Aviation of World War II

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C6N Saiun

C6N Saiun
  • Shipborne Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • Nakajima

C6N Saiun. 彩雲 Sayyun (Rainbow Cloud). In the course of the conduct of hostilities, when the American aviation significantly increased the effectiveness of its actions, there was an urgent need to adopt a specialized long-range high-speed reconnaissance aircraft. Improvised scouts from conventional carrier-based torpedo bombers have already ceased to satisfy the Japanese command.

In the spring of 1942, the design of the aircraft, which received the military designation C6N1, was headed by Yasuo Fukuda and Yoshizo Yamamoto. A new 18-cylinder Homare-21 small-diameter radial engine with a capacity of 1820 hp was chosen as the power plant. with., during the design, special attention was paid to the purity of aerodynamic forms. On May 15, 1943, the first C6N1 prototype took off. The aircraft showed good flight characteristics, but the engine turned out to be unreliable, moreover, it did not develop the required power at high altitudes.

A total of 19 aircraft were built from March 1943 to April 1944, some of them were equipped with a new, more powerful Homare-21 engine with a three-bladed propeller shaft instead of a four-bladed one. Finally, in the spring of 1944, the aircraft was sent to mass production with a new 1900 hp engine. from.

The C6N1 reconnaissance aircraft turned out to be one of the best aircraft in the world in its class. The Allied aircraft received the code designation Mirt.

C6N armament . One 7.7 mm machine gun on a turret at the end of the cockpit.

High speed and long flight range allowed the Sayuns to avoid encounters with most enemy fighters and conduct reconnaissance in remote areas where Japanese aircraft were not expected to appear.

Nakajima C6N1 C6N1-S
Crew 3 2
Wing span, m 12.50
Wing area, m² 22.50
Length, m 11.00
Height, m 3.96
1×PE Nakajima NK9H Homare-21
Power, h.p. 1×1900
Weight, kg
Empty 2,968 3,000
Gross weight 5,260 5,262
Maximum speed, km/h 606 610
Cruising speed, km/h 387 389
Max. rate of climb, m/min 736 846
Service ceiling, m 10,740
Service range, km 5,300 3,080
Photo Description
Drawing C6N1 Saiun

Drawing C6N1 Saiun

C6N1-S Saiun, 3D-295

C6N1-S Saiun, 3D-295, night fighter armed with a 30 mm type 5 cannon

C6N-S Saiun
Night Fighter

C6N Saiun

C6N-S Saiun. The high characteristics of the new aircraft made it possible to adapt the high-speed reconnaissance aircraft for solving other tasks. This is how the modifications of the C6N1-B Model 21 bomber appeared - a torpedo bomber capable of carrying a torpedo or 800 kg of bombs instead of an external fuel tank, and the C6N1-S Model 21 - a night fighter for the defense of the Japanese Islands from American B-29 bombers, armed with a angle of 30 degrees with one 30mm or two 20mm cannons, similar to the German "Schräge music" ...

C6N-S armament Two 20-mm Type 99-II cannons or one 30-mm Type 5. In the summer of 1945, another reconnaissance aircraft entered service with the 302th Ku., instead of a pair of 20 -mm guns received one 30-mm Type 5. The designation of the modification has been preserved.

Combat use. While the C6N1-B carrier-based torpedo bombers were unclaimed, since by the time of their creation almost all Japanese aircraft carriers had already been lost, the C6N1-S night fighters managed to receive participation in hostilities. The aircraft of this variant, built in small numbers, became the fastest Japanese night fighters, however, the effectiveness of their use was significantly limited by the lack of a search radar.

A total of 463 aircraft of various modifications were built.


  • "Japan Aviation." /A. Firsov /
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering " /Aerospace Publising/
  • "Japan Warplanes of World War II" /Oleg Doroshkevich/