This model represents the Nieuport 12 which was designed in 1915 and probably flew in that year for the first time. It was a sesquiplane, meaning its lower wing was half the size of the upper wing (approximately the same length, but the chord of the wing was one-half that of the upper wing). The wings had ailerons on the upper wings. The fuselage had flat sides which was very common of the early aircraft, but oddly had no vertical fin in front of the rudder. A large portion of the rudder was forward of the rudder hinge point thereby making it aerodynamically balanced in its operation.
The basic Nieuport 12 was powered by a 110 HP Clerget 9B rotary engine, with later models using a 130 HP engine. When first produced the Nieuport 12 was armed with a single flexibly mounted Lewis gun in the observer’s position. In French service the Nieuport 12 was originally used as a reconnaissance aircraft, but was also used as an escort fighter, protecting more vulnerable bomber aircraft.
Crew: two, pilot and observer
Empty weight 1,213 pounds
Wingspan 29 feet 6 inches
Length 22 feet 11 ½ inches
Gross weight 1,874 pounds
Maximum speed @ 6,560 feet was 91 MPH