American industry had promised that it would produce 45,000 or so fighters; unlike the astounding production numbers of World War II, not a single one was delivered in time to fight the war. So there were no American combat aircraft at the beginning of the war and there were too few Spads to go around, thus the Americans ordered 297 Nieuport 28s. And so the brave American pilots of the 27th, 94th, 97th and 103rd Aero Squadrons all flew the French Nieuport 28 biplane to start with. This was a light 1,200 pound fighter 24 feet long with a 26 foot wingspan capable of 122 miles per hour. (American Aviators of WW1, http://www.usaww1.com/Nieuport_28.php4)
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