The French concern of Nieuport was founded in 1908 prior to World War 1 (1914-1918) as a raceplane maker. It eventually produced some of the better known biplane fighters of the conflict and helped to ensure victory for the Allies - some of the conflict's top pilots flying Nieuports at one time or another in their careers included Frenchman Charles Nungesser, Englishman Albert Ball, American Eddie Rickenbacker and Canadian Billy Bishop, all aces from the war.
Gustave Delage, a French naval officer, aviator and engineer, joined the company in early 1915 and began work on a new airplane type utilizing a "sesquiplane" wing arrangement - where the lower plane of a biplane configuration is decidedly smaller than that of the upper span. His first attempt became the two-seat Nie.10 which went on to sell 1,000 units. His greatest contribution to the war effort was the classic Nieuport 11 - or "Bebe" - whose production totals reached 7,000 with deliveries spanning several of the top air services of the period.
The German and Italian interference complicated the Spanish government response as those countries supplied the Nationalists with much more modern aircraft as the fighting wore on. This clearly left the NiD 52 at a disadvantage and worsened the survivability of the Spanish State in the long term. The NiD 52 was finally relieved of service come 1937 and were used in second-line roles like maritime patrolling and basic training. Amazingly, not one NiD 52 airframe survived the bloody civil war - all being lost in the fighting or to continuing accidents.
The NiD 72 was brought about by Nieuport-Delage as an improved version of the NiD 52. This found broader interest globally for it was taken on in evaluation form by the air services of Belgium, Brazil and Romania. The Brazilian Air Force used these in anger during he Constitutional Revolution of 1932.
Beyond this, the NiD 52 line ended with the NiD 82, another related fighter design outfitted with a Hispano-Suiza 12Lb series engine of 600 horsepower. It achieved prototype form only and was not adopted by any one party
As finalized, the NiD 52 exhibited an overall length of 7.6 meters with a wingspan of 12 meters and height of 3 meters. Empty weight reached 3,000 pounds while Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) was rated at 4,000 pounds. The twin 7.7mm machine gun armament was all that was ever fitted to the fighter in terms of offense. Performance included a maximum speed of 162 miles per hour, a range out to 250 miles, a service ceiling of 26,900 feet and a rate-of-climb equaling 1,215 feet per minute.
25.07 ft (7.64 m)
39.37 ft (12 m)
9.84 ft (3 m)
2,998 lb (1,360 kg)
3,968 lb (1,800 kg)
162 mph (260 kph; 140 kts)
22,966 feet (7,000 m; 4.35 miles)
249 miles (400 km; 216 nm)
2 x 7.7mm machine guns
Ni-D 52 - Base Production Model Designation; single-seat fighter.
Ni-D 72 - Improved Ni-D 52 model; exported to Brazil and Belgium.
Ni-D 82 - Single Prototype Example; fitted with 1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Lb engine of 600 horsepower; later fitted with 1 x Lorraine 12Ha Petrel engine of 500 horsepower.