Eduard Profipack 1/48 Nieuport Ni.17
Italian Aces Mount
by Jose Lucero
The 1916 Nieuport 17, probably Gustave Delage's most famous plane, was developed from the 1915 Nieuport 11 'Bébé'. Larger, stronger, and better armed, the Nieuport 17 was one of the finest combat planes of its time. It was one of the best Allied fighters until the appearance of the Spad S.VII. Delage designed the 17 keeping fairly close to the general formula of the Bébé, but eliminated the older plane's defects and improved on its performance. The new plane's fuselage was larger and had better lines. The small lower wing of the Bébé had been found wanting in strength during combat manoeuvres, and had shown an unfortunate tendency to break up in flight. Delage strengthened the structure a great deal to keep the lower wing from twisting. The Nieuport 17 was also more heavily armed than its predecessor. Initially a Lewis machine-gun was mounted on the upper wing, but this was later added to or replaced by a synchronized Vickers machine-gun. There were variations in combat units, some pilots kept the Lewis on the wing, and others mounted twin synchonized machine-guns, although this limited the plane's performance.

The Nieuport 17 reached the front in March 1916, and gradually replaced older planes in French units. The first squadron to fly the new fighter operationally was N.57, on May 2. Five other units followed, including the famous 3rd Squadron of 'Les Cigognes'. The plane was also adopted by the Italian air forces. By the spring of 1917 five squadrons of the L'Aviazione Italiana operated the Ni.17. Other Nieuport 17s served with the British, Dutch, Belgian, and Russian air forces. In Italy 150 were built under licence by Macchi, and the first Italian-built Ni.17s were delivered in October 1916. This fighter was so popular with the Allies that in August 1917, 317 of them were still in front-line service.

The Nieuport 17 soon became the favourite plane of the leading aces of the time, from the British Ball and Canadian Billy Bishop to the famous French Aces Nungesser, Guynemer, Fonck and Navarre.  The plane was also flown by top scoring Italian Ace Francesco Baracca.  This fighter proved its worth during the battles of the Somme and the Isonzo, and stood up well against the Fokker E monoplanes, Halberstadt D IIs and even Albatros D Is. The Nieuport 17 proved such a threat that the Germans decided to build it themselves, copying Nieuport 17s that had been forced down behind the lines and captured. The German version of the 17 was manufactured by Siemens-Schuckert but never went into action, because more powerful models of the Albatros began reaching their units.

H. A. Jones, the British official Historian of the First World War in the air says the following of the Nieuport 17:. 'While our pushers with skill and determination were subduing the Fokkers the French produced a very effective fighting scout. This was the small single-seater Nieuport Scout (110 horse-power Le Rhône engine) armed with a Lewis gun fired over the top of the plane by means of a Bowden cable. Its performance was superior to that of any contemporary fighting aeroplane. It could reach 10,000ft. in 10 and a half minutes and was 10 miles an hour faster than the best aeroplane of the R.F.C.'
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September, 2009
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Technical Data:
Aircraft:
Nieuport 17
Manufacturer:
Société Anonyme des Etablissements Nieuport
Type:
Fighter
Year:
1916
Engine: Le Rhône 9J 9-cyclinder air-cooled rotary, 110hp
Wingspan:
26 ft 10 in (8.17 m)
Length:
18 ft 11 in (5.77 m)
Height:
8 ft (2.44 m)
Weight:
1,246 lbs (565 kg)
Maximum Speed:
110 mph (177 kph) at 6,560 ft (2,000 m)
Ceiling:
17,390 ft (5,300 m)
Endurance:
2 hrs
Armament:
1 machine-gun
Crew:
1

Additional Images
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Click here - Eduard Photo Etch Accessories
Eduard's Ni.17 Profipack in 1/48 scale is a real jewel. It has very nice details and it's a great candidate for someone to get started on World War I biplanes.

Construction
The cockpit was painted with oil paints to simulate wood texture, as well as the nice photo etched metal seat with perforated backing. The V struts where painted the same way and silver decals where applied.  The controls where attached and fuselage closed. The lower wing was glued to the fuselage altogether with the landing gear and struts. The fit of this kit is very good, the only real obstacle is the lower wing-fuselage join.

Painting and Finishing
The paint of this model is very simple, it's covered in Aluminum dope.   To represent it I painted the model with Model Master Aluminum. For the colors of the Italian flag, I used Misterkit colors, with a white primer. Future was applied to seal the paint and prepare de model for decals. Aeromaster made the deacals for this kit and are excellent quality. The cables where done with Aeroclub's great elastic thread, I use it on every time I have a chance. After some dry fitting, the upper wing was attached with out problems.  The plane represents the mount of Capt Francesco Baracca, N2614, 70a Squadriglia, Aviazione Italiana.