[WWI] Windsock & Bishop's Nieuport (again!)

Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton smokeandsteam at san.rr.com
Thu Feb 1 00:32:44 EST 2007


>>I thought that the RFC machines with French proportioned roundels were
French manufactured and just overpainted by the RFC with the colours
reversed. British manufactured machines had the colours and proportions
correct for the RFC. <<

But as most (all?) RFC Nieuport single seaters came from French sources, you
can't rely on the use of roundel proportions alone in determining whether a
machine is RFC or not. How many RFC single seat machines were built by
British factories? I'm only aware of the RNAS 17Bis order from the British
Nieuport company and some 2 seaters coming from other contractors such as
Beardmore. I haven't really looked into RFC orders so I may be wrong in
thinking that all single seat scouts came from French factories 

>>Surely that would be applicable to the upper wing and not the rigging of
the cabanes? I wonder if that had anything to do with a clear cellon centre
section or not? <<

Correct, in that it affects the center structure of the top plane - "center
section" was a bad choice of phrase on my part. However you couldn't usually
have a Cellon section with the Foster mounting as I understand things. I
don’t pretend to have any special expertise but I thought that RFC machines
had the solid fabric covering. 

>> Pretty much every picture I've seen that states it is of a type 17 has
the 'V' pattern cabane wires and every picture of a 23 has the 'X' pattern,
whether they have Vickers installed or not - except for Bishop's! It is said
to be a 17 but clearly has the type 23 pattern cabane rigging.<<

Two obvious possibilities here: 
 - One, that some RFC 17s may have been rigged differently at the factory
due to the absence of the Vickers gun; this may have depended on which
factory made which machine
 - Two, that the obviously slight differences between the 17 and 23 led to
some 17s being repaired at the squadron or Air Depot level using components
which were actually intended for 23s due either to misinterpretations or
non-availability of the proper parts. 

>>Indeed and I'm certainly not going to lose sleep over it, but I do find it
interesting. My Eduard N.17 in Bishop's markings (which is nearing the
rigging stage) will have the cabanes rigged as it is in the photo, whether
it's really a 17 or a 23 is immaterial!<<

Eggsackly my take; model what you can document and if it differs from the
field manual you know that your version existed at some time and place. I'd
only rely on the specifications alone if there was not enough photo
documentation to suggest anything else. Field conditions sometimes meant the
manual was used a guide rather than a bible


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