Original Nieuport biplane flies again in Sweden 

The American Heritage Museum’s Nieuport 28 C-1 made its first post-restoration flight on April 2 from Sebbarp, Sweden, in the hands of Mikael Carlson.

Believed to be one of only examples extant, the biplane – which carries the serial ‘512’ – is the oldest original airworthy combat aircraft to have served with America’s armed forces. Produced slightly too late to serve in World War One, the 1918-built fighter was one of around 50 examples to be imported to the US from France. It initially flew with the newly formed US Army Air Service before entering civilian hands. It went on to ‘star’ in a number of films, including 1930’s Hell’s Angels.

It continued to fly well into the 1960s through famous aerial performers Paul Mantz and Frank Tallman until bought at auction by racing driver Jim Hall in 1968. It has not flown since the early 1970s, and was acquired by the Collings Foundation in 2019, parent organisation to the Stow, Massachusetts-based American Heritage Museum.

The Nieuport earlier this year prior to receiving final markings.
The Nieuport earlier this year prior to receiving final markings. COLLINGS FOUNDATION

It was shipped to restoration expert Mikael later that year for a return to flight status. Painted to represent a machine from the 94th Aero Squadron, it will now return to Stow and will make limited flights when conditions allow.