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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi A6M2-N, Nakajima A6M2-N fighter floatplane
Allied Code Name: Rufe

Design

The Mitsubishi A6M2-N resulted from a requirement for an aircraft to support amphibious operations that was given in September 1940.1,2 They were to provide air cover from lagoons and other waterways until airstrips were constructed on land.1

Nakajima was chosen to make a floatplane version of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero.1,2

The A6M2-N used a large floatplane with two outriggers.1,2 A ventral fin was added for stability.1 Additional fuel was carried in the float.1

Allow was used more in the A6M2-N as it was less corrosive.1

Prototype

The A6M2-N prototype first flew on December 8, 1941.1

Production

Production lasted until September 1943.1

  • Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M2-N: 3271,2
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima1, Nakajima Hikoki K.K.2
    • Production: 1941 - 19432

Variants

  • Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M2-N: Production model.1

Usage

The Imperial Japanese Navy accepted the first A6M2-N in July 1942.1

Early Campaigns

The A6M2-Ns saw action in the Solomons and the Aleutians.1

Secondary Roles

Once superior American fighters appeared the A6M2-N was relegated to secondary roles of liaison and training.1

Night Fighters

A few were equipped as night fighters to protect that Japanese home islands.1

Specifications

  Mitsubishi A6M2-N 1, Nakajima A6M2-N2
Type Fighter2, Floatplane fighter1
Crew 11,2
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK1C Sakae 121,2
Cylinders Radial 141,2
Cooling Air2
Net HP 9402, 9501
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4"1,2
12 m1
Length 33' 1.5"1, 33' 2"2
10.1 m1
Height 14' 1"2, 14' 1.25"1
4.3 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,215 lb1
1,912 kg1
Normal load 5,423 lb1,2
2,460 kg1
Maximum load 6,349 lb1
2,880 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 16,405' /
5,000 m
270 mph1,2
435 kph1
Cruising speed 184 mph1
296 kph1
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
6.7 minutes1
Service ceiling 32,808'1, 32'810'2
10,000 m1
Range 713 miles1, 1,107 miles2
1,148 km1
Range with float tank 1,108 miles1
1,784 km1
Armament 2: 20 mm2
2: MG2
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG1
Wings 2: 20 mm1
Bombs 264 lb2
Bombs - under wings 2: 132 lb1
2: 60 kg1

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site