The Nakajima B5N (Japanese: 中島 B5N, Allied reporting name “Kate“) was the standard carrier torpedo bomber of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) for much of World War II.
Although the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the American Douglas TBD Devastator monoplane (the U.S. Navy’s first all-metal, carrier-borne monoplane of any type with retracting gear), and the British Fairey Swordfish and Fairey Albacore torpedo biplanes, it was nearing obsolescence by 1941. Nevertheless, the B5N operated throughout the whole war, due to the delayed development of its successor, the B6N. In the early part of the Pacific War, flown by well-trained IJN aircrews and as part of well-coordinated attacks, the B5N achieved particular successes at the battles of Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway, and Santa Cruz Islands.
Primarily a carrier-based aircraft, it was also occasionally used as a land-based bomber. The B5N carried a crew of three: pilot, navigator/bombardier/observer, and radio operator/gunner.
- Pros and Cons
- Light, easy to fly, low stall speed
- Carry torpedo
- Rear gunner
- Weak durability
- Low caliber wing-mounted machine guns
- Default: NK1D Sakae 11 (1,000 hp)
- Default: 2 × 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns
- Upgrade 1: 6 × 50 kg bombs
- Upgrade 2: 1 x Type-91 Torpedo
- Max speed: 378 km/h (204 kn, 235 mph)
- Max dive speed: N/A
- Durability: 800
- Internal fuel capacity: 1158 litres (306 US gallons)
- External fuel capacity: N/A
- Empty weight: 2,279 kg (5,024 lb)
- Wing area: 37.7 m² (406 ft²)