|torpedo dive bomber
Sakae 11 radial
1 to 3 – 7.7 mm
33 ft. 10 in.
50 ft. 11 in.
When Japan first attacked in World War II, its primary torpedo dive bomber was the Nakajima B5N Kate. The aircraft served the Japanese Navy throughout the war.
The Nakajima B5N Kate was designed in 1934 and first took to the sky in 1936. It was built with the same philosophy as other Japanese war planes of its time. It was equipped with unprotected fuel tanks and was lightly armored in order to obtain as much speed, range, and altitude as possible.
During primary testing, the Japanese Navy was impressed with the aircraft, although initial flight testing revealed a number of relatively minor items that needed correction. These only slightly delayed the development of the aircraft.
The Nakajima B5N Kate performed well in the early stages of the war, sinking a number of Allied warships. However, when it came up against Allied fighter aircraft, it proved no match against them.
Newer Nakajima B5N Kate models had more powerful engines and some drag reducing features, but they continued to suffer severe loses by enemy fighter aircraft.
Although primarily used as a torpedo bomber, the Nakajima B5N Kate did see some action against land based positions before the war ended.
When removed from front line duties to be replaced by more modern aircraft, the Nakajima B5N Kate continued in service. Some were used for coastal patrol and against enemy submarines. In the last days of the war, remaining Nakajima Kate aircraft were used for kamikase missions.
A total of about 1,150 Nakajima B5N Kate aircraft of all types were produced. None remained in flying condition after the war. The replica aircraft seen flying today are composites made from other aircraft.
RC Nakajima B5N Kate
The two pictures immediately above are of the great looking RC Nakajima B5N Kate from master builder Carl Bachhuber. Carl tells us that the engine used in the airplane is a DA-100 that has plenty of power to move the 1/4 scale 12 1/2 foot wingspan model. It is built from his own plans and features a torpedo drop and smoke system, plus self built retracts. It is a very good flying aircraft.