Nieuport 14

The Nieuport 14 was two-seat observation biplane that was also used as a bomber, but that had a short front line career and was only produced in small numbers.

The Nieuport 14 was similar to the Nieuport 12, but with a longer fuselage and 10ft wider wingspan. The Nieuport 14 was a two-bay biplane with the familiar Nieuport sesquiplane layout. In this case the lower wing had a smaller chord and length. The rest of the design was standard for Nieuport area of this period, with vertical struts between the fuselage and upper wing and a fixed undercarriage.

The Nieuport 14 was powered by an inline water-cooled 150hp Hispano-Suiza engine. The nose was roughly wedge shaped, with a smooth curve below the propeller and a bulge above to make room for the engine. A similar engine mounting was used on the Nieuport 13. Cooling was provided by Hazet radiators. This was a German design and involved fitting vertical tubes to the side of the fuselage, in this case six on each side, mounted next to the forward cockpit. On production aircraft the radiators slanted outwards, with the forward tube close to the fuselage and the rear tube furthest out.

The radiator design wasn't a success. They were difficult to maintain, requiring the water to be drained out each day and the filters cleaned after every flight. They also weren't terribly effective, and caused some problems with airflow.

In the prototype the pilot sat in the rear cockpit, but this wasn't a successful design, and in production aircraft the standard layout, with the pilot in the front and the observer in the rear seat, was adopted.

The Nieuport 14 could carry a machine gun in the rear cockpit. It was also normally armed with four 120mm bombs.

The French ordered the first six Nieuport 14s in November 1915 and they began to enter service in the spring of 1916. The original plan appears to have been to use the new aircraft as a bomber, and three escadrilles received the new aircraft, replacing their existing Voisins. This was a short-lived plan and after only eighteen days the escadrilles converted to the Nieuport 17 and became fighter units. The Nieuport 14s spent the rest of their service split between a large number of units.

By the end of 1916 twenty were in service, and the same number of aircraft were still in use in August 1917, but they were withdrawn from the front line that autumn and sent to training schools.

There they joined a number of Nieuport 14 École models that had been produced in 1916. These had the wings and rear fuselage of the standard aircraft, but with a new nose housing a 80hp Le Rhône engine. These aircraft also had a second set of wheels in front of the main wheels to prevent novice pilots from overturning the aircraft. They were originally built with one set of controls but later converted to dual controls. The Nieuport 14 École later became the basis of the Nieuport 82 trainer. The larger Nieuport 15 bomber was also based on the Nieuport 14.

Engine: Hispano-Suiza inline engine
Power: 150hp
Crew: 2
Span: 39ft
Length: 25.9ft
Height: 10.5ft
Empty weight: 1,367lb
Loaded weight: 2,139lb
Max speed: 96mph at sea level
Climb Rate: 6m 35sec to 3,280ft
Endurance: 3 to 4 hours
Armament: One machine gun
Bomb load: Four 120mm bombs

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 December 2014), Nieuport 14 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_nieuport_14.html

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