Nakajima A6M2-N


A6M2-N Rufe.jpg
Role Interceptor/fighter-bomber floatplane
National origin Japan
Manufacturer Nakajima Aircraft Company
First flight 7 December 1941
Introduction 1942
Primary user Imperial Japanese Navy
Number built 327
Developed from Mitsubishi A6M Zero

The Nakajima A6M2-N (Navy Type 2 Interceptor/Fighter-Bomber) was a single-crew floatplane based on the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Model 11. The Allied reporting name for the aircraft was Rufe.

Design and development

The A6M2-N floatplane was developed from the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0, mainly to support amphibious operations and defend remote bases. It was based on the A6M-2 Model 11 fuselage, with a modified tail and added floats. A total of 327 were built, including the original prototype.

Operational history

The aircraft was deployed in 1942, referred to as the "Suisen 2" ("Hydro fighter type 2"), and was only utilized in defensive actions in the Aleutians and Solomon Islands operations. Such seaplanes were effective in harassing American PT boats at night. They could also drop flares to illuminate the PTs which were vulnerable to destroyer gunfire, and depended on cover of darkness.

A6M2-Ns at Attu, Alaska

The seaplane also served as an interceptor for protecting fueling depots in Balikpapan and Avon Bases (Dutch East Indies) and reinforced the Shumushu base (North Kuriles) in the same period. Such fighters served aboard seaplane carriers Kamikawa Maru in the Solomons and Kuriles areas and aboard Japanese raiders Hokoku Maru and Aikoku Maru in Indian Ocean raids. In the Aleutian Campaign this fighter engaged with RCAF Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.[citation needed] The aircraft was used for interceptor, fighter-bomber, and short reconnaissance support for amphibious landings, among other uses.

Later in the conflict the Otsu Air Group utilized the A6M2-N as an interceptor alongside Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu ("Rex") aircraft based in Biwa lake in the Honshū area.

The last A6M2-N in military service was a single example recovered by the French forces in Indochina after the end of World War II. It crashed shortly after being overhauled.[1]


Japanese pilots at an A6M2-N plane anchorage. Two Rufe planes are visible in the background.
French Navy A6M2-N
  • French Navy - Postwar, one Nakajima A6M-2N was captured in Indo-China, it was impressed into service with the French Navy in late 1945.

Specifications (Nakajima A6M2-N)

Salvaged wreck of an A6M2-N at a U.S. base in 1943

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 10.1 m (33 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 22.44 m2 (241.5 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,912 kg (4,215 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,460 kg (5,423 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,880 kg (6,349 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima NK1C Sakae 12 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 700 kW (940 hp) for take-off
950 hp (708 kW) at 4,200 m (13,780 ft)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed metal propeller


  • Maximum speed: 435 km/h (270 mph, 235 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 296 km/h (184 mph, 160 kn)
  • Range: 1,148 km (713 mi, 620 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,783 km (1,108 mi, 963 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 6 minutes 43 seconds


See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Dorr and Bishop 1996, p. 249.
  2. ^ Francillon 1970, p.428.


  • Dorr, Robert F. and Chris Bishop. Vietnam Air War Debrief. London:Aerospace |Publishing, 1996. ISBN 1-874023-78-6.
  • Francillon, R.J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London:Putnam, 1970. ISBN 0-370-00033-1.
  • Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War, Volume Six: Floatplanes. London: Macdonald & Co., (Publishers) Ltd., 1962.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York: Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  • Jackson, Robert. Combat Legend: Mitsubishi Zero. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84037-398-9.
  • Janowicz, Krzystof. Mitsubishi A6M2-N Rufe (Kagero Famous Airplanes 4) (in Polish/English). Lublin, Poland: Kagero, 2004. ISBN 83-89088-42-8.
  • Mikesh, Robert C. Warbird History: Zero, Combat & Development History of Japan's Legendary Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter. Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International, 1994. ISBN 0-87938-915-X.
  • Sakaida, Henry. Imperial Japanese Navy Aces, 1937–45. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1999. ISBN 1-85532-727-9.
  • Gunston,Bill. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Combat Aircraft of World War II. London, UK: Salamander Books Ltd., 1978 ISBN 0-89673-000-X

External links

Media related to Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe at Wikimedia Commons