The Nieuport 17 initially went into service with the French air force but was soon adopted by the British Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service because of its superior performance compared with any of the available British-designed fighter aircraft, it was destined to be the choice mount of many allied fighter aces including Albert Ball, Georges Guynemer, Rene Fonck and “Billy” Bishop who was awarded the Victoria Cross after an engagement whilst flying his Nieuport 17. The Nieuport 17 had very few design problems, the main one being that the lower wing had a tendency to "twist off" in excessively high speed dives. The "choice" status of the Nieuport 17 was to remain in force until the introduction of the Sopwith Camel and the SPAD S VII.
Nieuport 17 Specifications:
- Wing Span: 8 m (26 ft 9 1/4 in)
- Length: 5.8 m (19 ft)
- Height: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 1/2 in)
- Weight, Empty: 375 kg (827 lb)
- Weight, Gross: 560 kg (1,235 lb)
- Max Speed: 165 km/h (102 mph)
- Service Ceiling: 5,300 m (17,390 ft)
- Range: 249 km (155 mi)
- Engine: Single 110/130 hp Le Rhone 9Jb rotary engine
Nieuport 17 Armament:
- Single Vickers 0.303 in machine-gun firing through the propeller arc or a 0.303 in Lewis gun mounted "over-wing", occasionally both guns were fitted but were found to adversely affect performance.