Anything On A6M2-N

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Mar 23, 2004
Please post anything about the A6M2-N, I need some info for a model I am building. Does anyone know if it was The Mitsubishi or Nakajima A6M2-N? I have heard both.
Also, can you tell me anything about the cowl flaps? It looks like only three of them are open sometimes. Diagrams about cowl flaps in general would be apreciated, I need them to be open and don't know much about them.
The Japanese designation system was a little strange, but here is the basic rundown. The A is the Japanese Navy designation for a carrier based fighter, the 6 indicates that it was the 6th type accepted for that role. The M is for the manufacturer code, in this case, Mitsubishi, and the 2 refers to the subtype or variant. The -N is the part that poses the most mysterious piece. These were typically used to indicate a special funtion. For example, a -K would be a trainer. So does the -N indicate a seaplane?

The Japanese numbering system was confusing and changed occasionally, to make matters worse. But from what I have seen, Nakajima "License-built" a great number of A6Ms. I have not seen a listing of any A6M2-N built by mistubishi.

If you go to the following site, you can find some great pictures of Japanese aircraft of WWII:

That might help you with the cowl flaps.
The A6M2-N came to be as a result of the Japanese Navy issuing a spec for a single-seat fighter seaplane to provide air cover during the early phases of amphibious landing operations, and to fulfill the same role for military installations on small islands where building airstrips was not practical.

Kawanishi began work on the N1K1 Shiden, but it would not be ready in time for the impending conflict with the USA. The Navy then instructed Nakajima to develop a seaplane fighter based on the A6M2 which was then being built under license from Mitsubishi.

If I recall correctly Nakajima built more A6M's than did Mitsubishi, including a good number of A6M2 Model 11 airframes. It was an A6M2 Model 11 which was modified to serve as the prototype for the new seaplane fighter. There were 327 'Rufes' built, all by Nakajima.

As to the 'N' suffix... it probably was a special-function designator, as evangilder stated. What it meant, specifically, I wouldn't know; meatballs ain't my thing...

Fade to Black...
The "N" means it was a floatplane adaptation of a standard A6M2. All "N"s were built by Nakajima, due to their extensive floatplane experience. The floats degraded top speed to only 271 mph. They were used extensively in the Aleutian campaign.

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