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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nie 31
Nieuport 31 WW1 fighter front.jpg
Nieuport 31 circa 1919
Role Single-seat fighter
National origin France
Manufacturer Nieuport
First flight 1919
Number built 2[1]

The Nieuport Nie 31 or Nieuport 31 was a single-engine, single-seat monoplane or sesquiplane fighter aircraft designed and built in France in 1919.

Design and development

Though the Nie 31 (it had been flown and subsequently abandoned well before the company changed its name to Nieuport-Delage) was technically a sesquiplane, it could equally well be described as a shoulder-wing monoplane with a small foreplane. Its immediate predecessor was the Nieuport Madon, which had an ancillary lifting surface built around the axle of its wide-track undercarriage. The Nie 31 had a narrower-track undercarriage, but the second wing extended outwards beyond the wheels, which were faired into its upper surface; this wing and the axle were joined to the lower fuselage by a pair of near vertical N-form struts.[2]

The main plane was of low aspect ratio. In plan it had a rounded leading edge, straight trailing edge and square tips. Its roots were cut away to allow a better downward view from the cockpit. This was placed ahead of the trailing edge so the pilot looked forward over the wing; he had a faired headrest behind. The Nie 31's upper wing had ailerons but no flaps and was braced on each side by a parallel pair of aerofoil section struts stretching outwards from the bottom of the undercarriage struts. The lower wing had parallel chord and straight edges, providing a lifting surface with about 40% the area of the main plane. Both wings were fabric covered.[2]

The Nie 31 was powered by a 134 kW (180 hp) Le Rhone 9R nine-cylinder rotary engine, smoothly and completely cowled. It drove a two-blade propeller. The fuselage, like that of the earlier Nieuport Nie 29, was a smooth wooden monocoque shell of tulipwood, produced by winding thin spiral strips around a mould in a series of alternately handed layers and glueing them together. It tapered to the rear, where an almost delta-shaped tailplane was mounted at mid-height, carrying horn-balanced elevators. The fin was much less broad, with a straight-edged, balanced rudder extending down between the elevators below the lower fuselage, where there was a small dorsal fin.[2]

Cockpit view
Cockpit view

The Nie 31 was intended to carry twin 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Vickers machine guns. A flight test programme conducted through 1919 showed that the Nie 31 had excellent performance, especially given the low engine power, but Nieuport decided not to proceed with its development.[2]


Data from Green and Swanborough[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.60 m (28 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 2.40 m (7 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 18.0 m2 (194 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 500 kg (1,102 lb)
  • Gross weight: 780 kg (1,720 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Le Rhone 9R nine cylinder rotary engine, 130 kW (180 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed pitch


  • Maximum speed: 230 km/h (140 mph, 120 kn)
  • Endurance: 2.0 h
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (20,000 ft) [1]



  1. ^ a b "Les Avions Nieuport-Delage" (PDF). p. 31. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Green, William; Swanborough, Gordon (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. p. 437. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.
This page was last edited on 18 July 2019, at 04:52
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