W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
NIEUPORT Monoplane France
In October 1917, Nieuport had a prototype fighter monoplane under construction with the aim of combining the structural simplicity and reduced drag of this configuration with a reasonable downward view for the pilot. The shoulder-mounted wing was braced by substantial lift struts attached to a rigid undercarriage structure incorporating a substantial spanwise surface of broad chord and streamline section. Glazed cut-outs in the wing roots gave the pilot some downward view and the wings and faired fuselage were fabric-covered. Powered by a 150 hp Gnome Monosoupape 9N rotary, the monoplane is presumed to have flown at the end of 1917 or beginning of 1918, at which time a second prototype with a 180 hp Le Rhone 9R was scheduled to fly about the end of January. The latter embodied some revision of the wings, which introduced inverse taper on the inboard trailing edges, and an extended fin. As of 1 May 1918, the Monosoupape-powered prototype was still under test, while the prototype with the Le Rhone had been abandoned. Armament comprised two synchronised 7,7-mm Vickers guns. Although the monoplane was not officially accepted, it represented the first Nieuport application of the configuration that was later to be greatly refined as the Nie 31. The following data is based on manufacturer’s estimates.
Max speed, 137 mph (220 km/h) at 13,125 ft (4 000 m).
Time to 13,125 ft (4 000 m), 13 min.
Endurance, 2.0 hrs.
Empty weight, 955 lb (433 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,565 lb (703 kg).
Wing area, 188.37 sq ft (17,50 m2).