The C6N Saiun (Allied name Myrt): “No Grummans can catch us”


The C6N Saiun (Allied name Myrt): “No Grummans can catch us”

 

The C6N “Saiun” was fast enough to enjoy almost absolute immunity from interception by Allied fighters….The Porsche of the sky…too few pilots and too few planes (less than 500 produced planes). It just arrived too late to defend the Japanese sky.

On 15 August 1945, a C6N1 was the last aircraft to be shot down in WWII. Just five minutes later, the war was over and all Japanese aircraft were grounded.

The Allied code name is Myrt. In Japanese it was referred as Saiun which means “Iridescent Cloud“. There were many models and types designed but most of them were only projected and never were constructed. The most produced type was C6N1 Saiun Model 11 (Saiun 11-gata). It had three-blade propeller, mounted Nakajima NK9H Homare 21 engine.

 

Nakajima C6N-1 night-fighter variant.

Nakajima C6N-1 night-fighter variant.

 

Its high speed (first prototype reached 397 mph) was celebrated by a famous telegraph sent after a successful mission: “No Grummans can catch us.” (“我に追いつくグラマンなし”).

 

Impressive shape of the c6N Saiun on a model kit art box cover at 1/48 (Hasegawa). note the large cockpit with three crewmen.

Impressive shape of the c6N Saiun on a model kit art box cover at 1/48 (Hasegawa). note the large cockpit with three crewmen.

 

Although the plane may not be so well-known for non experts, compared to the famous Zero for example, it has driven attraction to the model kits manufacturers and many models are available at different scale,s from 1/144, to 1/72 and the largest 1/48. It was really a huge plane, so the size at 1/72 and 1/48 can really look impressive.

Technical specifications:

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 11.00 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.50 m (41 ft 0⅛ in)
  • Height: 3.96 m (13 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 25.5 m² (274 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,968 kg (6,543 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 4,500 kg (9,921 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,260 kg (11,596 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima NK9B Homare 11 twin-row 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 1,485 kW (1,990 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 610 km/h (329 knots, 379 mph) at 6,100 m (20,000 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 390 km/h (210 knots, 242 mph)
  • Range: 5,300 km (2,886 NM, 3,300 mi) (with auxiliary fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 10,470 m (35,240 ft)
  • Wing loading: 176 kg/m² (36.2 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.33 kW/kg (0.20 hp/lb)
  • Climb to 6,000 m (19,700 ft): 8 min 9 sec

Armament

  • Guns: 1× flexibly mounted rearward-firing 7.92 mm Type 1 machine gun


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