Nieuport 10AV/AR - 10C1
Single-engine two-seat - single-seat observation aircraft - fighter & trainer
The Minister of Defence in a note dated 10 February 1915, announced a first order of 12 Nieuport 10 aircraft for the Belgian Air Service. First delivery followed on 24 May 1915, when Lieutenant Crombez arrived at Ten Bogaerde (Koksijde) airfield. An estimated total of 20 Nieuport 10 biplanes of three different variants were used by the Belgian Air Service. Twin seat observation aircraft could have the observer either sitting in the front seat or in the back seat. This layout was identified as Nie 10AV (AVant/front) or Nie 10AR (ARrière/behind). It would have been more logical to indicate the pilot’s position, but in the early days the observer was always an officer and commander of the aircraft. The pilot was almost exclusively a non-commissioned officer (NCO) and only considered as being the driver for the officer/observer. A third type was the single seat fighter version designated Nie 10C1 (C for Chasse/Hunt) obtained by covering the front seat so that the pilot could handle a machine gun positioned on top of the upper wing, thus shooting out of the propeller’s arc. It is not known whether the Belgian Air Service received new single seaters or if the Nie 10C1’s operated were all field conversions. Belgian ace Jan Olieslagers obtained his first confirmed victory aboard a Nie10 converted into fighter on 12 September 1915 over Oud Stuyvekenskerke. These three types of Nieuport 10 were powered by the 80 hp Le Rhône 9C engine.
With the introduction of the improved Nie 11C1 “BéBé” in early 1916 at least seven Nie 10 single and twin-seaters were transferred to the pilot school at Etampes (F.) receiving Belgian serials between 31 and 37. The survivors of these aircraft soldiered on at the pilot schools of Juvisy (F.) and Asch (Serials 102 to 107). By 1920 the last of the Belgian Nieuport 10 trainers was withdrawn from operational use. (Daniel Brackx)
Because of the fact that during it's operational career with the Belgian Air Service the Nieuport 10 AV/AR and C1 had three distinct systems of numbering (the SFA numbering "Nxxx" during its combat career, the Etambes Flying School numbering School "31-3x" and the serials used at the Schools of Juvisy-sur-Orge (F.) and Asch (B.) "101-105") it is more than likely that some of the above serials were used by the same aircraft. Except for one case, up to now no tie ups between the three systems are known.