The Nakajima B5N (Allied codename Kate) was the main torpedo bomber used by Japan during World War II.


The first production model of the B5N was the B5N1 and it had a crew of three men. The pilot, the commander, and the gunner. It also had a Nakajima Hikari 3 Engine capable of propelling the B5N1 at speeds of up to 368.5 km/h.

The armament of the Nakajima B5N was one Type 92 MG in the gunner position and a Type 91 Torpedo or up to 800 kg of bombs. Although, many Nakajima B5N1s were equipped with dual Type 97 Machine Guns in the wings.[1] The empty weight of the B5N was about 2,200 kg while the loaded weight was 3,800 kg.

The wingspan was 15.52 meters while the length was 10.3 meters. The service ceiling was about 7,400 meters and the range was 1,092 kilometers.[2] The rate of climb of the B5N was approximately 6.5 meters per second and the cruising speed was 256 km/h. The wings were also foldable for usage on aircraft carriers. The effectiveness of the B5N was relatively high throughout WWII.


The B5N's only variant, not including the Nakajima B6N Tenzin was the B5N2. It had a new Nakajima NK1B Sakae 11 Engine that could propel the B5N2 at speeds of up to 378 km/h. Its loaded weight was increased by approximately 100 kg and the tops speed was increased to 278 km/h. It was hoped that if the B5N2 could outrun Allied fighters, there was no need to add additional armor protection for the crew. This was in fact, a common belief among aircraft designers and the Japanese military.


The Nakajima B5N was first developed in 1937 and it was designed to replace older biplane bombers. It saw extensive combat in the early years of WWII and was made famous for its part during the Bombing of Pearl Harbor. It also saw combat in the Battle of the Coral Sea and is credited with the sinking of USS Hornet, USS Lexington, and the USS Yorktown. After 1944, the B5N was withdrawn from front line service and was assigned to anti-submarine patrols and used as a trainer aircraft.[3]


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