Nieuport 28

If ever an aeroplane owed its place in history to the men who flew it, then that aeroplane was the Nieuport 28. Surely one of the most elegant-looking warplanes of the war, the Nieuport 28 was enjoyable to fly but was far from outstanding in the performance stakes and plagued by serious design problems. Passed over by the French, it became the first operational fighter to equip the American Expeditionary Force in 1918 mainly because there was a shortage of SPAD XIII fighters at the time. Its wing fabric-shredding tendencies and volatile Gnome-Monosoupape engine notwithstanding, the Type 28 was generally well-liked by its American pilots; several of them, such as Eddie Rickenbacker and Douglas Campbell, scored a number of victories flying these aeroplanes.