In 1917, Belgium received  a little number of Nieuports 23 (some source says 12 aircrafts). Those aircrafts were coming from surplus of the French aviation. There were delivered in silver dope but upper surfaces were repainted with the Belgian khaki (in fact a mix of some available colors…). They equipped the 1st and 5th Escadrilles (that became the 9th and 10th in 1918) and were used until the twenties.

Some aircrafts had the cockades of the upper wing overpainted by khaki. It’s my personal point of view that there were not Belgian cockades, but French ones…

Belgian Nieuports

Belgian Nieuports

Some well-known Nieuports:

5015 (pilot: Carlo Verbessem, 1st Escadrille)

5017 (pilot: Teddy Franchomme, 5th Escadrille)

5013 (pilot: Edmond Desclée, 5th Escadrille)

5024 (pilot: possibly Max Orban, 5th Escadrille)

The Nieuport 23 was also flown by Belgian ace Edmond Thieffry, Gustave De Mévius and Jacques Goethals.

Some beared on the fuselage the Comet of the 5th Escadrille, some other bearing more personal insignias (Verbessem, De Mévius, Goethals…)

The N5024 is the aircraft that was restored during many years in the Brussels Museum, by the team led by David Piron. The work made was well documented and meticulous. I was lucky enough to see some stages of the restoration. And particularily lucky to be present at the museum when the Nieuport came back after having been repainted!

The khaki color is particularily accurate because it was specially made by an industrial that used a little piece of tissue of the original aircraft, well-protected having been recovered by another piece, so the “original” tissue was really an original one with “fresh” paint!

The engine was also restored and successfully tested. But the aircraft will never fly again: his role is just to be used for static display.

Now the Nieuport 23 is totally restored and one of the beautifulest WWI aircrafts of the museum…

Daniel Clamot