Nieuport-Delage NiD 29
|Role||Single-seat biplane fighter|
|Primary users||French Air Force|
Imperial Japanese Army,
Corpo Aeronautico Militare
|Number built||1571 ca.|
Design and development
The NiD.29 was an equal-span biplane with ailerons on both upper and lower wings. It had a fixed tailskid landing gear, a nose-mounted engine and a single open cockpit for the pilot. The prototype NiD 29 was evaluated by the French Air Force in July 1918 and a pre-production batch was ordered on 21 August 1918. It was powered by a Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine piston engine, it performed well in test but could not achieve the required ceiling. The second prototype was modified with an increased wingspan and on achieving the required ceiling it was ordered into production in 1920, becoming the fastest service fighter in the world at that time. Production aircraft did not have ailerons on the upper wing and the lower wing ailerons were increased in size.
The first mass production deliveries were made in 1922 to the French Air Force and the type was popular although it did have a tendency to enter a flat spin. The French military bought 250 aircraft which were built by Nieuport and seven other companies. The Ni-D 29 was to become an important fighter in the 1920s with purchases of 30 by Spain (including 10 Spanish licence built aircraft), 108 by Belgium (87 licensed built by SABCA). The Italian Regia Aeronautica bought 175 aircraft including 95 built by Macchi as the Macchi-Nieuport 29 and 80 built by Caproni. Sweden bought nine aircraft and designated them J 2. The Japanese company Nakajima bought a pattern aircraft and built 608 for the Imperial Japanese Army as the Ko-4.
Three NiD 29s were modified for reserve Captain Joseph Sadi-Lecointe in November 1925 and used on seventy sorties against insurgents in Morocco using bomb racks with six 10 kg bombs. Spanish aircraft were also involved in similar operations in North Africa.
- Nieuport Ni.29
- Prototype for series, powered by a 240 kW (320 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine.
- NiD.29 C.1
- Production aircraft, powered by 240 kW (320 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engines.
- NiD.29 B.1
- Small number of conversions as an experimental assault version to carry six 10 kg (22.0 lb) bombs.
- Prototype only with reduced wing area and steerable tailskid, powered by a 240 kW (320 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine.
- Prototypes fitted with a Gnome Monosoupape 9N rotary engine, two later converted to take a Hispano engine and fitted with twin floats and an auxiliary tail float for the Grand Prix de Monaco in 1923.
- Single prototype for Aeronavale (M for Marine) similar to 29G but with 130 kW (180 hp) Le Rhone 9R, further converted into 32Rh.
- Conversion with an engine driven supercharger for an attempt on the altitude record, reached 7,000 m (23,000 ft).
- NiD.29 ET.1
- Trainer variant with a 134 kW (180 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Ab engine and a single synchronised Vickers machine-gun, three built.
- NiD.29 SHV
- Seaplane for the 1919 Schneider Trophy contest with reduced wingspan and military equipment removed, two aircraft built and one was also entered in the 1921 event but neither aircraft flew in the races. Powered by a 220 kW (300 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine
- Lightweight racer developed in 1919 with a wingspan reduced to 6.00m (19ft 8¼in), powered by a 240 kW (320 hp) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine, three built.
- One-off conversion with an enclosed cockpit to gain more speed, the pilot had small teardrop windows on each side with little forward visibility. Powered by a Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine boosted to give 250 kW (330 hp). On 12 December 1920, Sadi-Lecointe flew the NiD-29Vbis to a new world speed record of 313.043 km/h (194.516 mph; 169.030 kn). The aircraft was lost in a landing accident in 1921.
- 130 kW (180 hp) Le Rhone rotary powered derivative for use by the French Navy as a carrier fighter. Ten built including one converted from 29M.
- NiD.33 E.2
- Two-seat trainer with conventional square-section fabric-covered fuselage. Small numbers used by Japan.
- NiD.40 C.1
- High altitude fighter with Rateau turbocharger
- One-off modification of NiD.40 C.1 with extended wings and new tail for high-altitude record flights. Later fitted with floats.
- Nakajima 甲 4 (Ko 4)
- Japanese licence-built NiD.29, 608 built.
- Argentine Air Force operated 6 examples from 1925 operated by the 3rd Observation Group.
- Belgian Air Force operated 108 examples of which 88 were built locally by SABCA from 1922 until replaced by Avia BH-21s from 1927 and Fairey Firefly IIM in 1931
- Kwangsi operated 12 examples purchased from Japan from 1935
- Manchuria operated 4 examples purchased from a Japanese mission in 1931
- French Air Force operated over 600 from 1922
- French Navy operated a small number before standardizing on the Dewoitine D.1
- Corpo Aeronautico Militare operated 175 examples built by Macchi and Caproni from 1924 until at least 1931. These were flown by the 76, 84, 91st Squadriglias of the 7th Grupo, 70, 74 and 75th Squadriglias of the 23rd Grupo of the 1st Sturmo Caccia and the 92nd Squadriglia 8th Grupo.
- Imperial Japanese Army operated 608 Nakajima-built Ko.4 (Nieuport Fighter type 4) from 1923 until 1937 or later in the 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8 Hiko Rentai (Air Regiments). One pattern aircraft was purchased from France
- Spanish Air Force operated 30 examples from 1923 until replaced with Nieuport-Delage NiD 52s in 1931
- Manchukuo Air Force operated a single ex-Manchurian and ex-Japanese Ko 4 when formed in 1937.
- Swedish Air Force operated 10 examples designated as Jaktflyglan 2 (Fighter Type 2) from 1925 by Flygflotilj F.3 (3rd Wing) and F.5.
- Royal Siamese Air Service and Royal Thai Air Force operated 52 as บ.ข.๔ (B.Kh4 or fighter type 4) from 1923, 40 of which were built in Siam. Some examples remained in service after the country became Thailand.
Specifications (NiD 29)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 6.49 m (21 ft 3½ in)
- Wingspan: 9.70 m (31 ft 10 in)
- Height: 2.56 m (8 ft 4¾ in)
- Wing area: 26.70 m2 (287.41 ft2)
- Empty weight: 760 kg (1,675 lb)
- Gross weight: 1,150 kg (2,535 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8Fb V-8 piston engine, 224 kW (300 hp)
- Maximum speed: 235 km/h (146 mph)
- Range: 580 km (360 miles)
- Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,885 ft)
- Rate of climb: 6.06 m/s (1194.26 ft/min)
- 2 × fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Vickers machine guns
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- C.I = Chasseur (French for fighter), single seat
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