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Nieuport 16

France (1916)
Picture of Nieuport 16 Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The midly successful Nieuport 16 biplane fighter was the earlier Nie 11 design modified to accept a more powerful - and heavier - engine.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Nieuport 16 Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/15/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Aviation technology during World War 1 (1914-1918) moved at lightning speed as both sides attempted to gain the advantage in the skies over Europe. This led to many variants and all-new aircraft designs being fielded, some lasting just a few short months at they became quickly outclassed by enemy designs. The French-originated Nieuport line of fighters ended as a deep family tree made up of various fighting aircraft with origins in the Nieuport 10 of 1914. This product advanced through popular forms like the Nieuport 1 "Bebe" and the larger, more powerful two-seat Nieuport 12 model (both detailed elsewhere on this site). The Nieuport 16 (Nie 16) was an offshoot of the line, appearing in January of 1916, and brought with it a reinforced structure and a new engine fit. It went on to operate with the air services of France, Britain, Belgium (limited), Russia (locally-produced by Dux) and Italy during its brief time in the air.

At its core, the Nieuport 16 was the Nieuport 11 aircraft modified to accept a new, more powerful engine installation in the Le Rhone 9J rotary of 110 horsepower. However, in both form and function its appearance and battlefield role changed very little and, as such, it retained much of the capability of the earlier design. This led to an aircraft with a heavy frontal section and deteriorated handling characteristics due to high wing loading. Lacking synchronized gear, a single Lewis Gun machine gun was set over the upper wing element to help clear the spinning propeller blades and this kept the weapon awkwardly far from the pilot's reach in the event of an ammunition misfeed. The biplane wings, retained from the Nie 11, were of equal span and braced by V-struts.

The Nie 16 was introduced on January 5th, 1916 and operated in the fighter / bomber escort / balloon-busting role. In the latter, the V-struts supported four Le Prieur rockets to each wing for added firepower. Once available in number, the Nie 16 quickly superseded Nie 10 and Nie 11 fighters in circulation and some of the stock were eventually given Alkan synchronization gear so machine guns could be fitted to the fuselage and fired through the spinning propeller blades. Of course this also meant that even more weight was added to the frontal section of the aircraft which further worsened the "heavy nose" attitude already exhibited by the aircraft.

The Nieuport 16 was eventually superseded itself by the Nieuport 17 model (detailed elsewhere on this site) which offered improvements in both performance and handling - leaving the Nie 16 as nothing more than a stepping stone design on the road to a more viable fighter type.

In its finalized form, the Nie 16 showcased a maximum speed of 103 miles per hour.

Any available statistics for the Nieuport 16 Biplane Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (103mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
500
500


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: France
Service Year: 1916
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Nieuport - France / Dux - Russian Empire
Production Units: 500
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Belgium; France; Kingdom of Italy; United Kingdom; Imperial Russia
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Nieuport 16 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
18.54 ft


Meters
5.65 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
24.67 ft


Meters
7.52 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
7.87 ft


Meters
2.4 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
827 lb


Kilograms
375 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,213 lb


Kilograms
550 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Le Rhone 9J rotary engine developing 110 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
103 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
165 kph


Knots
89 kts

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm Lewis Gun on upper wing assembly

ALTERNATIVE:
1 x 7.7mm machine gun over nose synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades (Alkan interrupter gear fitted).

OPTIONAL:
8 x Le Prieur aerial rockets fitted in two banks of four rockets at each V-strut.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Nie 16 - Base Series Designation