During 1934, the Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire amalgamated
with the Societe Nieuport-Astra to result in
the Groupement Aviation Loire-Nieuport. The two concerns
maintained separate design offices which, at
times, were to find themselves in competition, a case in
point being the LN 161. This, like the Loire 250, was intended
to meet the requirements of the 1934 Service
Technique specification for a new single-seat fighter.
Designed by engineers Mary and Dieudonne, it was of
advanced structural concept with an all-metal monocoque
fuselage and a metal stressed-skin wing. Armament
comprised a 20mm engine-mounted cannon and
two wing-mounted 7.5mm machine guns. Although
designed for the 860hp Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs engine, the non-availability of this power plant dictated installation
of a 690hp HS 12Xcrs engine driving a twobladed
fixed-pitch propeller. The prototype flew as the
Nieuport 160 on 5 October 1935. In the following
November, it was returned to the factory for various
modifications and installation of the definitive engine,
resuming flight test at the end of March 1936 as the
Nieuport 161 fitted with a three-bladed two-pitch propeller.
The prototype showed considerable promise
and was the favoured contender for Armee de l'Air
orders, three additional prototypes being contracted.
The first prototype crashed on 22 September 1936, and
the second prototype, temporarily designated SNCAO
161 (Loire-Nieuport having meanwhile been absorbed
by the Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques
de l'Ouest), did not enter flight test until 15
October 1937. The third prototype, bearing the definitive
designation of Loire-Nieuport 161, followed in
March 1938. During the next month, the second prototype
was written off in a landing accident, but the results
of testing were by then of purely academic interest
as the Morane-Saulnier contender had been
ordered into production. Consequently, the fourth prototype
was not completed.
| Take-off weight||2278 kg||5022 lb|
| Empty weight||1748 kg||3854 lb|
| Wingspan||11.00 m||36 ft 1 in|
| Length||9.56 m||31 ft 4 in|
| Height||2.95 m||10 ft 8 in|
| Wing area||15.00 m2||161.46 sq ft|
| Max. speed||478 km/h||297 mph|
|A three-view drawing (1280 x 898)|
|Tony Newman, 22.03.2013|
Looks like another promising design prevented from proving itself by bad luck more than anything else. Another lost opportunity I think.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?