WOW179 – NIEUPORT 28.C
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WOW179 The Nieuport 28 C.1 was a French biplane fighter aircraft flown during World War I, built by Nieuport and designed by Gustave Delage. Owing its lineage to the successful line of sesquiplane fighters that included the Nieuport 17, the Nieuport 28 continued a similar design philosophy of a lightweight and highly maneuverable aircraft. By the time the Nieuport 28 was available, the SPAD XIII had been chosen to equip the escadrilles de chasse of the Aéronautique Militaire for 1918, and this fighter was also the first choice for the projected American “pursuit” squadrons. In the event a shortage of SPADs led to Nieuport 28s being issued to four American squadrons between March and August 1918, and these became the first aircraft to see operational service with an American fighter squadron. Our 1/30 scale Mahogany variant is the first fighter flown by Eddie Rickenbacker an Ace with 26 aerial victories, he was America’s most successful fighter ace during WW1. Rickenbacker flew a total of 300 combat hours during his service career, reportedly more than any other US pilot during the war. When Rickenbacker learned of the Armistice, he flew an airplane above the western front to observe the ceasefire and the displays of joy and comradeship, as the formerly warring troops crossed the front lines and joined each other in the celebrations. Rickenbacker was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross a record eight times. One of these awards was converted in 1930 to the Medal of Honor. He was also awarded the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre by France. In 1919 Rickenbacker was discharged from the Army Air Service with the rank of captain. He re-joined the service during WW2 and had the misfortune to ditch his B-17 in the Pacific, being cast adrift for 24 days where he nearly died. Rickenbacker survived the war where he returned to sit on the board of Eastern Airlines (he had purchased this company from General Motors prior to WW2), it became one of America’s most profitable airlines during his tenure but suffered a decline in its fortunes towards the end of the 1950’s. Rickenbacker died in 1973 aged 83 years old in Switzerland, his eulogy was given by none other than Jimmy Doolittle. This 1/30 scale Mahogany model is one of 6 available worldwide and includesa free pilot figure.