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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Nakajima C6N Saiun (painted cloud) carrier reconnaissance
Allied code name: Myrt

Design

The Nakajima C6N Saiun was specifically designed to be a carrier based reconnaissance aircraft.1

Wing

The laminar flow wing had six fuel tanks.1 There were split and Fowler trailing edge flaps.1

Fuselage

The fuselage had observation windows and camera portholes in the side.1

Prototype

The C6N prototype first flew on May 15, 1943.1,2 It was powered by the Homare 11 engine (1,820 HP).1 The prototype used a four bladed propeller.1

Production

  • Prototype and pre production: 191
  • Nakajima C6N1: 4621
  • Nakajima C6N2: 11
  • Total: 4631,2
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.2

Variants

  • Nakajima C6N1 Model 11: Production version.1
  • Nakajima C6N1-S: Night fighter.1,2 Had two obliquely firing 20 mm cannons in fuselage.1,2 Used against B-29 Superfortresses in the home islands.1 The C6N1-S didn't have radar.1
  • Nakajima C6N2: Night fighter.1 Had Homare 24 turbo charged engine.1

Usage

Made operational in the summer of 1944.2

Mariana Island Campaign

The C6N's first campaign was in the Mariana Islands.1 It was used to shadow the US Fleet and was nearly immune from interception because of its speed and altitude performance.1

Last Kill of World War II

The last aerial kill of World War II was on August 15, 1945 at 5:40 AM when a US Navy pilot shot down a C6N1.1,2 Hostilities officially ended at 5:45 AM.1,2

Specifications

  Nakajima C6N Saiun1
Type Carrier reconnaissance1
Crew 31
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Nakajima C6N1 Saiun1,2
Type Reconnaissance2
Crew 32
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK9B Homare 211
Nakajima NK9H Homare 212
Cylinders Radial 181,2
Cooling Air2
Net HP 1,9901,2
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 41'1,2
12.5 m1
Length 36' 1"1,2
11 m1
Height 12' 11"2, 13'1
3.96 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 6,543 lb1
2,968 kg1
Loaded 9,921 lb1,2
4,500 kg1
Maximum load 11,596 lb1
5,260 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 20,015' /
6,100 m
379 mph1,2
610 kph1
Cruising speed 242 mph1
389 kph1
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
8.2 minutes1
Service ceiling 35,236'1,2
10,740 m1
Range 1,914 miles1, 3,300 miles2
3,080 km1
Range with external fuel tanks 3,300 miles1
5,310 km1
Armament 1: MG2
Rear cockpit 1: 7.7 mm MG1

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