Technical data
Type Nieuport-XI "Bébé"
Function Fighter (French built) Fighter (Russian built)
Year 1915 1916
Crew 1 1
Engines 1*80hpLe Rhône 9C 1*80hpLe Rhône 9C
Length 5.6m
Height 2.45m
Wingspan 7.5m
Wing area 13.5m2
Empty weight 320kg 350kg
Loaded weight 480kg 525kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 35.6 38.9
Power load (kg/hp) 6.0 6.56
Speed at 0m 152km/h 156km/h
Speed at 2000m 162km/h ?km/h
Flight Endurance 2h30min 2h
Ceiling 4600m 4500m
1000m ? 4.0min
2000m 8.8min 10.0min
3000m 15.0min 20.0min
4000m ? 35.0min
Fuel+Oil 45+12kg
Guns One

or 'Hotchkiss' with 97 rounds drum

Nieuport-XI "Bébé"

Smallest of 'Nieuport' biplane fighters (so nickname "Bébé"). Originally designed for racing, this light plane was fast and extremely maneuverable. Its only major technical problem was in the design of its wing struts. In a steep dive, the struts allowed the wings to twist, sometimes with disastrous results.

In Russian service were both French and domestic machines. Light sorts of wood and fabric were not available in Russia, and Russian-built 'Bébé's were 10% heavier. They also differed by fairing behind pilot's head.

Armament consisted of single light Lewis or 'Hotchkiss' machinegun installed on the upper wing. Reloading of the gun was facilitated by the Foster gun mount, essentially a curved rail that the gun could be slid backwards and down so the pilot could reach the magazine on top of the machine gun. With a variety of stops on the mount the gun could be inclined to fire upwards as well. This was a difficult feat to perform under anything but calm flying conditions.

Russian designer V.V.Iordan came up with simpler design, which was easier to operate. his installation allowed only two fixed positions. In normal position machinegun fired forward above the propeller arch, while in reloading position it could be used to fire upwards. This installation was used by Russian pilot K.K.Artseulov and others.

Available in Russia since 1916 in large numbers.


Nieuport-XV Nieuport-XVI

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.341-342;
  • Nieuport Aircraft of World War One (Vintage Warbirds, No 10), J.M. Bruce / Paperback / Arms & Armor 1989
  • Nieuports in Action, J.M. Bruce / Paperback / Arms & Armor 1989
  • Nieuport 11
  • Nieuport 11 Fighting Scout "Bébé"
  • l France Fighter Nieuport 11
  • 1915 Nieuport 11 Biplane...
  • More...

  • Created August 14, 1999 Back to
    Main Gate