Nieuport 17c.1

Model review

This model is built from Eduard's kit (n:o 8023). The kit offers two planes which French sous-lieutenant Georges Guynemer flew in the summer of 1916. Eduard has also another kit (n:o 8024). This kit offers a plane of the R.F.C. piloted by Billy Bishop or A.S. Shephard.

There were no major faults in the model and detailing was also quite good. One thing that needed correction was the forward struts of the undercarriage which were too long. I noticed it just I had built up the undercarriage. The struts have to make shorter 1,5 mm which makes the appearance of the model much better. In the cocpit I fixed pilots seat by drilling 16 holes to the bottom of it. I also added seatbelts which didn't include to the kit. Above the cockpit there is an opening at the upper wing. It should be covered with transparent panels. Those panels are missing from the kit. I made the panels of clear styrene sheet. I also equipped the opening with four spars which are clearly visible through the panels.

To the bottom of the wooden tail skid I added an "steel" shred which is made of thin aluminium. I added also two fasteners to tail skid made of thin tape. It's good to paint all smaller parts before final assembly. Installation of the upper wing went well although I had feared little of it and also the wing struts fit well after small adjusting.

It's good idea to drill holes for wires before painting. The wires are made of 0,08 mm flagellum which is painted with gun metal. The wires are reeved through the holes and chocked in place with a thin plastic sticks which is dipped in syanoacrylate. Then the additional parts were cut of and the spots were finished with paint.

The decals are for two sous-lieutenant Georges Guynemer planes in Escadrille N.3 in the summer of 1916. The decals are good quality and settled down well. The overall colour of the plane is Xtra-Color X216 Silver added with light grey 1/10 ratio. The cowling is "natural metal" color and is painted with X216 Silver. The tyres are painted with dark grey, which presents better the colour of the rubber than black.

History

Despite their resemblance to previous fighters from the same manufacturer, the Nieuport 17c.1 was an entirely new desing which incorporated experience gained with earlier types and their successful use over the Western Front. The plane was also called as "Nieuport 15s" from their metric wing areas, while the ground troops they were known "Silver Hawks" from the aluminium dope with which most were painted.

The lower "halfwing" of Nieuport 11 was weak and twisted under the stress of combat maneuvers or in a high speed dive. The main spars of Nieuport 17 was strengthened and the construction was made more robust. Nieuport 17 was one of the best and most popular planes during the war.

Among other things Albert Ball, Billy Bishop, Georges Guynemer and Charles Nungesser chose Nieuport for their plane. It was exellent in dogfighting, it has good rate of climb and the pilot had exellent field of vision. The first planes to reach the Western Front were those issued to Escadrille N.57 at the beginning of May 1916 and after a few weeks the R.F.C. got also new planes. The main users were France, England, Russia, Italy and USA.

In the beginning the armament included one Lewis gun mounted on the upper wing, later one cowl mounted Vickers gun in front of the pilot. The plane could also carry Le Prieur rockets which were electricically launched. The best appreciate came from the enemy, captured specimens of all Nieuport aircraft were circulated to German aircraft manufacturers with orders to study the best features of the Nieuport design formula. Siemens-Schuckert doing this so exactly that their D.I aircraft design was little more that a copy of the French machine. The later model, Nieuport 17bis, was equipped with 130 hp Clerget engine.

The Nieuport 17, N1531, was the mount of sous-lieutenant Georges Guynemer in the end of July 1916 in Escadrille N.3. The emblem of the Escadrille was flying stork. The left wing strut bore a pennant with the inscription "Vieux Charles" (Old Charles) as Guynemer liked to refer his mounts. This plane had for the first time his personal number " 2 " on the fuselage. His first successful air to air combat in this aircraft occurred on July 28th, 1916. It was his 11th and nearly his last victory. Synchronizing of the Vickers gun broke down and he shot off his propeller, and had to make an emergency landing. Georges Guynemer achieved 53 kills and he was the second-highets scoring ace of all French aces after René Fonck.


Technical Data of Nieuport 17c.1

Engine 110 hp Le Rhone 9J rotary engine
Dimensions span 8,16 m; lenght 5,80 m; height 2,40 m
Weights empty 375 kg; max. take off 560 kg
Performance max. speed 165 - 170 km/h
Armament 1 x 0.303 (7,6 mm) fixed Vickers gun
Time of operation 2 hours

Sources

  • Squadron/signal: Nieuport Fighters in action
  • Kenneth Munson: Ensimmäisen maailmansodan hävittäjät (Otava)
  • Tapani Harmaja: Pilven veikot (WSOY)


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