Original U.S. WWI 94th Aero Squadron Nieuport 28 C.1 Large Scale Model Plane for 1927 Film Wings
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible custom hand made model World War One 94th Aero Squadron Nieuport 28 C.1 biplane that was constructed, we were told, as set decoration for the 1927 film WINGS. It is uses period materials (wood, canvas, wire, etc) and construction methods and is built to exacting detail. There are many new parts used for a recent restoration, such as the propeller and it appears someone tried to actually make it fly as there is evidence than an engine was installed. The plane measures 50" (wingspan) x 46" (tail to propeller) x 18" (tall). It is offered in excellent condition and even has two small Vicker's Machine Guns mounted to the port side of the fuselage and in front of the cockpit just like the original Nieuport 28 C.1 fighter plane. The pilot, cockpit, and paint design are all highly detailed, making this a truly unique and wonderful display.
94th Aero Squadron in WW1
The 94th Aero Squadron was an Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I.
The squadron was assigned as a Day Pursuit (Fighter) Squadron as part of the 1st Pursuit Group, First United States Army. Its mission was to engage and clear enemy aircraft from the skies and provide escort to reconnaissance and bombardment squadrons over enemy territory. It also attacked enemy observation balloons, and perform close air support and tactical bombing attacks of enemy forces along the front lines.
The squadron was one of the first American pursuit squadrons to reach the Western Front and see combat, becoming one of the most famous. The 94th was highly publicized in the American print media of the time, and its exploits "over there" were widely reported on the home front. Its squadron emblem, the "Hat in the Ring" became a symbol in the minds of the American Public of the American Air Service of World War I. Three notable air aces served with the squadron, Eddie Rickenbacker, who was awarded almost every decoration attainable, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Douglas Campbell was the first American trained pilot to become an air ace. He shared the honor of having the first official victory over an enemy aircraft with Alan Winslow. Another squadron member, Raoul Lufbery, attained 17 aerial victories before leaping to his death from a fiery Nieuport 28 aircraft in May 1918.
After the 1918 Armistice with Germany, the squadron returned to the United States in June 1919 and became part of the permanent United States Army Air Service in 1921. The current United States Air Force unit which holds its lineage and history is the 94th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 1st Operations Group, Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Virginia
Nieuport 28 C.1
The Nieuport 28 C.1, a French biplane fighter aircraft flown during World War I, was built by Nieuport and designed by Gustave Delage. Owing its lineage to the successful line of sesquiplane fighters that included the Nieuport 17, the Nieuport 28 continued a similar design philosophy of a lightweight and highly maneuverable aircraft.
By the time the Nieuport 28 was available, the SPAD XIII had been chosen to equip the escadrilles de chasse of the Aéronautique Militaire for 1918, and this fighter was also the first choice for the projected American "pursuit" squadrons. In the event, a shortage of SPADs led to Nieuport 28s being issued to four American squadrons between March and August 1918, becoming the first aircraft to see operational service with an American fighter squadron.
Nieuport 28s saw considerable post-war service: in particular 50 were "returned" to America, and as well as army and naval service these found civilian use, especially in Hollywood films.
Background and origins
By the middle of 1917, it was obvious that the Nieuport 17 and its immediate developments, such as the Nieuport 24bis, could provide only moderate performance gains over the standard model, so that they were unable to deal with the latest German fighters. In fact, the Nieuport 17 line was already being supplanted in French service by the SPAD S.VII, as quickly as supplies of the Hispano-Suiza engine would allow. It had become increasingly apparent that the basic sesquiplane "v-strut" layout was approaching the limits of its development
The Nieuport 28 design advanced the concept of the lightly built, highly maneuverable rotary engined fighter typified by the Nieuport 17 to the more demanding conditions of the times. Bowers refers to it as being "an excellent example of the step-by-step evolution of a single basic design to its point of ultimate development and then its transition into a new model to meet changing requirements".
During 1917 the Nieuport company experimented with a number of new designs - including monoplanes, biplanes and triplanes. None of these types achieved production status and thus never received an official military designation, but the results of tests provided information later used in future Nieuport fighters, including the 28.
Several prototypes of the new fighter were constructed. Three different dihedral settings for the top wing were tried, including a completely flat wing, and one with marked dihedral that rested very close to the top of the front fuselage. Production aircraft featured an intermediate configuration, which involved a slight dihedral in the upper wing and taller cabane struts, providing room to accommodate a second machine gun, mounted under the wing's center section.
Additional prototypes based on the design of the N28 were built to test various features of the Nieuport 29, including its wooden monocoque fuselage, and alternate engine installations, such as the 300 hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fb, 170 hp Le Rhône 9R, 275 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 8Bd, and 200 hp Clerget 11E.
The Nieuport 28's design featured several improvements over the 27, including the adoption of a more powerful engine, a twin-machine gun armament, and a new wing structure. For the first time, a production Nieuport fighter was fitted with conventional two-spar wings, top and bottom, in place of the sesquiplane "v-strut" layout of the earlier Nieuports. Both wings featured elliptical wingtips, instead of the angular raked tips common to Nieuport's earlier works. The upper wing was built in two sections, joined together over the fuselage center-line. The leading edge of both wings was a plywood structure, which proved to be structurally weak in later service. Ailerons, which were controlled via an arrangement of torque tubes, were fitted to the lower wings only.
In order to provide a more streamlined profile, the fuselage was longer and slimmer, so narrow that its twin Vickers machine guns were offset to port, one between the cabane struts and one just outboard of them. The design of the tail unit closely followed that of the Nieuport 27.
By early 1918, when the first production examples of the Nieuport 28 became available, the SPAD S.XIII was already firmly established as the standard French fighter, and the Nieuport 28 was "surplus" from the French point of view. On the other hand, the United States Army Air Service was desperately short of fighters to equip its projected "pursuit" (fighter) squadrons. Since the SPAD S.XIIIs the Americans actually wanted were initially unavailable due to engine shortages, the Nieuport was offered to the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) as an interim alternative.
A total of 297 Nieuport 28s were purchased by the Americans (none of our sources make it clear if this refers only to the initial order or includes Nieuport 28A trainers accepted from the late 1918 contract). The 94th and 95th Aero Squadron received the initial allotments, starting in March 1918. In all, four AEF pursuit squadrons: the 27th, 94th, 95th and 147th Aero Squadrons, flew Nieuport 28s operationally for various periods between March and August 1918.
The factory delivered the Nieuport 28s to the Americans in mid-February 1918 without armament. At the time, the AEF had no spare Vickers machine guns to supply to the squadrons, so that the first flights were unarmed training flights for pilots to familiarize themselves with the handling and performance of the new type. When deliveries of Vickers guns to the American squadrons finally started in mid-March, and until sufficient guns had been received for all of the fighters to be fully equipped, some aircraft were flown on patrol with only one machine gun fitted.
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 over their own airfield at Gengoult. Several well-known World War I American fighter pilots, including the 26-victory ace, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, began their operational careers on the Nieuport 28.Quentin Roosevelt (the son of former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt) was shot down and killed flying the type.
The 94th and 95th had the task of dealing with the type's teething troubles. Initially undercarriages failed on landing – this was corrected by using heavier bracing wire. The Nieuport 28's 160 hp Gnome 9N rotary engine and fuel system proved to be unreliable and prone to fires. Field improvements to fuel lines, and increased familiarity of the American pilots (and their ground crews) with the requirements of monosoupape engines reduced these problems, but the definitive solution adopted was simply not completely filling the reserve fuel tank, a move which came at the expense of range. More seriously, a structural problem emerged – during a sharp pull out from a steep dive, the plywood leading edge of the top wing could break away, taking the fabric with it. On the whole, although the pilots of the 94th and the 95th appreciated the maneuverability and good handling of the Nieuport, and were reasonably happy with its general performance, their confidence in the fighter's structural integrity was shaken.
The 27th and 147th Aero Squadrons arrived at the front three months later, starting combat operations on 2 June 1918. In July 1918, the 94th and 95th Aero Squadrons received their first SPAD XIIIs and some of their surviving Nieuport 28s were then transferred to the 27th and 147th Aero Squadrons. By the end of August 1918, all four American squadrons were fully outfitted with SPAD XIIIs. The pilots of the 94th and 95th Aero Squadrons welcomed the SPADs, although the 27th and 147th Aero Squadrons were much less enthusiastic about the change.
Twelve of the Army Nieuports were transferred to the U.S. Navy to be flown from launching platforms mounted above the forward turrets of eight battleships, in the manner of the Sopwith Camel 2F.1s embarked at this time by the British Grand Fleet. In Royal Navy fashion, they were fitted with hydrovanes as a means of mitigating the dangers of "ditching" at the end of a mission, and flotation gear, inflated using compressed air, to facilitate salvage of the aircraft.
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