Kagero's Nieuport 1-27 French Fighter Family


Kowalski, Trembacz, Rzasa and Liepinsch




$22.95 from www.casematepublishing.com


Scott Van Aken

Notes: Famous Airplanes #12, 88 pages.
ISBN 978-83-66148-61-1

This book in Kagero's Famous Airplanes series is on the Nieuport series of pursuit planes. It is in the usual 9x12 softbound format that Kagero uses for a lot of its books and contains 88 pages. Like most of their books, it is in both Polish and English.

During WWI, things were so new and advancing so quickly in the aeronautic field that when one company came up with a winning design, it was used as a basis for a number of planes. This is very much the case with Nieuport and their sesquiplane layout. This is where on a biplane, the lower wing is smaller than the upper one. This provides a better view down, but due to its design, it is not the stiffest of wings. These wings tend to twist a lot more during maneuvering and can fail under the stresses. However, it usually leaves an intact upper wing that can help bring the plane safely to the ground. So entrenched was the design in Nieuport that even post war, they developed aircraft with this sort of layout.

Nieuports were so popular that they were built under license in Russia, Italy, and Great Britain. Even when they were replaced by the next best version, older versions were sent to secondary fronts or used as trainers. Some pilots liked them so much that even when something more modern was available, they continued to fly them. Such was their influence on German aircraft designers that Albatros chose the layout for the successful D.III and D.V aircraft.

This book covers the full history of Nieuport pursuits from the first until the 27th version. The first Nieuport fighters were monoplanes and while successful in their own right, were designed for use as reconnaissance planes. It was the Nieuport 10 that solidified the general layout of those variants that followed. The first 40 pages are historical backgrounds of the types with lots of very nice photos. The next 40 pages cover the builds of two 1/32 Copper State Models Nieuport 17s. If wondering why two builds of the same kit, perhaps the full page advert for CSM kits has something to do with it. The builds are excellent so it isn't wasted space. The book ends with several pages of large color profiles.

In all, it makes for a nice addition to the series and is worth picking up.

February 2020

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