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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi A6M2-N, Nakajima A6M2-N fighter floatplane, Navy Type 2 Floatplane Fighter Model 11
Allied Code Name: Rufe

Photos

  • Nakajima A6M2-N floatplane, Rufe

 

Design

The Mitsubishi A6M2-N resulted from a requirement for an aircraft to support amphibious operations that was given in September 1940. It was to be the successor to the Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu. 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 A6M2 Model 11. Niitake and Tajima were the engineers.

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.

Unique

The A6M2-N was the only one main floatplane fighter used by any nation during World War II.

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. at Koizumi
    • Production: 1941 - 1943, December 1941 - September 1943

Variants

  • Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M2-N, Navy Type 2 Floatplane Fighter Model 11: Production model.

Usage

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

Units

  • Kokutais: 5, 36, 452, Otsu, Yokohama, Yokosuka

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

  A6M2-N
Type Fighter, Floatplane fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK1C Sakae 12
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 940, 950
Propeller blades 3, 3 metal
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4", 39' 4.4375", 39' 4.6"
12 m
Length 33' 1.5", 33' 1.6", 33' 1.625", 33' 2"
10.1 m
Height 14' 1", 14' 1.25", 14' 1.3", 14' 1.3125"
4.3 m
Wing area 241.54 sq ft, 241.541 sq ft
22.44 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,215 lb, 4,235 lb
1,912 kg
Normal load 5,423 lb
2,460 kg
Maximum load 6,349 lb
2,880 kg
Performance  
Speed at 16,405' / 5,000 m 270 mph, 270.5 mph
435 kph
Speed - Cruising 184 mph
296 kph
Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m 3 minutes 54 seconds
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 6.7 minutes, 6 minutes 43 seconds
Service ceiling 32,808', 32,810'
10,000 m
Range 713 miles, 714 miles, 1,107 miles
1,148 km
Range with float tank 1,107 miles, 1,108 miles
1,781 km, 1,784 km
Armament 2: 20 mm
2: MG
Nose 2: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG, 7.7 mm Type 97
Wings 2: 20 mm, 20 mm Type 99
Bombs - under wings 2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg
  A6M2-N Type 21
Engine (Type) Sakae-12
Net HP 940
Dimensions  
Span 12 m
Length 10.2 m
Height 4.3 m
Wing area 22.4 sq m
Weight  
Empty 1,921 kg
Normal load 2,459.8 kg
Performance  
Speed at 16,405' / 5,000 m 270 mph
Service ceiling 33,238'
Range 1,107 miles
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 97
Wings 2: 20 mm Type 99

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Mitsubishi A6M Zero, James D'Angina, 2016
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site