Air Force

NIEUPORT 24bis


Nieuport No.1 Nieuport No.1 Nieuport No.1 Note: Tail colour incorrect shade of red Nieuport No.1 Nieuport No.1

Nieuport No.1 J.Prieditis with Nieuport, Bikernieku airfield, Nov.1919 Nieuport, Bikernieku airfield, Oct-Nov 1919

Source: Flown over by pilot defecting from the Bolshevik forces

Acquired: 1919

Type: single-seat fighter

Engine: 130hp Le Rhone 9Jb

Dimensions
Length: 5.87 metres
Wing Span: 8.21 metres
Height: 2.40 metres
Max Speed: 176 km/hr

Range: 200 km

Maximum Ceiling: 5300 metres

Known Serial Numbers: 1

Notes

  • Pre-Latvian serial number: 4300
  • Repaired and test flown at Spilve from August 5-7, 1919
  • August 17, 1919 - assigned to the 1st Squadron Note that, while the aircraft was marked with Latvia's colours, the stripes were not presented in the same proportion as seen on the national flag.
  • August 19, 1919 - 1st Squadron transfers to Krustpils to participate in battles against the Bolsheviks in Latgale. The transfer is done by rail because of a severe shortage of fuel suitable for aviation.
  • August 25, 1919 - J.Prieditis flies the Nieuport on a 30-minute checkout flight
  • August 27, 1919 - J.Prieditis flies his first sortie for the Latvians, on a route from Krustpils to Livani to Cargrade and back to Krustpils. He dropped seven bombs on a one-hour flight at an altitude of 900 metres. He received three bullet holes in his aircraft.
  • Sept. 12, 1919 - J.Prieditis makes a brief (20 minute) flight.
  • Oct. 9, 1919 - J.Prieditis flies the Nieuport on a recon from Krustpils to Jumpravmuiza and then to the Krustabaznicas aerodrome at Jugla.
  • Oct.10, 1919 - J.Prieditis takes the Nieuport on a recon to Kekava and then flies to Spilve, Riga.
  • Oct.11, 1919 - just minutes before the capture of Riga, Prieditis flies the Nieuport to Sigulda.
  • Oct.11, 1919 - J.Prieditis takes the Nieuport on a recon route: Sigulda-Jaunjelgava-Taurkalne-Sigulda.
  • Oct.12, 1919 - Reconnaissance missions continue, this time to report on the rear areas of Bermont-Avalov's forces near Bulduri. At the end of the recon, Prieditis re-based to a more forward location (Krustabaznicas aerodrome).
  • Oct.15, 1919 - performed recon of Bermont's forces specifically for the British naval forces in Riga. The naval guns used this information to drive Bermont back from Riga.
  • Oct.17, 1919 - more recon such as on the 15th.
  • Nov.4 - Nov.10, 1919 - The Nieuport is briefly taken out of service for maintenance and repairs.
  • Nov.12 - Nov.16, 1919 - The Nieuport is flown in double shifts to provide recon for intensive battles from Tornkalns to Jelgava.
  • Mov.29, 1919 - with the Bermont battles essentially over, the Nieuport returns to Spilve. In total, the Nieuport had flown 23 combat missions between Oct.8 and Nov.20, 1919.
  • July 25, 1920 - N.Puskelis, flying the Nieuport, performs at the first Aviation Festival at Spilve. His flying demonstration was especially effective because, when he was still a flier for the Bolsheviks, he was given responsibility for advanced pilot training at the Moscow flight school, a program which involved a great deal of aerobatics.
  • August 7, 1921 - J.Prieditis, flying the Nieuport, performs at the second Aviation Festival at Spilve. The aircraft, which was nearing the end of its useful life, was repaired for this occasion. It remained on the active roster until at least 1923, but it is uncertain how much flight time it actually received.


Sources
- Bruce, J.M. Nieuport Aircraft of World War One
- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Cooksley, Peter Nieuport Fighters in Action
- Humberstone, R. (ed)Latvian Air Force 1918-1940
- Irbitis, Karlis Of Struggle and Flight
- Sanger, Ray Nieuport Aircraft of World War One
- Sparnota Latvija

Profiles courtesy of Arvo Vercamer

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