Military Review

Combat aircraft. Nakajima B5N: not a number ...

40

Close your eyes for a minute, and try to imagine ... yourself. In a dream, in a fantasy novel, in a terrible tale.


You are a pilot. You go to your plane to take off. Everything is more or less clear with you, but we are looking at the plane.

Several survival enhancing engines? Not. One. Yes, this is Sakae from Nakajima, it’s a good motor, but it’s alone. With the power of whole 1000 hp

Armor? Joke, please? Faith in Mikado, the spirit of bushido and so on will protect you. But there is no reservation. Absolutely.

Armament ... Well, something like armor. There is a machine gun powered 7,7-mm, it usually lies in the second cabin on the floor. You can try to scare someone, but I would not rely too much on success.


Add, or rather, subtract more speed as an ally. 350 km / h is a beautiful figure of maximum speed. In fact, 250 km / h with full load, and who goes to battle empty?

So who are you? Kamikaze suicide bomber? Yes, it seems, but ... wrong.

You are a Japanese marine pilot aviation.

And your plane is not just a flying coffin, but a very peculiar device, with the help of which just huge territories were won and victories were achieved, not inferior to other famous planes.


It was you, cowering in the cramped cabin of this miracle, choking on adrenaline, hearing the signal “Torah! Torah! Torah! ”, Starting to catch huge carcasses of battleships in the sight ...



All is correct. 7.49 AM, 7 DECEMBER 1941, NEIGHBORHOOD Pearl Harbor.

It was? It was.

Mandatory excursion into the past. That's just in the very distant past.

Who knows when Japanese naval aviation was born? Yes, like the majority, during the First World War. In September 1914, when the Wakamiya Maru hydrotransport aircraft arrived in China to fight against the German Navy.

The armament of the first aircraft carrier in Japan was composed of four “Farman” float aircraft, which were engaged in reconnaissance and even tried to bomb something there. This is where it all started.

As in many countries backward in this regard, the first Japanese aircraft were imported. That was until 1918, when naval Lieutenant Chikuhei Nakajima together with Seibei Kavanishi founded an aviation company.

Combat aircraft. Nakajima B5N: not a number ...

Nakajima

Kawanishi, however, soon decided to open his own company, as a result, Japan received two ambitious aircraft manufacturing companies for the price of one. This is to the existing at that time, “Mitsubishi” and others.

And in 1923, the first real Japanese aircraft carrier, "Hosho" ("Hosho"), entered service. And the Japanese were very lucky that in those days of battleships there was a man who appreciated the abilities of aircraft carriers and rendered great assistance in the development of this class of ships.

Everyone already understood that I mean captain Isoroku Yamamoto, at that time the commander of the Kasumigaura Naval Flight School.


Aircraft manufacturing in Japan developed very original, in parallel and producing aircraft under license, and trying to design their own. There were many consultants invited from the West. Foreign advisers like Vogt (from Wright) at Kawasaki and Petty (from Blackburn) at Mitsubishi worked as best they could to improve the aircraft.

As a result of this policy, a bike went around the world stating that Japanese planes are poor copies of Western cars. This error completely satisfied the leaders of the Air Force and the army and the navy, and they did not do anything to refute it until the December 7 of 1941.

And on that rainy day for the American fleet, the B5N was one of those aircraft that was destined to dispel the myth that Japanese aviation was not capable of anything.


In general, it is impossible to say that B5N represented something epoch-making.

Yes, B5N had new items, including one that could argue for being one of the first folding-wing aircraft in Japanese naval aviation. Swivel nodes were placed so that the wing consoles overlapped one another. The drive hydraulic cylinders were placed in each wing in order to carry out folding mechanically. Also, the aircraft was equipped with newfangled Fowler flaps, which were issued back and down behind the rear edge of the wing, as well as a three-blade variable pitch propeller. That was, at least initially.

The prototype made its first flight in January of the 1937 of the year and reached a speed of 370 km / h. This was a very good indicator. But then the simplification of the design began. First, the mechanical folding of the wing was removed, replacing it with a manual one, then the Fowler type flaps mechanism was removed. It was decided to replace it with a simplified device, in which the entire section of the trailing edge turned down.

The variable pitch screw has been replaced by a constant screw. But at the same time, many suspension components were developed to provide the aircraft with the option of carrying bombs or torpedoes of its choice. Moreover, the replacement of these nodes could be performed by technical personnel directly on the deck of the aircraft carrier.

The pilot sat in front of the cockpit with poor forward visibility, which is normal for air-cooled engines. Since a good overview is a prerequisite for conducting operations on the deck, an elevator mechanism was made for the pilot's seat, raising it to a sufficient level in height.

The navigator / scorer / observer was located in the second cockpit facing forward and had a small window in both sides of the fuselage to monitor fuel consumption on the measuring glasses on the wings. To aim when dropping bombs, the navigator opened small doors in the floor. The radio operator / rear shooter sat with his machine gun, usually stored inside the cabin, at the rear.

Communication between crew members was carried out through a telephone pipe. The crew did not indulge in excesses such as oxygen equipment and all kinds of fancy radio stations.

In this form, the B5N entered the 1937 to serve in the aircraft of the Japanese fleet as a standard torpedo bomber and bomber, which it remained until the 1944 of the year. He was known as the Marine Deck Attack Bomber Type 97 Model 1. And during the war, the plane received the nickname "Kate."


In general, I am not of the opinion that the B5N was something so flawed in terms of performance. If you look at what the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom was equipped with, for example, this is where sadness and longing for the full program are. Yes, I'm talking about the miserable Skua and Swordfish, who had to take on the first years of the war.

Although, of course, the Swordfish in Taranto staged a massacre not inferior to Pearl Harbor in terms of unit unit.

Yes, and the American SBD-3 "Dauntless" and TBD-1 "Devastator" cannot be said that the Japanese aircraft were utterly superior. Also, they did not shine frankly with characteristics.

But let us go directly not to the TTX and LTX, but to the use of aircraft for their intended purpose.

So, in November 1940 of the year, 21 “Swordfish” sank the 3 of the Italian battleship in Taranto Bay. It was like a signal for Yamamoto. "Everything is possible".

The Japanese very carefully studied the Taranto raid in detail, the sea attache of Japan in the UK, Minoru Genda, provided Yamamoto with a huge amount of information.

The preparations for the attack were excellent. Special torpedoes equipped with wooden keels, 406-mm naval armor-piercing shells with welded stabilizers - well, the results of the daring raid are known to everyone.



30% direct hits from torpedo bombers and 27% from bombers - this is serious. A high level of training plus surprise - and here you are not shining with the characteristics of the B5N together with their comrades carry the entire American fleet.

And then began the blitzkrieg of Japan in the Pacific. And B5N has become about the same tool in this blitzkrieg as the “Piece” of Ju-87 in Europe.


Dutch East India, Ceylon, Colombo and Trincomalee - our hero was noted everywhere. The aircraft carrier "Hermes", the cruiser "Hermes", "Dorsetshire" and "Cornwall" on the conscience of B5N.

Aircraft carrier Hornet. Despite not the best weather that could be used as a cover, and the presence of fighters, the Hornet was discovered and within ten minutes received five bomb and two torpedo hits in the engine rooms. And in the end he drowned.

Next, the B5N chopped up the Northampton heavy cruiser, which was about to be towed by an aircraft carrier that had lost its course.

In general, the bomber / torpedo bomber went through the whole war, from the first to the last day.


Even as a plane for kamikaze was involved. For “special attacks”, the most frequently used aircraft was A6M, but in 1945 and part of B5N was also used in suicide attacks from Okinawa.

After Midway and other battles, Japanese naval aviation no longer recovered from the loss of carrier ships. But B5N remained the plane that fought the whole war, until its end.


LTX B5N2

Wingspan, m: 15,50
Length, m: 10,20
Height, m: 3,70
Wing area, м2: 37,70

Weight, kg
- empty aircraft: 2 279
- normal takeoff: 3 800

Engine: 1 x Hakajima NK1B "Sakae -11" x 1000 hp
Maximum speed km / h: 378
Cruising speed, km / h: 255
Practical range, km: 1 990

Maximum rate of climb, m / min: 395
Practical ceiling, m: 8 620
Crew, prs: 3

Armament:
- one 7,7-mm machine gun type 92 on a defensive installation at the end of the cabin;
- 6 x 60-kg bombs, 3 x 250-kg bombs or one 800-kg torpedo.

Agree, the characteristics are not impressive at all. But the fact is, the plane fought, and did it very effectively. 1200 units is a small series, definitely. And quite a few planes survived, but from the debut in 1938 in China to the summer of 1945, this suggests that the plane was pretty decent, despite the eternal Japanese jokes with armor and "extra" equipment.

It turns out that it is not always with an airplane that entered history, there must be exceptional LTX or a huge number of manufactured copies. It is possible otherwise: not by number.
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  1. fa2998
    fa2998 25 November 2019 05: 45 New
    +5
    A worthy adversary. I think the Japanese saved on armor and weapons to increase their range. The theater of war is huge, and the range is impressive, almost 2000 km. hi
    1. andrey-ivanov
      andrey-ivanov 25 November 2019 11: 52 New
      +2
      So it was. Not too powerful engines and the need to carry a decent supply of fuel for operations over the expanses of the Pacific, determined the most lightweight design and the high level of training of pilots of Japanese naval aviation. For only cool pros could squeeze out everything possible from machines with a small margin of safety.
  2. Amurets
    Amurets 25 November 2019 06: 15 New
    +1
    It turns out that not always the plane that went down in history must necessarily have exceptional performance characteristics or a huge number of copies made. It is possible otherwise: not by number.
    Author! Thanks, interesting.
    Д
    After Midway and other battles, Japanese naval aviation no longer recovered from the loss of carrier ships.
    Even the newest aircraft carrier Shinano did not manage to take on board the air group. https://topwar.ru/39451-17-chasov-slavy-avianosca-sinano.html
  3. Sahalinets
    Sahalinets 25 November 2019 07: 03 New
    -6
    How many mistakes in a short article! Well, the Japanese did not make armor-piercing bombs from shells, this has long been refuted! And the English cruisers on the account of Val dive ...
    1. Bormanxnumx
      Bormanxnumx 25 November 2019 08: 11 New
      +11
      Quote: Sahalinets
      Well, the Japanese did not make armor-piercing bombs from shells, this has long been refuted!

      They did it, and it’s not disproved, but it’s specified exactly from which it was remade (from 410mm) smile
      https://midnike.livejournal.com/1231.html
    2. Undecim
      Undecim 25 November 2019 12: 35 New
      +11
      Well, the Japanese did not make armor-piercing bombs from shells
      Well done.

      Fourth on the left is the Japanese 410 mm APC Type 91 armor-piercing shell, which is almost no different from APC No. 6 / Type 88, which he replaced.
      Just from the obsolete APC No. 6 / Type 88 of 1928 and made the armor-piercing bomb Type 99 Number 80 Mark 5.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 25 November 2019 12: 38 New
        +9

        Type 99 Number 80 Mark 5 bomb.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 25 November 2019 12: 42 New
          +8

          A bomb under the plane.
          1. motorized rifle
            motorized rifle 25 November 2019 14: 20 New
            +3
            There it is! I read about these bombs from shells as a child and always imagined that if they were made of armor-piercing shells, then stabilizer feathers were attached from the bottom of the shell. And it turns out that the shell "worked" backwards, thanks, I will know.
            1. Alexey RA
              Alexey RA 25 November 2019 17: 25 New
              +4
              Quote: motorized infantryman
              There it is! I read about these bombs from shells as a child and always imagined that if they were made of armor-piercing shells, then stabilizer feathers were attached from the bottom of the shell. And it turns out that the shell "worked" backwards, thanks, I will know.

              The stabilizer was mounted just from the rear of the projectile. It’s just that when a shell was converted into a bomb, the shell was stripped of its tips and sharpened in the tail part, because now he did not need to withstand the overload and pressure of the powder gases during the firing.
              The ballistic (1) and armor-piercing (2) tips, as well as leading belts (6), were dismantled at the shell. The cylindrical part of the projectile, which did not affect armor penetration, was turned on a cone (5) to reduce the weight of the bomb to the B5N acceptable for the Nakajima carrier-based strike aircraft. The internal cavity (4) was increased, which also reduced the weight, significantly increased the explosive charge, and in addition, an aluminum damper (3) was installed there, following the model of new Japanese armor-piercing shells, which reduces shock loads on the explosive charge. A new screw bottom (7) was also made for two fuses (8) of an aircraft type and with a protrusion for attaching the stabilizer block. Plus, the stabilizer block itself (9), which was probably the simplest in this whole conversion. The result was a completely independent new ammunition, for which the original artillery shell served as nothing more than a blank with suitable dimensions and strength characteristics.
              © midnike
    3. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 25 November 2019 15: 33 New
      +6
      Quote: Sahalinets
      Well, the Japanese did not make armor-piercing bombs from shells, this has long been refuted!

      They did it. It was just that the scope of work was such that the bomb did not resemble the original projectile. At uv. midnike has an excellent comparative section of the source and the final product:
      1. Wildcat
        Wildcat 26 November 2019 18: 46 New
        +2
        By the way, I came across comments about the hits (I apologize for the tautology) of these bombs in Pearl Harbor: "the bomb hit but did not explode, but fell apart" and the bomb hit, but did not explode.
  4. rocket757
    rocket757 25 November 2019 07: 04 New
    +4
    They were led by a "high spirit" ... or the wind, from somewhere there !!! In the end she won .... the best technology and economic power!
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 26 November 2019 12: 37 New
      +2
      Quote: rocket757
      They were led by a "high spirit" ... or the wind, from somewhere there !!! In the end she won .... the best technology and economic power!

      But all the same, they did a good job of "children of the Great Lakes", which they still remember.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 26 November 2019 12: 56 New
        +1
        Quote: tihonmarine
        But all the same, they did a good job of "children of the Great Lakes", which they still remember.

        Yes, but you must pay tribute to the Yankees. They quickly orientated themselves and with their skills and economic power, they managed to turn everything in their favor.
        So it’s good to give the Yankees on the nose, it dramatically consolidates them and guides them in the direction they need!
        Right now, Tram realized that without drastic changes in domestic and foreign policy, the strip of hair is not in a stable state ... where he will push it, lead it is not entirely clear, but it seems that he wants to, can make the strip large again and DANGEROUS !!!
  5. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 25 November 2019 07: 47 New
    +3
    Thanks for the article about the ordinary Japanese "workaholic". I always said that ordinary guys win wars, not Olympic champions.
    1. Antares
      Antares 25 November 2019 09: 12 New
      +4
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      I always said that ordinary guys win wars, not Olympic champions.

      but they need heroes, for motivation, purpose, leaders ..
      and so yes - war is hard everyday bloody work. And there is no pathos ... blood, cold / heat, the sound of bullets and the roar of shells ..
      and in this case, a monotonous flight, meetings with fighters, routine bombing .. base, rest reload ..
      Japanese workaholic of war.
  6. Grossvater
    Grossvater 25 November 2019 08: 42 New
    0
    Except that it’s not Hosho, but Hosho, it’s interesting enough.
  7. Alex 1970
    Alex 1970 25 November 2019 08: 47 New
    +3
    Interesting article, thanks. A plane with not the coolest LTX affairs has done a lot, and even not with a very large series. Just like Suvorov’s, not by number, but by skill.
    1. igordok
      igordok 25 November 2019 09: 21 New
      +3
      Quote: Alex 1970
      A plane with not the coolest LTX affairs has done a lot, and even not with a very large series.

      Junkers-87, by the way, is far from a leader in terms of characteristics. But he did a lot, but essentially became a symbol of the “blitzkrieg”.
      1. Alex 1970
        Alex 1970 25 November 2019 12: 40 New
        +5
        In skilled hands and competent use, and our "outdated" aircraft at the beginning of the Second World War could give a worthy rebuff. But there are not too many cases. And when "skillful hands" were beaten, I had to fight for a long time to break a ridge like a Luftwaffe.
        1. igordok
          igordok 25 November 2019 12: 47 New
          +1
          This ridge was expensive. And it was difficult to make up for it. At the end of the Second World War, the Germans still had cars, but the "ridge" practically ran out.
      2. LastPS
        LastPS 22 December 2019 20: 44 New
        0
        87th to some extent the leader. The IL-2 was a unique and one of a kind attack aircraft, which was developed as an attack aircraft. The 87th was unique, because it was developed as a dive - the most perfect dive of the time. The problem of the junkers was only that he could act, exclusively, with the complete dominance of the allied aviation in the air, which explains his successes.
        Deck torpedo bombers are a very specific technique. That's what the author evaluated their performance characteristics, considering that they are not outstanding? After all, he correctly noted that the British Swordfish, being an absolute archaic, are the most deserved and famous type of the British Navy since WWII. Conclusion - for this type of aircraft conventional performance characteristics are not so important.
    2. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 26 November 2019 12: 41 New
      +1
      Quote: Alex 1970
      A plane with not the coolest LTX affairs has done a lot, and even not with a very large series.

      Here we need to recall our PO-2, a simple civilian U-2, which terrified the Germans, our mothers girls, "Night Witches."
  8. Altai72
    Altai72 25 November 2019 09: 07 New
    -3
    Quote: rocket757
    They were led by a "high spirit" ... or the wind, from somewhere there !!! In the end she won .... the best technology and economic power!

    In the end, defeated “Baby” and “Fat Man” .... The Americans took revenge in a wild way. There was no need for this ...
    1. Proctologist
      Proctologist 25 November 2019 10: 09 New
      +1
      I mean, "there was no need"? And what ended the war, saving the lives of not only hundreds of thousands of American soldiers with a possible landing on Honshu, but also millions of Japanese ?!

      Two factors led the emperor to surrender:
      1) the entry of the USSR into the war
      2) nuclear bombing (the number of nuclear bombs available to the Americans was unknown to the Japanese)
      1. Oleg Zorin
        Oleg Zorin 25 November 2019 19: 33 New
        -1
        Arthur Harris after the bombing of Dresden: "all the remaining German cities are not worth the life of one British grenadier." And I agree with him.
  9. Grossvater
    Grossvater 25 November 2019 10: 03 New
    +1
    Assessing the TTD of Japanese (German) military equipment, one should not forget about the advantage of an attack over defense, especially a surprise attack.
  10. Tetrarch
    Tetrarch 25 November 2019 12: 08 New
    +6
    I would venture to note that in the photo Admiral Nagano, the former commander of the United Fleet, was the head of the Moscow State School in December 1941, and not Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 25 November 2019 12: 22 New
      +3
      You are absolutely right, in the photo Osami Nagano, Chief of the General Staff of the Imperial Navy of Japan.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 25 November 2019 12: 24 New
        +3

        Isoroku Yamamoto
  11. Undecim
    Undecim 25 November 2019 13: 23 New
    +5
    How many mistakes in a short article!
    Yes, errors do occur. For example this.
    hydrotransport aircraft "Wakamiya Maru"

    The ships of the Navy of Japan in their names of the suffix "maru" never had, this is the prerogative of exclusively civil courts. Therefore, when the vessel "Wakamiya-maru" in 1913 was transferred to the Imperial Fleet and received the status of "ship of coastal defense of the 2nd class", this ship became known as "Wakamiya".
    As in many countries backward in this regard, the first Japanese aircraft were imported. That was until 1918, when naval lieutenant Chikuhei Nakajima, together with Seibey Kawanishi, founded an aviation company.
    The first Japanese aircraft was built in 1911 by captain Tokugawa Yoshitoshi, called Kaishiki No. 1.
  12. Undecim
    Undecim 25 November 2019 13: 57 New
    +7
    Aircraft carrier "Hermes"

    The Hermes aircraft carrier was sunk by Aichi D3A dives.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 25 November 2019 14: 17 New
      +5
      Hermes, Dorsetshire and Cornwall
      The Dorsetshire and Cornwall were sunk by Aichi D3A dive bombers from the Akagi, Hiryu and Soryu aircraft carriers.
      The cruiser Hermes was not in the Royal Navy during World War II.
      The Hermes armored cruiser Highlife type was torpedoed by the German U-27 submarine in 1914.
  13. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 25 November 2019 14: 44 New
    0
    Quote: rocket757
    won .... the best technology and economic power!

    The Americans, without the help of the USSR and the barbaric atomic bombing, would have fought with the Japanese for a long time.
  14. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 25 November 2019 15: 31 New
    0
    It was you, cowering in the cramped cabin of this miracle, choking on adrenaline, hearing the signal “Torah! Torah! Torah! ”, Starting to catch huge carcasses of battleships in the sight ...

    Hehehehe ... and it was you, who didn’t give a damn about all the orders, who first attacked the training ship, and then mixed up the torpedo bombers and used up the remaining expensive "anti-aircraft" avia-torpedoes to finish off the already drowning LCs. Moreover, they spent aimlessly - poor “ViVi”, which got the majority of these torpedoes, still went into operation and even participated in the last linear battle. smile
  15. Undecim
    Undecim 25 November 2019 18: 41 New
    +5
    By the way, the plane, presented not in the first three photographs, is not the Nakajima B5N, this is a replica created in 1969 for the shooting of the film "Tora! Tora! Tora!". Since not a single Nakajima B5N in a more or less complete form has been preserved, a replica was collected from two similar, but American, ones in the USA (irony of fate!)
    The fuselage and wings were taken from the North American Aviation T-6 Texan, only the fuselage was lengthened.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 25 November 2019 18: 46 New
      +5
      The tail unit was borrowed from the Vultee BT-13 Valiant.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 25 November 2019 18: 51 New
        +5
        The copy was quite accurate. Gives her two-bladed screw.

        The airplane also starred in the films “Battle for Midway”, “Flying Losers”, “War and Memory”, and the series “Black Sheep Squadron”.
        It flies now and is used in various air shows.
  16. Reklastik
    Reklastik 28 November 2019 22: 07 New
    0
    along with comrades the entire American fleet.
    - far from all, it would not be a sin to clarify.