Air Weapons

Nakajima

C6N Saiun 'Myrt'

The Japanese designed a number of unique aircraft during World War II, one such example was the Nakajima C6N Saiun (Painted Cloud), a dedicated carrier-based reconnaissance platform which was undoubtedly one of the great unsung aircraft of the war. Its great success lay in its amazing performance figures: its speed was unmatched by any other IJN aircraft (only the Ki-84 was faster), it had excellent high altitude performance and range, as well as advanced design features such a laminar flow wing with six integral fuel tanks, large observation windows, and camera portholes. The C6N was first used operationally during the Marianas campaigns and generally was involved in shadowing the US fleet throughout the Pacific where it was virtually immune from interception on account of its speed and service ceiling. Some aircraft were converted to night fighters but suffered from lack of radar; a C6N was also the last aerial kill of war, shot down by a US Navy pilot just 5 minutes before the end of hostilities.

First flown on 15 May 1943, the Saiun was followed by numerous additional prototypes and pre-production aircraft culminating in the C6N1 Model 11s, the first and only major production variant. Some of these were converted to night fighters and known as the C6N1-S while an experimental C6N2 was also developed as such and was characterized by turbocharged Homare 24 engines.

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignC6N1
NameSaiun
Code NameMyrt
TypeReconnaissance
Year1944
Crew3
Dimensions
Length11.00 m
Height3.96 m
Wing Span12.50 m
Wing Area25.5 m²
Weight
Empty2,968 kg
Maximum5,260 kg
Wing Loading206.3 kg/m²
Performance
Speed610 km/h
Ceiling10,740 m
Range3,080-5,310 km
Powerplant
Engine1 x NK9B Homare 21
Nakajima
1,484 kW
Thrust/Weight0.61
Armament
Guns1 x 7.7-mm
Payload-
Production
Built462
Total463