Nieuport 11

Manufacturer: Nieuport
Designation: Nieuport 11
Type: Fighter (WWI)
Length:  19'  0 1/4'' 5.8 M
Wingspan:  24'  9'' 7.55 M
Height:  8'  2.45 M
Gross Weight: 1,060 lbs. 480 KG
Armament: 1 Machine Gun  
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Le Rhone Air Cooled Rotary, 9 cylinder
Horsepower (each): 80 hp
Endurance/Range: 2 hours 30 min  
Max Speed:  97 mph 156 kph
Ceiling: 15,000 ft 4,700 M


In the first year of the Great War, technological superiority in aircraft
design and aviation associated equipment allowed the Imperial German Flying
Corps to sweep Allied aircraft from the skies in what became known as the
“Fokker Scourge.” Synchronized machine guns designed to fire through the
propeller of the fastest and most maneuverable aircraft made French, Belgian and
English pilots easy prey for the first generation of German Air Aces. Only the
introduction of the single seat fighter the Nieuport 11, in January of 1916
brought German dominance to an end.

Originally designed for racing, the diminutive Bebe (Baby) with its upper
wing mounted machine gun and state of the art technology, most specifically the
use of ailerons instead of wing warping for rapid maneuvering, allowed the
Allies to meet the Germans on an equal basis. Many of the First World War’s
greatest pilots Charles Nungesser and George Guynemer flew Nieuports, as did
Kiffin Rockwell of the famed Lafayette Escadrille, the first American to shoot
down an enemy aircraft in combat. Although replaced by more advanced models
after only a few short months, hundreds of Nieuport 11s provided vital service
at a time when their contribution to the Allied cause was most needed.

The Museum’s Nieuport 11 is a 7/8 scale replica bearing the Indian War Chief
markings of the legendary French Air Force American squadron the Lafayette

Richard Felter constructed the aircraft from a kit before donating it to the