The Nieuport 11 is painted in the markings of N.2123 which was flown by Sgt.
Alvaro Leonardi of 80a Squadriglia, Italian Air Service. Leonardi survived the
war with a score of 8 confirmed victories, only one of which was scored in Ni
2123 (Ufag L1 seaplane L1 36 or L1 37). The original aircraft was built by
Maachi under license in 1917.
The character painted on the fuselage colour scheme was called ‘Fortunello’
(which means 'Lucky') and it was based on the Italian version of the 'Happy
Hooligan' comic strip. It seems that the "Fortunello" was very popular as a
personal marking with the pilots of 80a Squadriglia, as many of them had one,
each with slightly different features.
Photos taken by James Fahey at the Aviation Heritage Center at Omaka in
Blenheim , New Zealand.