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.
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.
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 IV.
They would remain in production into 1914 with many used as a trainer during World War One by French flying schools.
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