Nakajima C6N Airplane Videos and Airplane Pictures

Nakajima C6N Video - Picture

Warbird Picture - Nakajima C6N

Nakajima C6N Aircraft Information

Nakajima C6N


Warbird Picture - Nakajima C6N

Picture - Nakajima C6N

Role: Carrier based reconnaissance aircraft
National origin: Japan
Manufacturer: Nakajima Aircraft Company
First flight: 15 May 1943
Introduction: 1944
Retired: 1945
Primary user: Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
Number built: 463

The Nakajima C6N Saiun (彩雲, "Coloured Cloud") was a carrier-based reconnaissance aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in World War II. Advanced for its time, it was the fastest carrier-based aircraft put into service by Japan during the war. The Allied reporting name was Myrt.

Development and design

The C6N originated from a 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy specification for a carrier-based reconnaissance plane with a top speed of 350 knots (650 km/h) at 6,000 m and range of 2,500 Nautical miles (4,960 km). Nakajima's initial proposal, designated N-50, was for a craft with two 1,000 hp engines housed in tandem in the fuselage, driving two propellers mounted on the wings. With the development of the 2,000 hp class Nakajima Homare engine though, this configuration was abandoned and Nakajima decided on a more conventional single-engine layout. However, the Homare's output turned out to be less than initially expected, so the design had to be optimized in other areas. The resulting aircraft was designed around a long and extremely narrow cylindrical fuselage, just large enough in diameter to accommodate the engine. The crew of three sat in tandem under a single canopy, while equipment was similarly arranged in a line along the fuselage. The C6N's low mounted laminar flow wing housed fuel tanks and was fitted with both Fowler and slit flaps and leading edge slats to lower the aircraft's landing speed to ease use aboard aircraft carriers. Like Nakajima's earlier B6N "Tenzan" torpedo bomber, the rudder was angled slightly forward to enable tighter packing on aircraft carriers.

The first flight was on 15 May 1943, with the prototype demonstrating a speed of 639 km/h (345 kt, 397 mph). Performance of the Homare engine was disappointing, especially power at altitude, and a series of 18 further prototypes and pre-production aircraft were built, before the Sauin was finally ordered into production in February 1944.

Operational history

Although designed for carrier use, by the time it entered service in September 1944, there were few carriers left for it to operate from, so most were used from land bases. Its speed was exemplified by a famous telegraph sent after a successful mission: "No Grummans can catch us." ("我に追いつくグラマンなし"). The topspeed of the Grumman F6F Hellcat was indeed of the same level, so overtaking a Sauin was out of the question.

A total of 463 aircraft were produced. A single prototype of a turbocharged development mounting a 4-blade propeller was built, this was called the C6N2 Saiun-kai. A night-fighter version C6N1-S with oblique-firing (Schrxge Musik configuration) single 30 mm (or dual 20 mm) cannon and a torpedo carrying C6N1-B were also developed. The C6N1-B developed by Nakajima was not needed after Japan's aircraft carriers were destroyed. As Allied bombers came within reach of the Japanese home islands, there became a need for a first class night fighter. This led Nakajima to develop the C6N1-S by removing the observer and replacing him with two 20mm cannons. The C6N1-S's effectiveness was hampered by the lack of air-to-air radar, although it was fast enough to enjoy almost complete immunity from interception by Allied fighters.

Despite its speed and performance, on 15 August 1945, a C6N1 was the last aircraft to be shot down in World War II. Just five minutes later, the war was over and all Japanese aircraft were grounded.


Airplane Picture - Nakajima C6N-1S. Note the obliquely mounted 30mm cannon in the fuselage.

Picture - Nakajima C6N-1S. Note the obliquely mounted 30mm cannon in the fuselage.

C6N-1 : Two-seat reconnaissance aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
C6N-1B : Proposed torpedo-bomber version. Unbuilt.
C6N-1S : Small number of C6N-1s converted into night fighters.
C6N-2 : One prototype fitted with a 1,980-hp (1476-kW) Nakajima NK9K-L 24 Homare turbocharged engine.
C6N-3 : Projected night-fighter version of the C6N-2. Project only.

Specifications (C6N1)

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War

General characteristics

Crew: 3
Length: 11.00 m (36 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 12.50 m (41 ft 0⅛ in)
Height: 3.96 m (13 ft 0 in)
Wing area: 25.5 m (274 ft)
Empty weight: 2,968 kg (6,543 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,500 kg (9,921 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 5,260 kg (11,596 lb)
Powerplant: 1x Nakajima NK9B Homare 11 18 cylinder two-row air-cooled radial engine, 1,485 kW (1,990 hp)


Maximum speed: 610 km/h (329 knots, 379 mph) at 6,100 m (20,000 ft)
Cruise speed: 390 km/h (210 knots, 242 mph)
Range: 5,300 km (2,886 NM, 3,300 mi) (with auxiliary fuel)
Service ceiling: 10,470 m (35,240 ft)
Wing loading: 176 kg/m (36.2 lb/ft)
Power/mass: 0.33 kW/kg (0.20 hp/lb)
Climb to 6,000 m (19,700 ft): 8 min 9 sec


Guns: 1x flexibly mounted rearward-firing 7.92 mm Type 1 machine gun


Francillon, Ph.D., Ren J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970. ISBN 0-370-00033-1 (2nd edition 1979, ISBN 0-370-30251-6).
Francillon, Ph.D., Ren J. Japanese Carrier Air Groups, 1941-45. London; Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85045-295-3.
Mondey, David. The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. London: Chancellor Press, 1996. ISBN 1-85152-966-7.

Nakajima C6N Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

eXTReMe Tracker