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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. They were to provide air cover from lagoons and other waterways until airstrips were constructed on land.

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

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

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

Prototype

The A6M2-N prototype first flew on December 8, 1941.

Production

Production lasted until September 1943.

  • Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M2-N: 327
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima, Nakajima Hikoki K.K.
    • Production: 1941 - 1943

Variants

  • Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M2-N: Production model.

Usage

The Imperial Japanese Navy accepted the first A6M2-N in July 1942.

Early Campaigns

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

Secondary Roles

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

Night Fighters

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

Specifications

  Mitsubishi A6M2-N , Nakajima A6M2-N
Type Fighter, Floatplane fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK1C Sakae 12
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 940, 950
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4"
12 m
Length 33' 1.5", 33' 2"
10.1 m
Height 14' 1", 14' 1.25"
4.3 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,215 lb
1,912 kg
Normal load 5,423 lb
2,460 kg
Maximum load 6,349 lb
2,880 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 16,405' /
5,000 m
270 mph
435 kph
Cruising speed 184 mph
296 kph
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
6.7 minutes
Service ceiling 32,808', 32'810'
10,000 m
Range 713 miles, 1,107 miles
1,148 km
Range with float tank 1,108 miles
1,784 km
Armament 2: 20 mm
2: MG
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG
Wings 2: 20 mm
Bombs 264 lb
Bombs - under wings 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg

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