M6A1 Seiran                

Last update:

12/21/2012

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Aichi M6A1 Seiran

Scale 1:33
Author: Rafal Ciesielski
File Size: 43.3 Mb
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Aichi M6A1 Seiran
 
Imperial Japanese Navy Special Attack Bomber

Price $12.00

Model # 030
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Technical data:
  Length 11.64 m    
  Span 12.262 m    
  Engine Aichi AE1P Atsuta 32 twelve-cylinder, liquid cooled inverted V engine rated at 1,400hp for take-off
  Max Speed 474 km/h with floats    
  Armament 1 x 12.7mm rear firing, one 800kg torpedo or one 800kg bomb or 2 x 250kg bombs
  Crew 2    
     In 1942 Aichi was instructed to design a floatplane attack bomber to be used onboard of a new I-400 class submarine.  First prototype of the Seiran was completed in November of 1943 and was powered by Atsuta 30 twelve-cylinder inverted-vee liquid cooled engine.  Despite of the obvious complexity of the wing and rudder folding mechanisms required to fit the plane into a watertight hangar, M6A1 Seiran could be ready for flight in under 7 minutes.  All important parts had fluorescent paint applied on them to help the crew during nighttime operations. First prototype was joined by another five aircraft powered by Atsuta 31 engine and 18 serial production aircrafts powered by Atsuta 32 engines.
     The first target of the I-400/Seiran weapon system were to be locks of the Panama canal but soon it was changed to US Navy's anchorage in Ulithi Atoll. In late July of 1945  I-400 and I-401 with three Seirans onboard each and I-13 and I-14 carrying two Seirans each, sailed from Japan on this one-of-a-kind mission.  War ended before First Submarine Flotilla reached their designated target.
    The only surviving Seiran can be viewed in Smithsonian. It is the last airframe built by Aichi, serial number 28, discovered after the war in the ruins of the Aichi factory.
 

Model built and photographed by Golden Bear (torpedo-armed) and Rene Pinos (bomb-armed), used with permission.

 

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