The Nieuport 23 was a slightly modified version of the successful Nieuport 17 single seat fighter, and was used alongside the earlier aircraft. The Nieuport 23 used the same basic design as the Type 17, with a sesquiplane wing form, balanced rudder and fairing at the front of the fuselage sides. It was powered by a 120hp Le Rhône 9Jb engine.
The few changes were minor. The upper wing was slightly modified and the Vickers gun used different synchronisation gear, which meant that it had to be carried slightly to the right of the centre line.
The RFC received a number of Nieuport 23s as part of an agreed delivery of Nieuport 27s. Twenty nine Nieuport 23s were delivered between August and October 1917, and total deliveries may have reached 80. In RFC service these aircraft had their synchronised gun removed and replaced with a over wing mounted gun in Foster mounting so in RFC service it was almost impossible to tell the Nieuport 17 and Nieuport 23 apart. The Nieuport 23 could also be armed with twin over-head Lewis guns.
The type was used by No.1 Squadron on the Western Front during the second half of 1917, alongside a number of other Nieuport types. No.29 Squadron used it in the second half of 1917, alongside the Nieuport 17. No.40 Squadron had it from May to November 1917, alongside the Nieuport 17 for all of that time and the Nieuport 24 for a month. No.60 Squadron used it from March to August 1917, presumably to replace lost Nieuport 17s.
Further afield No.111 Squadron operated the type in the Middle East for the first half of 1918, alongside the Nieuport 17 and Nieuport 24, while No.112 Squadron used the same types in the middle of the year/
The Nieuport 23 was used by the British, French, Italians, Belgians and Russians. In French service it was used alongside the Nieuport 17. It was licence built in Russia and was the most numerous Nieuport fighter in Russian service. In Belgian service it was used by Edmond Thieffry, the third most successful Belgian fighter pilot of the war.
Engine: Le Rhône 9Jb
Span: 26ft 10.75in
Length: 19ft 7in
Height: 8ft 0in
Empty weight: 827lb
Maximum take-off weight: 1,235lb
Max speed: 103mph at sea level
Climb Rate: 11min 30sec to 9,840ft