Nieuport 17

The elegant and agile Nieuport single-seaters were the premier French fighters over the Western Front in 1915-16. The type 17, the most famous of the breed, equipped renowned fighter squadrons such as the American expatriate Escadrille Lafayette squadron, and was the mount of many famous air “aces”, including Britain’s Albert Ball and France’s Georges Guynemer.
The Nieuports’ most distinctive feature was the “sesquiplane” configuration,  comprising a large top wing and small bottom wing. This was originally conceived by Nieuport’s prewar designer, Swiss engineer Franz Schneider, as the best compromise between a monoplane and a biplane. The first machine to embody the concept was the Type 10 Nieuport of 1915, designed by Gustave Delage.
Its direct descendant, the larger, stronger Type 17, entered service in May 1916. Usually armed with a Vickers or Lewis gun on the upper wing, it outclassed the German fighters in speed, manoeuvrability, and rate of climb.
At some lime in 1916 the Nie.17.C 1. to give its official designation, either partly or wholly equipped all the French fighter units. Nieuport 17s were also favoured by many British and Belgian pilots.