Nakajima A4N

The Nakajima A4N was the final biplane fighter to see service with the Japanese Navy and was an interim design produced to fill the gap before the first monoplane fighters entered service.

The A4N was very similar to the earlier A2N3 naval fighters. It was an unequal span single-bay biplane, powered by a radial engine (in this case the Nakajima Hikari) and armed with two fixed forward firing 7.7mm machine guns. The new engine provided 730hp, a big increase on the 580hp available on the A2N3, and this accounted for the increase in top speed from 181mph to 217mph.

The A4N1 entered production as the Navy Type 95 Carrier Fighter. A total of 221 were produced between 1935 and 1937, and the type saw some active service in China, during the Sino-Japanese War that began in 1937. It was used as both a fighter and a ground attack aircraft, carrying 265lb of bombs under the wings. The A4N1 had a short front-line career - by the end of 1938 two-thirds of the Navy's fighter units had converted to the monoplane Mitsubishi A5M, and the A4N1 was moved to training duties.

Engine: Nakajima Hikari radial engine
Power: 730hp
Crew: 1
Wing span: 32ft 9.75in
Length: 21ft 9.5in
Height: 10ft 0.75in
Empty Weight: 2,812lb
Maximum take-off Weight: 3,880lb
Max Speed: 217mph
Service Ceiling: 25,395ft
Range: 525 miles
Armament: Two 7.7mm forward firing machine guns
Bomb-load: 265lb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 June 2011), Nakajima A4N, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_nakajima_A4N.html

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