World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2018
Search:
Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Aichi M6A1 Seiran (mountain haze) attack bomber and M6A1-K Nanzan (southern mountain) trainer

Photos

  • Aichi M6A1 Seiran attack bomber floatplane
  • Aichi M6A1-K Seiran trainer

 

Design

The Aichi M6A was to be the only submarine borne offensive aircraft produced during World War II.

The Aichi M6As were to be carried on I-400 Class submarines that would have a watertight hanger that could carry three M6As and launch them by catapult on the deck.

Aichi was ordered in 1942 to design the Navy Experimental 17-Shi Special Attack Bomber that would be used on the I-400s. Aichi designated the design the AM-24 and the design team was led by Norio Ozaki, Yasushiro Ozawa, and Morishige Mori.

Assembly

The M6A1s could be assembled and ready for flight in seven minutes by four trained crewman. Fluorescent paint was added to the important parts to aide assembly in the dark.

Wings

The wings folded back to lie flat along the fuselage. The horizontal tail surfaces folded down.

Floats

If necessary the floats could be jettisoned for aerial combat.

Prototype

The M6A1 prototype was completed in November 1943.

Production

  • Aichi M6A1 prototypes: 6
    • Production: October 1943 - October 1944
  • Aichi M6A1: 20
    • Production: October 1944 - July 1945
  • Aichi M6A1-K prototypes: 2
    • Production: 1945
  • Manufacturer: Aichi Kokuki K.K. at Eitoku

Variants

  • Aichi M6A1 Seiran: Attack bomber floatplane.
  • Aichi M6A1-K Seiran Kai, M6A1-K Nanzan: Land based trainer.

Usage

The M6A1 never saw combat.

Attack on the Panama Canal

Plans were made for the First Submarine Flotilla made up of the I-400 and I-401, carrying three M6A1s each, and the I-13 and I-14, carrying two M6A1s each, to attack the Panama Canal gates.

This plan was changed to attack the Ulithi Atoll.

Attack on Ulithi Atoll

The First Submarine Flotilla sortie in July 1945 to attack Ulithi Atoll but the war ended before the attack could be made.

Specifications

  M6A1 Prototypes
Type Attack Bomber
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Aichi AE1P Atsuta 30 or Atsuta 31
Cylinders Inverted V-12
Cooling Liquid
Net HP 1,400
Propeller blades 3 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 40' 2.75"
12.262 m
Length 38' 2.25"
11.64 m
Height 15' 5/16"
4.58 m
Wing Area 290.624 sq ft
27 sq m
Weight  
Normal 7,277 lb
3,301 kg
Load - Normal 8,907 lb
4,040 kg
Load - Maximum 9,800 lb
4,445 kg
Performance  
Speed at 17,060' / 5,200 m 295 mph
256 knots
Speed - Cruising at 9,845' / 3,000 m 184 mph
160 knots
Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m 5 minutes 48 seconds
Service Ceiling 32,480'
9,900 m
Range 739 statute miles
642 nautical miles
Armament  
Cockpit - Rear 1: 13 mm Type 2
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR 1: 1,764 lb
1: 800 kg
OR 1: 1,874 lb
1: 850 kg
  M6A1-K Prototypes
Type Trainer
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Aichi Atsuta 32
Cylinders Inverted V-12
Cooling Liquid
Net HP 1,400
Propeller blades 3 metal constant speed
Armament  
Cockpit - Rear 1: 13 mm Type 2
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR 1: 1,764 lb
1: 800 kg
OR 1: 1,874 lb
1: 850 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site