The Morane-Saulnier Type AI was a French parasol-wing fighter aircraft produced by Morane-Saulnier during World War I, to replace the obsolete Morane-Saulnier Type N. Its engine was mounted in a circular open-front cowling. The parasol wing was swept back. The spars and ribs of the circular section fuselage were wood, wire-braced and covered in fabric. The production aircraft were given service designations based on whether they had 1 gun (designated MoS 27) or 2 guns (designated MoS 29).
For a World War One aircraft, the Morane-Saulnier A-1 had very modern lines and was very streamlined. Even though 1,210 were produced, and a number of escadrilles were created to operated the Type A1, it never made a big impact at the front. Shortly after entering service, most of the aircraft were replaced by the SPAD XIII. By mid-May 1918 it was withdrawn to serve as an advanced trainer, designated MoS 30. The reason for withdrawl was a suspicion of structural weakness.
Fifty-one MoS 30s were purchased by the American Expeditionary Force as pursuit trainers. Many Type A1s were used by the Belgian air corps
The Nieuport 23 was a fighter aircraft produced in France during the First World War. It was a development of the Nieuport 17 intended to address structural weakness of the earlier type, and most were produced with a lighter version of the Le Rhône 9J engine that powered the Nieuport 17, offering a better power-to-weight ratio. Internally, the main difference between the Types 17 and 23 was a redesigned wing spar in the upper wing. This, however, did not prove satisfactory, and when the fighter displayed an unacceptably high accident rate due to shedding its wings in flight, the Général chef du service aéronautique ordered that either additional reinforcement be added to the wings or that the type be withdrawn from service. One hundred and fifty new sets of wings were ordered to keep the type flying.
External differences included better streamlining of the forward fuselage and a synchronised machine gun mounted on the upper fuselage and firing through the propeller disc. Nieuport 23s ordered for Britain's Royal Flying Corps nevertheless were fitted with machine guns that fired over the top of the upper wing, in the way that the Nieuport 17 had been armed.
A trainer version was produced as the Nieuport 23 École (or Nieuport 21/23) with an 80 hp Le Rhône engine.
A Nieuport 23 is preserved at the Musée Royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire Militaire in Brussels.
The Nieuport 24 was a French biplane fighter aircraft during World War I designed by Gustave Delage as a replacement for the successful Nieuport 17.
The Nieuport 24 introduced a new fuselage of improved aerodynamic form, rounded wingtips, and a tail unit incorporating a small fixed fin and a curved rudder. The tail skid was sprung internally and had a neater appearance than that on earlier Nieuports. A 130 hp Le Rhône rotary engine was fitted.
In the event, there were problems with the new tail, and most production aircraft of the type were of the Nieuport 24bis model, which retained the fuselage and wings of the 24, but reverted to the Nieuport 17 type tailplane, tail skid and rectangular balanced rudder. The new tail was finally standardised on the Nieuport 27.
A batch of Nieuport 24bis were built at British Nieuport and General Aircraft Co. in England for the Royal Naval Air Service.
The standard armament of the Nieuport 17 (a synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers in French service - a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun on a Foster mounting on the top wing in British service) was retained to save weight and retain a good performance, although many 24s were used as advanced trainers and normally flown without guns.
In the summer of 1917, when the Nieuport 24 and 24bis. were coming off the production line, most French fighter squadrons were replacing their Nieuport 17s with SPAD S.VIIs - and many of the new fighters went to fighter training schools, and to Franceís allies, including the Russians, and the British, who used theirs well into 1918, due to a shortage of S.E.5as. A few French units retained the Nieuport through late 1917 - the type was actually preferred by some pilots, especially the famous Charles Nungesser.
Some of the Nieuport advanced trainers bought by the Americans for their flying schools in France in November 1917 may very well have been 24s or 24bis.
The Nieuport 27 was a French biplane fighter aircraft during World War I designed by Gustave Delage. The model 27 was the last of the line of Nieuport "V-strut" single seat fighters stemming from the Bébé of early 1916. When introduced, the Nieuport 27 was widely used by the United States Air Service. It was faster than the Nieuport 17 and was armed with twin machine guns. The Nieuport 27 shared the same defect as previous models, it tended to lose fabric from the upper wing. For this reason it was unpopular with pilots and was soon replaced by the new SPAD XIII.
The Nieuport 27's design closely followed the early form of the 24, including its semi-rounded rear fuselage and rounded wingtips and ailerons. The structural problems with the redesigned, rounded tail surfaces of the 24, which had resulted in the use of a Nieuport 17 type tail in the 24bis., were by now overcome, so that the new version was able to standardise on the new tail. By now most Nieuport fighters were actually used as advanced trainers, and the 130 hp Le Rhône Rotary engine of the 24bis. was often replaced by a 110 or 120 hp version. The trainers were not normally fitted with machine guns.
The handful of operational Nieuport 27s were armed either with a synchronized, fuselage-mounted Vickers machine gun (in French service) or a Lewis Gun mounted on a Foster mounting on the top wing (in British service). Two guns were occasionally fitted, but this had a severe effect on performance, which was at best little better than that of earlier models.
The type served in small numbers with the French Aéronautique Militaire and also with the British Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force during 1917 and early 1918, supplementing or replacing the Nieuport 24bis. However, by Spring 1918 most Nieuport "V strut" fighters had been withdrawn from front line service and replaced - with SPAD S.XIIIs in French service, and with Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5as in the RFC/RAF. The type was supplied to Italy, and built there by the Nieuport-Macchi Company at Varese, although the Italians ultimately preferred the Hanriot HD.1. Some 120 Nieuport 27 aircraft were bought for the United States Army Air Service for use as trainers in 1918. French ace Charles Nungesser was the most famous pilot to use the 27. The English ace Philip Fullard scored 40 victories, more victories with the Nieuport 17, Nieuport 23 and Nieuport 27 than any other ace.
Rejected by the French and British air services, the Nieuport 28 was the first biplane fighter received in large numbers by squadrons of the United States Air Service. A favorite with aces like Harold Hartney, it was fast and maneuverable but had a tendency to shed its upper wing fabric if its pilot pulled out of a steep dive too quickly. The Nieuport 28 was replaced by the less maneuverable SPAD S.XIII.
The Nieuport 28 design was an attempt to adapt the concept of the lightly built, highly maneuverable rotary engined fighter typified by the Nieuport 17 to the more demanding conditions of the times. It was designed to carry an up-to-date armament of twin synchronized machine guns, had a more powerful engine, and a new wing structure — for the first time a Nieuport biplane was fitted with conventional two spar wings, top and bottom, in place of the sesquiplane "v-strut" layout of earlier Nieuport types. Ailerons were fitted to the lower wings only. The tail unitís design closely followed that of the Nieuport 27, but the fuselage was much slimmer, in fact it was so narrow that the machine guns had to be offset to the left.
By early 1918, when the first production Nieuport 28s became available, the type was already "surplus" from the French point of view. The SPAD S.XIII was a superior aircraft in most respects, and was in any case firmly established as the standard French fighter.
On the other hand, the United States Army Air Service was desperately short of fighters to equip its projected "pursuit" (fighter) squadrons. The SPAD was initially unavailable due to a shortage of Hispano-Suiza engines — and the Nieuport was offered to, and perforce accepted by, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), as an interim alternative. A total of 297 Nieuport 28s were purchased by the Americans, and they were used to equip the very first American fighter squadrons, starting in March 1918. All together, four AEF "pursuit" squadrons flew 28s operationally, the 27th, 94th, 95th and 103rd Aero Squadrons.
On 14 April 1918, the second armed patrol of an AEF fighter unit resulted in two victories when Lieutenants Alan Winslow and Douglas Campbell (the first American-trained ace) of the 94th Aero Squadron each downed an enemy aircraft. Several well known WWI American fighter pilots, including Quentin Roosevelt, the son of US president Theodore Roosevelt, as well as American aces like the 26-victory ace, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, began their operational careers on the Nieuport 28.
On the whole the type was not a success, however. Although very maneuverable and easy to fly, its performance turned out to be mediocre and its engine unreliable. More seriously, the mixed plywood/fabric skinning of the wings proved problematic — the fabric which covered the rear portion of the wings tending to "balloon" and become detached from the plywood leading section. Although a solution to this problem was speedily found, the operational Nieuports in American service were replaced with SPADs as soon as sufficient of the latter became available. This process was complete by the end of July 1918.
Equipped with twin machine guns and a larger engine, the SPAD S.XIII was based upon the smaller SPAD S.VII. Built in large numbers, it was fast and powerful but difficult to fly. The SPAD S.XIII was flown by many of the famous aces including Georges Guynemer, Rene Fonck, and also by Italian ace Francesco Baracca. Aces of the United States Army Air Service who flew the Spad XIII include and Eddie Rickenbacker, (America's leading ace with 26 confirmed victories) and Frank Luke (18 victories).
Irish ace William Cochran-Patrick scored more victories with the SPAD S.VII and SPAD S.XIII than any other ace.
The SPAD S.XIII was a French biplane fighter aircraft of World War I, developed by Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) from the earlier highly successful SPAD S.VII. It was one of the most capable fighters of the war, and one of the most-produced, with 8,472 built and orders for around 10,000 more cancelled at the Armistice.
The S.VII had entered service in September of 1916, but by early 1917 it had been surpassed by the latest German fighters, leading French flying ace, Georges Guynemer to lobby for an improved version. SPAD designer Louis Béchereau initially produced the cannon-armed S.XII, which had limited success, and finally the S.XIII.
The S.XIII differed from its predecessor by incorporating a number of aerodynamic and other refinements, including larger wings and rudder, a more powerful Hispano-Suiza 8B engine fitted with reduction gearing, driving a larger "right-hand" propeller, and a second 0.303 Vickers machine gun for added firepower. The sum of these improvements was a notable improvement in flight and combat performance. It was faster than its main contemporaries, the British Sopwith Camel and the German Fokker D.VII, and was renowned for its ruggedness and strength in a dive. The manoeuvrability of the type was however relatively poor, especially at low speeds. A steep gliding angle and a very sharp stall made it a difficult aircraft for novice pilots to land safely.
It first flew on April 4, 1917, and the following month was already being delivered to the French Air Service. Other Allied forces were quick to adopt the new fighter as well, and nearly half of the 893 purchased for the United States Army Air Service were still in service in 1920. It was also exported to Japan, Poland, and Czechoslovakia after the war.