In mid-1917, the French aircraft manufacturer Societe Anonyme des Establissements Nieuport began designing a new aircraft to succeed the highly successful Nieuport XI and XVII. The plane incorporated the newer, more powerful Gnome rotary engine. The increased weight of the powerplant necessitated an increase in the size of the lower wing, eliminating for the first time the typical Nieuport sesquiplane V-strut configuration.
Unfortunately, the French Air Service rejected the design in favor or the sturdier, more advanced SPAD XIII. With the arrival of the American Expiditionary Forces (AEF) in early 1918, however, the plane found extensive use due to the shortage of SPADs for these additional pilots. American squadrons were supplied with 297 Type 28s by Nieuport. The Nieuport 28 became the first fighter aircraft to serve with an American fighter unit under American command and in support of U.S. troops. Douglas Campbell, America's first ace, flew the Nieuport 28, as well as Eddie Rickenbacker, America's most successful ace with 26 victories.
Despite its success in American hands, the Nieuport 28 possessed two major flaws. The new Gnome engine was unreliable. Worse still, violent maneuvers or steep dives tended to shed the fabric of the upper wing, causing an in-flight wing failure. Because of these faults, American units were glad to reequip with SPADs in July 1918.
Post-war, the plane saw numerous uses, including air racing, commercial ventures, and Hollywood movies, most notably the famous Dawn Patrol movies of 1930 and 1938.
The plane has a range of 248 miles. A full load of fuel and ammo costs $8.
Subassemblies: Recon Fighter chassis +2; Recon Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 2 fixed wheels +0.
Powertrain: 119-kW aerial HP gasoline engine with 119-kW old prop and 15-gallon fuel tank [Body].
Occ.: 1 XCS Body
Cargo: 9.9 Body
Armor F RL B T U
Body: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C
Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C
Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3
2xAircraft LMG/7.7mm Vickers .303 LMG [Body:F] (500 rounds).
Size: 26'x20'x8' Payload: 0.16 tons Lwt.: 0.71 tons
Volume: 96 Maint.: 125 hours Cost: $2,557
HT: 6. HPs: 15 Body, 50 each Wing, 8 each Wheel.
aSpeed: 121 aAccel: 4 aDecel: 25 aMR: 6.5 aSR: 1
Stall Speed: 35 mph.
gSpeed: 327 gAccel: 16 gDecel: 10 gMR: 1.25 gSR: 2
Ground Pressure: Very Low. 1/2 Off-Road Speed.
Historical wing area is 215 sf and was used for performance calculations. Design aSpeed was 112; it was raised 9% to the historical value. Calculated HT was 7; it was arbitrarily lowered to 6 to reflect the plane's poor historical reliability. The MG load-outs are a guess; no figures are available; they could be significantly higher with the available VSPs. The Aircraft LMGs are synchronized to fire through the propeller, lowering RoF by 10% (see p. W:MP8). Using the calculated gSpeed at 1/2 Off-Road speed (163 mph), the plane can still easily exceed its stall speed of 35 mph, and could potentially get airborne in a bumpy field, at the GM's discretion.
From the Aerodrome for GURPS
© 2008 by Jim Antonicic