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Nakajima A9He1-N Wade Type 2 Floatplane Fighter

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Realizing an immediate need for a fighter plane that could operate in remote areas of the Pacific where the construction of airfields was impractical, in late 1940, pending production of the fighter floatplane N1K1 Kyofu (code named “Rex”), the Navy issued 15-Shi specifications to Nakajima Kikoki K. K. to develop a floatplane fighter version of the A9He1. Work began on the project, which was known as the AS-1, in February of the following year. Eliminating the undercarriage and retraction mechanism, which was faired over, a unique triangular main strut and two secondary struts were used to mount the single main float; the outrigger floats were mounted on single slender struts. This float system ensured the least amount of drag, yet was sturdy enough for practical seaplane use. The tail wheel was removed and faired over, and to increase lateral stability, a long narrow fin was added to the bottom of the fuselage below the tail assembly and the rudder was extended downward.

The 15-Shi floatplane flew for the first time on 8 December 1941, the same day Operation Hawaii (the attack on Pearl Harbor) was carried out. Production began in April 1942, and under the designation A9He1-N Type 2 Floatplane Fighter, the Navy accepted the new float fighter in July 1942. The type was first encountered at Guadalcanal, later being assigned to the Fifth Air Fleet during the Aleutians campaign, being based on Kiska and Attu, serving as a defensive fighter and reconnaissance fighter.

On the 5th of August 1942 the Dai 5 Kaigun Kokutai (Fifth Air Fleet) was formed with fighter and reconnaissance seaplanes originating from the Tokoh Kaigun Kokutai. Of the twelve fighter seaplanes with which the Kokutai was to be equipped, only six were in working order, those were coming from the Tokoh Kaigun Kokutai. On the 8th of August, during an attack carried out by United States destroyers and cruisers on the seaplane base of Kiska, the fighter seaplane forces were reduced to eight, following the destruction of four of those that were anchored at the aforementioned precarious naval base. The US Navy seaplanes that had been catapulted from the US cruisers also participated in this attack. Ship’s Lieutenant Yamada and the 3rd class naval pilot claimed the destruction of one of these. At this time, the Allies had in the zone a squadron of heavy bombers, two squadrons of medium bombers, four squadrons of fighters, including a Curtiss Kittyhawk squadron belonging to the RCAF (all under USAAF command), a squadron of Grumman F4Fs and another of flying boats, both belonging to the US Navy. During the rest of the month of August, Dai 5 Kaigun Kokutai was involved in the interception of bombers and the US seaplanes, which attacked the Japanese military establishments at Attu and Kiska, failing to obtain any positive results. On the 7th of September, however, the Japanese pilots claimed to have inflicted damage on an enemy seaplane and three bombers. According to the United States’ sources, one seaplane was lost during these actions.

Nakajima’s Koizuma plant built total of 327 A9He1-Ns were produced through September of 1943 when production was terminated. The Allied code name for the A9He1-N was “Wade”. Despite the weight and drag of the floats, these fighters were fast and powerful. They served their mission very well initially, but in a short time they were unable to effectively counter Allied land-based fighters.
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anonymous's avatar
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AJTalon's avatar
AJTalonStudent Writer
Awesome!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks! You may want to check out some of my other profiles, too!
aero3-5's avatar
aero3-5Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The British built Spitfire float planes in two different models a Mk.V and a Mk.IX. The top speed was 306mph. for the Mk.V and 377mph. for the Mk.IX.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure I understand the context, though. What was the Spitfire regarding?
aero3-5's avatar
aero3-5Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They were floatplane versions of the Spitfire,sorry for the confusion!There was also o floatplane version of the Grumman Wildcat.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Yep, I'm aware of them. This is a "What If" stand in for the Rufe, though, the floatplane version of the Zero, far more successful than any Allied attempt at a floatplane fighter.
eltf177's avatar
Oooo, a "Tony" on floats! Really sleek!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Actually it's an He 100 with a Tony's radiator on Rufe floats. Check out the two previous profiles to get the full backstory.

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rOEN911's avatar
rOEN911Hobbyist Digital Artist
very good job
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I like how it turned out.
Rekalnus's avatar
RekalnusHobbyist General Artist
Impressive design along with art rendering. Hope early summer is treating you well.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks, Russ! Early summer is treating me well, actually. I just bought a house, which is why my production rate has slowed to a crawl, but it's been a treat.
anonymous's avatar
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