imperial Russian Air Service
Variants Nieuport 16

 

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Niueport 11
Bébé "1916"

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Niueport 11 Bébé "1916"

The Nieuport 11 (or Nieuport XI C.1 in contemporary sources), nicknamed the Bébé, was a French World War I single seat sesquiplane fighter aircraft, designed by Gustave Delage.[1] It was the primary aircraft that ended the Fokker Scourge in 1916.[2] The type saw service with several of France’s allies, and gave rise to the series of “vee-strut” Nieuport fighters that remained in service (latterly as trainers) into the 1920s. The Nieuport 11 was a smaller, simplified version of the Nieuport 10, designed specifically as a single-seat fighter. Like the “10” the “11” was a sesquiplane, a biplane with a full-sized top wing with two spars, and a lower wing of much narrower chord and a single spar. Interplane struts in the form of a “Vee” joined the upper and lower wings. The sesquiplane layout reduced drag and improved the rate of climb, as well as offering a better view from the cockpit than either biplane or monoplane, while being substantially stronger than contemporary monoplanes. Unfortunately, the narrow lower wing was sometimes subject.

Design

he Nieuport 11 reached the French front in January 1916, and 90 were in service within the month.

This small sesquiplane outclassed the Fokker Eindecker in every respect, including speed, climb rate and maneuverability. It featured ailerons for lateral control rather than the Fokker’s wing warping, giving lighter, quicker roll response, and its elevator was attached to a conventional tail plane which provided better pitch control as opposed to the all-moving, balanced “Morane type” elevators of the Fokker.

The Fokker’s sole remaining advantage was its synchronized machine gun, which fired forward through the arc of its propeller. At the time, the Allies lacked a similar system, and the Nieuport 11’s Lewis machine gun[note 1] was mounted to fire over the propeller, allowing uninterrupted forward fire. The Lewis was not synchronizable, due to its open bolt firing cycle design which resulted in an unpredictable rate of fire. Clearing gun jams and replacing ammunition drums in flight were challenging though, and the drums limited ammunition supply.

Operators

  • Belgium
    Aviation Militaire Belge
    France
    Aéronautique Militair
    Sezione Nieuport
    Netherlands
    Luchtvaartafdeling (1 example captured, and 5 copies built by NV at Trompenburg)
    Romania
    Corpul Aerian Român – 28 aircraft transferred from RNA

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Niueport 11 Bébé "1916"

Variants
Nieuport 11 C.1
Single-seat fighter/scout biplane. Also known as the Nieuport Bébé or Nieuport Scout although these were used for any Nieuport fighter.
Nieuport-Macchi 11000 or 11.000
Variant built under licence in Italy with some detail modifications.
Nieuport 16 C.1
Improved version powered by a 110 hp (92 kW) Le Rhone 9J rotary piston engine.

 Crew: 1
Length: 5.500 m (18 ft 1 in)
Height: 2.400 m (7 ft 10 in)
Empty weight: 320 kg (705 lb)
Gross weight: 480 kg (1,058 lb)
Undercarriage Track: 1.600 m (5 ft 3.0 in)
Powerplant: 1 × Le Rhône 9C nine-cylinder, 60 kW (80

Maximum speed: 162 km/h (101 mph, 87 kn) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft)
Range: 250 km (160 mi, 130 nmi)
Endurance: 2.5 hours
Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,000 ft)
Time to altitude:
8 minutes 30 seconds to 2,000 m (6,600 ft)
15 minutes 25 seconds to 3,000 m (9,800 ft)

1 × .303″ Lewis or Hotchkiss machine gun
8 × air to air Le Prieur rockets for use against observation balloons

Specifications

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

Survivors and reproductions the Musée de l'Air at le Bourget in Paris has the sole original surviving Nieuport 11, currently marked as N556 with the personal markings of Commandant Charles Tricornot de Rose, holder of the first military pilot licence. It had previously been marked as N976.