Nieuport Delage NiD 29 C1
Single engine single seat fighter
At the end of World War I, the Belgian “Militair Vliegwezen/Aviation Militaire” was composed of a large mixture of different types of fighter-, bomber- and observation aircraft of French and British origin, which inevitably resulted in a maintenance nightmare.
In view of standardizing on a single “fighter” type of aircraft - to replace the war weary Sopwith Camels, Hanriot HD.1 and Spad XIII’s augmented by a number of war reparation Fokker D.VII - an evaluation of several new models was organized. As such the Militair Vliegwezen/Aviation Militaire acquired and/or tested the Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe (1 aircraft), the Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard (2), the Morane MS.30 A.I (3), the Ansaldo Ballila (1) and the Nieuport-Delage NiD 29 C1. The 1921 “Coupe Deutsch” winner Georges Kirsch officially presented this last aircraft type to the Belgian authorities at Evere airfield on 19 August 1921. Finally, the Nieuport-Delage was selected as the aircraft best adapted to fulfill the requirement for the standard Belgian Air Force fighter aircraft.
In 1922 the Belgian Government ordered 108 NID 29 C1 powered by the 300 hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fb V-8 engine, 20 of which were to be delivered by the French company while the remaining 88 fighters were to be constructed by the newly founded aeronautics company Sabca. The first Nieuport Delage NiD 29 C1 was handed over to Belgium from France on 6 June 1922, while the first Belgian built machine (N-21) was delivered by Sabca on 21 January 1924. The contract with Sabca for 88 aircraft was also to include 29 (?) Nieuport Delage NiD 29 ET1’s equipped with the less powerful Hispano Suiza 8Ab producing 180 hp, which were to be used as trainer aircraft. However no further confirmation of the delivery and use by the Aviation Militaire/Aéronautique Militaire of these NID 29 ET’s could be found.
The 108 Belgian NiD29’s were in service with the 2/IV (later 3/I/1Aé) (Chardon), 3/IV (later 1/I/2Aé) (Comet), 5/II, 6/II and 7/II (later 5/II/2Aé and 7/II/2Aé) (Cocotte) and the Pilot School (Pingouin). Already in 1927 a number of NiD 29C1’s were replaced by the much liked Avia BH.21 while the remainder soldiered on until 1931 with the arrival of the then much more modern Fairey Firefly IIM. (D. Brackx)
More individual aircraft will be added in the future.