Project G8N Renzan: Japanese strategic bomber “Rita”


G8N Renzan: Japanese strategic bomber “Rita”

 

Illustration of a scale model of G8N Renzan at 1/72 scale.

Illustration of a scale model of G8N Renzan at 1/72 scale.

 

The Imperial Japanese Navy, surprisingly, did not consider seriously to have a long-range strategic bomber until February 1943. Only then, the IJN Headquarters seriously asked Nakajima Company to develop a long-range land-based attack plane with four engines. The designation was G8N Renzan, the latter word meaning “Mountain Range”. The Allied code name was “Rita”.

After only 18 months, a record time, the first prototype was completed and it was finally delivered to the IJN in January 1945. Another three aircrafts were completed by June 1945.

The tests were very well and only minor problems were reported, therefore the IJN oficially applied for a total of 16 prototypes and 48 production version of G8N1, which should be assembled by September 1945. However, the war situation and continuous bombing made a critical shortage of light aluminium alloys which led to stop the project and production line in June 1945

At least one of the prototype survived the war (another was destroyed during a US attack) and was taken to the US for testing. However, and sadly, it was scrapped after testing and none are in existence today.

 

Captured G8N Renzan for testing in the US.

Captured G8N Renzan for testing in the US.

 

  • Crew: ten
  • Length: 22.94 m (75 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 32.54 m (106 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 7.20 m (23 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 112 m² (1,205 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 17,400 kg (38,400 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 26,800 kg (59,100 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 32,150 kg (70,900 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Nakajima NK9K-L Homare 24 18-cylinder radial engines, 1,491 kW (2,000 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 576 km/h (358 mph)
  • Range: 7,250 km (4,500 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 10,200 m (33,500 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 457 m/min (1,500 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 239 kg/m² (49 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.22 kW/kg (0.14 hp/lb)

Armament

  • 2× 20 mm Type 99 cannon in each dorsal, ventral, and tail turrets
  • 2× 13 mm (.51 in) Type 2 machine guns in nose turret
  • 2× 13 mm (.51 in) Type 2 machine gun in fuselage sides
  • Up to 4,000 kg (8,818 lb) of bombs

 


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