Loire-Nieuport L.N.161: “La chance de la laide,…..”


Superb view of the, then called, SNCAO 161’s 3rd prototype. The 161 was created in the chaotic French middle 1930’s to meet the requirements of a 1934 Service Technique specification for a modern single-seat fighter. The result was this really impresive Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs powered all-metal monoplane decently armed with its intended 20mm moteur-canon and a pair of wing-mounted 7.5mm MG. The prototype powered by a stopgap -less powerful- H-S engine and wooden propeller took its maiden flight in late 1935. Equiped later with its intended powerplant and an adecuate three-blade two pich prop, the 161 showerd real potential. Sadly only 3 of the 4 prototype ordened did fly and two of them were destroyed in crashes. l’Armée de l’air chose the Morane-Saulnier 406 instead.

It was a very pretty, yet cursed, design.

“……la belle la désire”.


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