The Nieuport 28 (N.28C-1) was a French biplane fighter aircraft flown during World War I, built by Nieuport and designed by Gustave Delage. Its principal claim to fame is that it was the first aircraft to see service with an American fighter squadron.
By early 1918, when the first production Nieuport 28s became available, the type was already "surplus" from the French point of view. The SPAD S.XIII was a superior aircraft in most respects, and was in any case firmly established as the standard French fighter.
On the other hand, the United States Army Air Service was desperately short of fighters to equip its projected "pursuit" (fighter) squadrons. The SPAD was initially unavailable due to a shortage of engines and the Nieuport was offered to, and perforce accepted by, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), as an interim alternative. A total of 297 Nieuport 28s were purchased by the Americans, and they were used to equip the very first American fighter squadrons, starting in March 1918.
On the whole the type was not a success. Although very maneuverable and easy to fly, its performance turned out to be mediocre and its engine unreliable. More seriously, the mixed plywood/fabric skinning of the wings proved problematic - with the fabric tending to become detached from the plywood leading section. Although a solution to this problem was speedily found, the operational Nieuports in American service were replaced with SPADs as soon as sufficient numbers of the latter became available. This process was complete by the end of July 1918.
Source: Wikipedia, "Nieuport 28", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
As Described In
Red Baron: The Nieuport 28 was a mediocre fighter that the French passed off to the nascent American pursuit squadrons in early 1918.