Nakajima B6N2 "Jill" - (scan - 1984)

Named Tenzan after worshipped mountain in China, the B6N2 was another conventional-looking aircraft which was in many respects superior to seemingly more advanced Allied Grumman TBF and Fairey Barracuda. Designed as replacement for B5N "Kate", Tenzan was slim and clean with no internal weapon bay. Torpedo offsetto right and, to increase clearance on torpedo release, big oil cooler was offset to the left. Distinctive shape of vertical tail was to minimize length in 3-point attitude for stowage in carriers. The big Mamori engine driving 4-bladed Hamilton-type prop suffered severe vibration and overheating. Although B6N1 kept in service, was replaced in production by B6N2. Lower power of proven Kasei engine counteracted by improved installation with less drag and jet thrust from exhaust stubs. Tenzans went into action off Bouganville and in Marshalls campaign Jun 44. Subsequently heavily committed, many being later equipped with ASV radar for night attacks and ending Apr-Jun 45 with hectic campaign of torpedo and suicide attacks off Okinawa and Kyushu; but by this time Japanese Navy had no operating carrier and hardly any skilled pilots.

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