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Nakajima B5N

Nakajima B5N
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torpedo dive bomber
Sakae 11 radial
1,000 h.p.
5,025 lbs.
9,040 lbs.
1,760 lbs.
1 to 3 - 7.7 mm
33 ft. 10 in.
50 ft. 11 in.
176 mph
235 mph
1,300 fpm
27,000 feet
1,240 miles

When Japan first attacked in World War II, its primary torpedo dive bomber was the Nakajima B5N, called “Kate” by the Allies. The aircraft served the Japanese Navy throughout the war.

The Nakajima B5N was designed in 1934 and first took to the sky in 1936. It was built with the same philosophy as other Japanese war planes of its time. It was equipped with unprotected fuel tanks and was lightly armored in order to obtain as much speed, range, and altitude as possible.

During primary testing, the Japanese Navy was impressed with the aircraft, although initial flight testing revealed a number of relatively minor items that needed correction. These only slightly delayed the development of the aircraft.

The Nakajima B5N performed well in the early stages of the war, sinking a number of Allied warships. However, when it came up against Allied fighter aircraft, it proved no match against them.

Newer Nakajima B5N models had more powerful engines and some drag reducing features, but they continued to suffer severe loses by enemy fighter aircraft.

Although primarily used as a torpedo bomber, the Nakajima B5N did see some action against land based positions before the war ended.

When removed from front line duties to be replaced by more modern aircraft, the Nakajima B5N continued in service. Some were used for coastal patrol and against enemy submarines. In the last days of the war, remaining B5N aircraft were flown as kamikaze aircraft.

A total of about 1,150 Nakajima B5N aircraft of all types were produced. None remained in flying condition after the war. The replica aircraft seen flying today are composites made from other aircraft.

Nakajima B5N
Lubos Chvatal with Nakajima B5N

Pictured immediately above is Lubos Chvatal of RC Web CA with his Nakajima B5N combat model. It has a wingspan of 51" and a length of 35". It is made from EPP and powered by a MVVS engine. Weight is about 37 oz.

The first and second pictures below are of the great looking giant scale Nakajima B5N from master builder Carl Bachhuber. Carl tells us that the engine used in the airplane is a DA-100 that has plenty of power to move the 1/4 scale 12 1/2 foot wingspan model. It is built from his own plans and features a torpedo drop and smoke system, plus self built retracts. It is a very good flying aircraft.

The last picture below is of the giant scale Nakajima B5N built by Sergio Vergara. Its wingspan is 102" and length is 68". Construction is from balsa and plywood. Sergio powers his model airplane with a 3W-60 engine. Weight is about 28 lbs.

Combined Fleet. com has three views drawings of the B5N1 and B5N2 which may be useful to anyone building a Nakajima B5N radio control airplane.

Nakajima B5N
Nakajima B5N by Carl Bachhuber

Nakajima B5N
Carl Bachhuber with his Nakajima B5N

Nakajima B5N
Nakajima B5N by Sergio Vergara

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