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Japan's Nakajima B6N Tenzan ("heavenly mountain", "mountain of the sky") torpedo bomber
Allied code name: Jill

Photos

Nakajima B6N, "Jill" torpedo bomber:
Japan's Nakajima B6N, "Jill"  torpedo bomber
Nakajima B6N2, "Jill" torpedo bomber:
Japan's Nakajima B6N2, "Jill"  torpedo bomber
Nakajima B6N, "Jill" torpedo bomber:
Japan's Nakajima B6N, "Jill" torpedo bomber

Design

In 1939 the Nakajima B6N was designed.1,2 This was to replace the B5N.2,3

The B6N was similar to the B5N but had more power and torque delivered from the engine.1,2

Prototype

The prototype of the B6N first flew in early 1941.1,2,3 There were difficulties during the carrier trials.1 The vertical tail surface was moved to counteract the torque from the engine.2 Directional stability was poor.3

Production

  • Prototypes: 22
  • Nakajima B6N1: 1331,2,3
  • Nakajima B6N2: 1,1331,2
  • Total: 1,2682,3
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.3
  • Nakajima B6N3 prototype: 22

Variants

  • Prototype: Had Nakajima Mamoru radial engine.2
  • Nakajima B6N1: Had a Nakajima Mamoru 11 radial engine (1,870 HP).1
  • Nakajima B6N2: The Mamoru engine production was suspended so the Mitsubishi Kasei 25 engine was used (1,850 HP).1,2 Tail wheel was fixed.2 Appeared in late 1943.3
  • Nakajima B6N2a: Have 13 mm MG in the rear cockpit.2
  • Nakajima B6N3: Undercarriage was made stronger.2 Larger wheels.2

Usage

The B6N was put into service until late 1943.2

Deployed to Carriers

The B6Ns were first deployed to the aircraft carriers Shokaku, Taiho, Hiyo, Junyo, and Zuikaku.1

Philippine Sea Battle

They took part in the battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944.1,2 Many B6Ns were lost when three of the carriers were sunk.1

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The B6Ns took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, primarily from land based units.1

Specifications

  Nakajima B6N2
Type Carrier torpedo bomber2
Crew 32
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Maximum range  
Armament  
Rear cockpit 1: 7.7 mm MG2
OR 1: 13 mm MG2
Ventral turret 1: 7.7 mm MG2
Torpedo 12
OR  
Bombs 1,764 lb2
800 kg2
  Nakajima B6N12
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Nakajima NK7A Mamoru 112
Cylinders Radial 142
Cooling  
Net HP 1,8702
Propeller blades 42
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 7,105 lb2
3,223 kg2
Loaded 12,456 lb2
5,650 kg2
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Maximum range  
Armament  
  Nakajima B6N21,2,3
Type Torpedo bomber1,3
Crew 31,3
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK4T Kasei 25 piston1,2,3
Cylinders Radial1, Radial 142,3
Cooling Air3
Net HP 1,8501,2,3
Propeller blades 41,2
Dimensions  
Span 48' 10"3, 48' 10 3/8"1 , 48' 10.5"2
14.89 m1,2
Length 35' 7"3, 35' 7.5"1, 35' 7.75"2
10.86 m2, 10.87 m1
Height 12' 5 1/8"1, 12' 5.5"2, 12' 6"3
3.8 m1,2
Wing area 400.42 ft2 1
37.2 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 6,636 lb1,2
3,010 kg1,2
Loaded 11,464 lb3, 12,456 lb1,2
5,650 kg1,2
Performance  
Speed @ 16,075' /
4,900 m
299 mph1,2,3
481 kph1,2
Cruising speed 207 mph2
333 kph2
Climb 1,885'/minute2
575 m/minute2
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
10.4 minutes1,2
Service ceiling 29,660'1,2,3
9,040 m1,2
Range 1,085 miles1,2, 1,892 miles3
1,746 km1, 1,747 km2
Maximum range 1,892 miles2
3,045 km2
Armament 2: MG3
Rear cockpit 1: 13 mm Type 2 MG1
OR  
Ventral turret 1: 7.7 mm Type 97 MG1
Torpedo 1: 1,764 lb1
1: 800 kg1
OR  
Bombs 1,764 lb1,3
800 kg1

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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