The Nieuport 28 was rejected by the French Air Service as not suited to be front-line equipment. At the time, the American Army was desperate for any airplane they could scrounge, and 297 Nieuports were delivered to the "Yanks."
The first airplane Americans flew into combat, it was loved by some and feared by others. Flying 28s, Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow each shot down a German fighter on April 14, 1918, becoming the first U.S. airmen to destroy a plane in combat. Famous ace Eddie Rickenbacker scored many of his twenty-six victories flying his Nieuport.
On the other side of the coin, Rickenbacker, America's beloved hero, was almost killed when the upper wing fabric on his 28 tore apart in flight. Teddy Roosevelt's son, Quentin, and ace Raoul Lufbery were also killed while flying Nieuport 28s.
The Museum of Flight's Nieuport 28 is an original, and both Robert Rust and Jim Appleby worked on its restoration before it was finished by Roger Freeman of Marlin, Texas in 1999. The plane has a Gnome 9-N, 165 h.p rotary engine and two .303 inch Vickers machine guns. The plane currently carries the paint scheme of Quentin Roosevelt.