Nieuport 24

The Nieuport 24 was a development of the Nieuport 17 single seat fighter that saw the introduction of a new tail, but that was otherwise similar to the older fighter. It wasn't a great success and was soon replaced by the superior Spad fighters.

The Nieuport 24 shared the basic layout of every Nieuport fighter since the Type 11, with a lower wing of half the size of the upper wing (with almost the same span but half the chord). The wings were connected by V struts. The Type 24 had a fully faired fuselage, giving it a more rounded appearance than the Nieuport 17 (a similar design was used on the Type 17bis). It was normally powered by a 130hp Le Rhône engine. It had a new aerofoil section for the wings.

The biggest visual change on the Nieuport 24 was the introduction of the new tail. The standard Nieuport 17 had a balanced rudder (with no fixed fin) that used simple steel tube construction. The new tail had a small vertical fin, with a new wooden rudder attached. This used spruce spars, plywood ribs and a veneer covering. 

The Nieuport 24 actually entered service after the Nieuport 24bis, a modified version of the same design. The 24bis used the same fuselage as the Nieuport 24, but with the standard Nieuport 17 tail, with its simple steel tubing construction, in place of the new tail of the type 24.

The Nieuport 24 was a difficult aircraft to fly, although with a good climb rate and fast at high altitude. It had rather heavy controls that required quite a bit of force to use, and wasn't popular with its pilots.

The Type 24 underwent official tests in February-March 1917 and despite not being much better than the Type 17 or Type 23 was ordered into production. It entered French service in June 1917, not long after the Type 24bis. It was followed by the generally similar Nieuport 27, but neither type was as effective as the new Spad fighters, and the Nieuport 24 had a fairly short service career with the French. Most were then used as training aircraft.

The Type 24 and Type 24bis both served in small numbers with the RFC, while the Type 24bis was built under licence in England by British Nieuport and General Aircraft Co Ltd for the RNAS. In RFC service the synchronised machine gun was replaced with a gun mounted above the upper wing, the standard RFC layout for all Nieuport fighters. The RNAS used it to equip No.6 and No.11 Squadrons.

A handful of aircraft were used by the RFC, but it was quickly phased out in favour of the Nieuport 27. Some were sent to the Middle East, where they were used by No.111 Squadron, remaining in service at least into May 1918, and by No.112 Squadron.

On the Western Front it was used by No.1 Squadron from August-December 1917, alongside a number of other Nieuport types. No.29 Squadron had it from August to December 1917, one of four Nieuport types it used at the time. No.40 Squadron used it in August 1917, alongside the Nieuport 17 and Nieuport 24.

The Americans used both types as training aircraft. They ordered 121 Type 24s in November 1917, followed by another 140 of the Type 24bis, for a total of 261.

The Type 24 was built under licence in Japan as the Ko 3 by the Army Aircraft Factory at Tokorosawa. It entered squadron service in Japan in 1922, replacing the generally superior Spad XIII.

The Nieuport 24 also served in Belgium and Italy and was licence built in Russia by Duks from 1917 until 1920.

Engine: Le Rhône 9Ja or 9Jb
Power: 120hp or 130hp
Crew: 1
Span: 26ft 10.75in
Length: 19ft 2.33in
Height: 7ft 11.25in
Maximum take-off weight:
Max speed: 109mph at sea level
Climb Rate: 5m.40s to 6,560ft; 9m 25s to 9,840ft
Service ceiling: 22,640ft
Armament: One synchronised machine gun and/ or one machine gun on upper wing

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (17 December 2014), Nieuport 24 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_nieuport_24.html

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