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2002 Closed threads from 2002 (read only)

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Old 29 January 2002, 09:18 PM   #1
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From RB2 the aces have paint schemes for there planes as you probably know. Most of them have simple like a line or picture but Jean Navvare's for the N.11 it was a light yellow fuselage, blue tail with red and white rings on it. For the n.17 that whole enitre plane(even the wheels) was a purple color.
This is just what the game says, all Id like to know is if he did actually have his plane like that.
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Old 30 January 2002, 12:21 PM   #2
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The RB2 and 3 stuff is just make believe...

Navarre flew the Nieuport 11 in the natural unbleached linen fabric with the French color bands of red,white, and blue around the fuselage. He also flew a red fuselaged Nieuport 11 and possibly a brown and green camouflaged example. I'm not sure if he flew the type 16 before he was forced out of action by his severe wounding. He also may have flown the Morane N at times earlier on.

To my knowledge he never flew the Nieuport 17 in combat. Perhaps one of our French experts can weigh in here?

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Old 30 January 2002, 12:37 PM   #3
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Dear Ozzie,
According to Joe Phelan, Navarre's Bébé was standard in coloring in ALL regards (wings, tailplane, wheel covers), done in olive drab; but the fuselage? AHA! It was all RED, from the cowling on back; there were no roundels on the fuselage. The cowling was silver (quelle surprise!), including the upper area of the fuselage between the cabane struts.
Phelan was not the greatest historian, but he was a graphic artist, and his watercolors are damn near beyond compare. [His book was HEROES AND AIRPLANES OF THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918; Grosset & Dunlap, 1966]
Old 30 January 2002, 12:48 PM   #4
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Dear Ozzie, again,
It's a slow night, so I figured, what the hell!, I'll get two posts on one thread...
This is from the OSPREY Series #33, NIEUPORT ACES OF WW1, by Norman Franks (page 94):
"Another patriotically-coloured Nieuport was Navarre's machine, carrying broad red, white and blue bands around the fuselage from the rear of the cockpit to just forward of the rear elevators. The rest of the fuselage, and the wings, was covered in clear-doped fabric, which looked distinctly light yellow. The inspection panels just behind the engine cowling were painted pale yellow to match the doped fabric. The cowling was natural metal, while the wheel covers were red, white and blue circles - blue innermost. What fuselage tapes remained exposed were black,and the interplane V-struts and tail skid were varnished wood. Navarre also flew an 'all-red' Nieuport at the height of his fame, during the Verdun battles in 1916."
[The above aircraft was N576; the 'all-red' was, according to Phelan, N15141]
Old 31 January 2002, 09:51 AM   #5
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Think you made a slip.The Bebe with the red fuselage in Phelan's painting has the early French standard scheme of doped linen on wings and tail not olive drab."Heroes and Airplanes" is a favorite of mine. It would be nice to have some back up from another source for the all red plane. Phelan's painting is the only source I have on that particular plane myself. I intend to model one or the other of Navarre's Bebes and the red in Phelan's painting is almost a maroon. Unusual to say the least.
Bob E
What's the use of worrying? It never was worth while. So, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!
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Old 31 January 2002, 04:15 PM   #6
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I agree that Joe Phelan's book, and his watercolors, are marvelous (the book was a source of great delight and inspiration in my early years as a WWI nut) but I think even Joe P. might tell you that it shouldn't be used as an authoritative source of color scheme info. His rendering of Navarre's red-fuselage Nieuport 11 is wonderful, but I am fairly sure the serial number he shows is pure imagination.

However, there is ample contemporary evidence that Navarre did indeed fly a red Nieuport (the color probably being confined to the fuselage, as Phelan shows it). The famous French aviation artist Henry Farre wrote of an observation flight he made over Verdun in his book "Sky Fighters of France", quote: "..I was interrupted in my reflections by the sight of a fighting plane hovering around my position..'That is Navarre in his red Nieuport' I called to the captain...[they sighted a Rumpler and attacked]..But what should I suddenly see, high in the air above us like a meteor - Navarre, in his red plane, driving through the mist, a veritable bird of prey, swooping down on the poor Rumpler, almost touching it with his wings. A volley from his machine gun set fire to its gasoline tank..."

There is a painting of Navarre's Nieuport 11 flaming a Fokker Eindecker in the book, but sadly it's reproduced in black and white only (and I've never seen a color print of this particular painting). The color of the fuselage matches the red rudder stripe, however.

In the Osprey "Nieuport Aces" book there is a photo of Navarre in a Nieuport 11 with a dark fuselage - possibly red or perhaps green & brown camouflaged. It is interesting in that it has a fixed Lewis gun mounted on the cowling in front of the pilot, and not on the top wing. It was probably synchronized (with the Alkan system ?). Interestingly, the aforementioned Farre painting shows no machine gun on the top wing either !

The Germans were also well aware of Navarre's red aircraft. In his books the German observer Haupt Heyedemarck (Double-Decker c.666, Flying Section 17, etc) wrote of encountering a red-painted French fighter and immediately thinking (with alarm) it must be Navarre.

Ed Ferko related in his book "Richthofen" that MvR had flown as a two-seater pilot on the Verdun front and would have been familiar with the stories of Navarre's red plane - and he attributes Manfred's choice of red to this notoriety. Of course, the French ace Madon flew a series of red Spads as well, and so (apparently ) did David Putnam.

While I've never seen an authenticated photo of Navarre's red Nieuport, the photos of N576 in flight leave little doubt that it had French tricolor cocardes on the wheel covers, and the fuselage was probably painted to match. The foremost (blue) fuselage stripe is unusually dark - leading some to suggest it was actually red, which would have resulted in a red-white-red appearance. However, I still think it was a tricolor motif.

Greg VanWyngarden

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