Mystery Ship: January 2018 | HistoryNet MENU

Mystery Ship: January 2018

By Jon Guttman
10/30/2017 • Aviation History Magazine

Nieuport-Delage NiD.37

Designed by E. Dieudonné, the Nieuport-Delage NiD.37 was a contender for the 1922 Coupe Deutsch race, as well as the next generation of French fighters. Its fuselage, like that of the successful NiD.29 biplane, was a monocoque shell made from spiral-wound tulipwood, covered in varnished fabric. It was sometimes referred to as a sesquiplane, but more accurately was a shoulder-wing monoplane with a large foreplane added to the undercarriage to shift the center of pressure forward. Power came from a 300-hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fb V-8 engine with a Rateau turbosupercharger, cooled by a barrel-shaped Lamblin radiator slung below the engine and between the landing gear legs. Armament for the fighter version would have been two 7.7mm Vickers machine guns, synchronized to fire from the nose. The pilot, situated well forward in the fuselage, enjoyed outstanding visibility.

The NiD.37 was unveiled at the December 1922 Paris Air Show, but it did not make the Coupe Deutsch, and the disappointments continued from there. During flight testing in April 1923, it was found to be heavier and consequently slower than expected, its top speed falling well below the expected 155 mph. The key to that underperformance was the unreliable and troublesome supercharger. Ultimately the NiD.37 was relegated to that long line of rakishly imaginative-looking but ill-fated racers of the golden age of flight.



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