Nakajima A2N

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The Nakajima A2N was a naval fighter designed to replace the Nakajima A1N in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Like the A1N the A2N was an unequal-span single-bay biplane, powered by a version of the Bristol Jupiter radial engine, in this case Nakajima's licence built modification of that engine, the Ha-1 Kotobuki 2.  The prototype, which flew in 1930, had spatted wheel fairing around the main undercarriage, although this feature wasn't included in production versions.

The prototype showed that the A2N was an agile aircraft, and later in 1930 it was accepted for production as the Navy Type 90 Carrier Fighter. A total of 106 aircraft were built between 1930 and 1935, and for much of that time the A2N served alongside the A1N, which remained in front line service until 1935.

The A2N was produced in several versions. The A2N1 had a level upper wing, but dihedral on the lower wing. Its twin machine guns were mounted low on the fuselage, making them difficult to clear if they jammed. The A2N2 had the same arrangement of wings as the A2N1, but the guns were moved into a more conventional position on the upper fuselage. Finally the A2N3 had dihedral on both upper and lower wings. The A2N was also used as the basis of the two-seat A3N trainer.

The A2N saw active service during the Sino-Japanese War, operating from the carrier Kaga as part of the 2nd Carrier Division. The Kaga and its aircraft operated in the Shanghai area during the fighting in 1937.  

A2N1 (short)
Engine: Nakajima Ha-1 Kotobuki 2 radial engine, based on Bristol Jupiter
Power: 580hp
Crew: 1
Wing span: 30ft 9in
Length: 20ft 3in
Height: 9ft 11in
Empty Weight: 2,304lb
Loaded Weight: 3,307lb
Max Speed: 182mph at 9,843ft
Service Ceiling: 29,528ft
Range: 270 miles
Armament: Two 7.7mm machine guns in fuselage
Bomb-load: Two 66lb bombs under lower wing

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (3 June 2011), Nakajima A2N, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_nakajima_A2N.html

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