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New Review: Nieuport 1 – 27


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Review Author: 
Frank Landrus
Kagero Publishing

Based in Central Europe Kagero Publishing House is the biggest publisher and exporter of English-written publications about military history, release nearly 60 titles every year.  Kagero was founded in 1995, and began by delivering military titles in Polish.  Their success led Kagero to start releasing books in English in 1998.  Authors from Poland, Canada, USA, Australia and Great Britain, who were invited to cooperation, gave a beginning to a new range of products, which have put them on a position of one of the most recognized publishers on the market. Kagero has released more than 550 publications. Kagero is managed by Damian Majsak and his wife Joanna.

 

This tome is a new edition of Kagero's Famous Airplanes 5001, a 58 page small smaller format book on Nieuport 1-27 that was released in 2010.  This monograph features a square back soft cover includes 86 gloss paper pages. The front cover features a color painting of Rene Dorme's Nieuport 17C1 (23 victories) with the N3 Escadrille. The rear cover features color side profiles of the same aircraft and Jean Navarre's Nieuport 11C1 N872 that was flown in the Battle of Verdun.  I counted 88 color pictures and 43 black and white photographs. There are also six color side profiles by Akadiusz Wrobel, plus a top and bottom view of a Russian Nieuport 23. Top and bottom views of the wingtip roundels are also depicted.

 

Thomas J. Kowalski kicks off with a nice discussion of the history and development of Nieuport designs from the Nieuport I through 27.  Edouard Nieport originally formed the company to manufacture engine components in 1902.  1909 saw his entry into aviation with their first aircraft, the Nieuport I, a small single seat monoplane.  Unfortunately, Edouard Nieport died after being thrown from his aircraft in 1911.  His company lived on, eventually attracting Gustave Delage, who focused on building a sesquiplane, a biplane.  This design would become the forerunner of Nieuport's line of sesquiplane fighters that would become famous in WWI.  Thomas J. Kowalski then picks up with tales of the Nieuport fighter in service and includes a substantial perspective on its use by Polish fighter pilots in service with other WWI combatants. 

 

The next two chapters are nicely done detailed build features by Kamil Trembacz and Filip Rzasa of the new Copper State Models release of the Nieuport XVII, covering both the Early and Late versions respectively.  The sections include:

 

Glossary

Introduction

Chapter One: History, Construction Development, Combat Usage

The Birth and Development of the Nieuports [Page 10]

The Aerial Knights and Their Winged Horses [Page 20]

Poles on Nieuports

Refugees from a Paradise

Painting and Marking

Nieuport Aircraft Specifications (Table)

Footnotes

Bibliography

Chapter Two: Nieuport 17 (Early) - 1/32 Copper State Models by Kamil Trembacz

Short Introduction

Cockpit

Engine

Painting [Page 44]

Propeller

Montage

Rigging

Finishing Touch and Summary [Page 59]

Chapter Three: Nieuport 17 (Late) - 1/32 Copper State Models by Filip Rzasa

Introduction

Engine

Engine Cowling

Cockpit [Page 69]

Fuselage

Painting

Decals

Painting - Continuation

Machine Guns

Weathering

Montage

Rigging

Propeller

Summary

Color Illustrations by Akadiusz Wrobel [Page 86]

 

I found many of the sections very interesting, but one stood out.  In this case, the Red Air Force had some interesting ways to recruit pilots.  Juliusz Gilewicz was giving the choice of entering service or the death of his wife. Despite his Polish heritage, he was appointed the commander of the 3rd AAO.  He took part in the battle for Vilnius, which the Bolsheviks lost, but managed to secure two aircraft that got left behind as the Bolsheviks evacuated.  Once he learned his wife had escape from the Bolsheviks, Gilewicz, managed to escape with a Nieuport 24bis along with another pilot.  Gilewicz began his career with the Polish Air Force, while his stolen Nieuport 24bis became his property after the war.

 

Translation is a bit awkward at times, but there is really nothing to get in the way of Thomas J. Kowalski's well done history of the sesquiplane Nieuport Fighters.  The build reviews are well written as well.  I was able to read through this tome in one night, although it was a late night.  The contemporary photographs support the text, and they certainly give you a good perspective of the events described.  The build reviews provide nice color shots depicting the work of both builders in what are quite spectacular models.

 

My thanks to Kagero Publishing House, Casemate Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

 

Highly recommended!

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