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Nieuport 11: First World War Aircraft

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The French Nieuport 11 was given the nickname Bébé (Baby) thanks to its petite dimensions. This jaunty little 1915 fighter is one of the absolute classic aircraft of WW1, and was flown by (among others) French, British, Italian, Belgian and Russian forces.

Armament was an over-wing mounted Lewis gun which could be pivoted back to allow the pilot to replace the ammunition drum or clear the breech in the event of a jammed round. The pennant flying from the wing strut indicates that this is the squadron leader’s aircraft; a useful visual reference for other squadron members in the confusion of aerial action.