Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Nieuport Monoplanes

Nieuport I
Édouard Nieuport was the owner of a small company which produced ignition components for the automobile industry, he became involved with aviation through working on the electrical equipment of Henri Farman's Voisin biplane. In 1908, along with brother Charles, he started constructing their first aircraft, a small single-seat monoplane powered by a 20 hp (15 kW) Darracq engine and succeeded in making some brief straight-line flights in it during 1909, but the aircraft was destroyed in the floods which struck Paris in January 1910.

In 1911 the brothers introduced the Nieuport II. It was noted for the extreme simplicity of its design and the finish exhibited in its structure.
The little Nieuport looked quite modern, with its monoplane design, all-inclusive streamlined fuselage. The pilot and passenger sat close together, with only their heads and shoulders visible above the fuselage, essentially a modern cockpit for the day.

It had a joystick controlled rudder plus elevator tail unit, while foot pedals operated the wing warping for lateral control, the pedals moving a torque tube which ran diagonally backwards to the rear v-strut of the undercarriage, where the warping wires were attached.
The wheeled undercarriage consisted only of three V’s of steel tube, of streamline section, connected to a single longitudinal skid, thus diminishing drag to a noteworthy degree.
A variety of engines were experimented with before the Nieuport brothers developed their own 2-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. Later versions of the Nieuport II were fitted with various radical engines.

On May 12 of 1911, Édouard , sets the recognized absolute speed record of 74.415 mph in a monoplane powered by a 28-hp engine. On June 16, he will push the speed record to 80.814 mph.
In September tragedy struck and Édouard was killed in a crash while demonstrating his aircraft to the military.

The company was then purchased by Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe, a famous supporter of aviation development. The name was changed to Société Anonyme des Établissements Nieuport. Charles Nieuport stayed on as chief designer and development of the existing designs were continued. Charles would die in a crash landing barely a year later on, January 24, 1913.

The Nieuport monoplane gave birth to several versions ending with the 
They would remain in production into 1914 with many used as a trainer during World War One by French flying schools.

Nieuport III

Nieuport IV

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