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 1930s 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. Equipped later with its intended powerplant and an adecuate three-blade two pich prop, the 161 soon showed real potential. Sadly only three of the four prototypes ordered 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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