The Nieuport 81 was a dual control trainer based on the earlier Nieuport 12 and Nieuport 13.
The Nieuport 81 was probably derived from the earlier Nieuport 13, which matched the fuselage of the Nieuport 12 with an 80hp Le Rhône engine. The Nieuport 81 was a single-bay biplane with two cockpits and dual controls. The similar Nieuport 80 only had controls in the rear cockpit.
The Nieuport 81 was the second aircraft used by pupils at the French flying school at Pau. After basic training on the dual control Nieuport 82 they moved onto the smaller wingspan Nieuport 81 for more advanced training. They then made their first solo flight on the Nieuport 80 before finishing their training on the Nieuport 83.
The United States Air Service received 173 Nieuport 81s, which were used at the American Expeditionary Force flying school at Issoudun.
The Nieuport 83 was produced under licence in Japan. The Japanese bought a single Nieuport 80 after the First World War, and then imported forty Nieuport 81s. They then signed a licensing agreement, and the type was built by Mitsubishi. It was given the designation Ko.1. Production began in May 1922 and the type was used by the army flying schools at Tokorozawa and Kagamigahara until 1926. Some then went into private hands.
Belgium purchased one Nieuport 81 for evaluation.
Brazil received nine Nieuport 81s in 1919. They were used at the Escola de Aviacao Militar at Campos dos Afonsos. Some of them were later converted into taxi trainers, for ground based use. Brazil also received a number of Nieuport 80s and 83s. All three types were retired in 1924.
Engine: Le Rhône
Span: 29ft 6in
Loaded weight: 1,808ft
Max speed: 75mph at 6,570ft