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Aichi M6A Seiran Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane (1945)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 11/25/2013

The Aichi M6A-1 Seiran floatplane was to be housed and released from Japanese Navy I-400 class submarines.

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This oft-forgotten Aichi design was classified as an attack floatplane that was designed to be carried aboard the Japanese Navy I-400 class submarines. The aircraft was held in water-tight containers until implemented into flight when the submarine submerged. The design was in full production in 1945, with the aircraft and its submarine counterparts being readied for a brazen attack on the Panama Canal when the twin atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, effectively ending the was in the Pacific and derailing further production of the Seiran.

The Aichi M6A Seiran (translated as "Mountain Haze") was a single engine design, powered by a Atsuta Type 31 V12 piston engine of 1,400 horsepower driving a three-blade propeller assembly. Crew accommodations amounted to one personnel and standard armament is known to consist of a single 500lb bomb, mounted under the fuselage presumably. Design of the aircraft consisted of a low-monoplane type with a single rudder aft. The cockpit was situated at center above the wing roots.

A land-based derivative known as the M6A1K "Seiran Kai" was utilized for pilot training purposes. Landing gear was of the standard two-front with a tail wheel at rear for this land-based variant.

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Specifications for the
Aichi M6A Seiran
Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane


Focus Model: Aichi M6A1 Seiran
Country of Origin: Imperial Japan
Manufacturer: Aichi - Japan
Initial Year of Service: 1945
Production: 28


Crew: 2


Length: 34.88ft (10.63m)
Width: 40.22ft (12.26m)
Height: 15.03ft (4.58m)
Weight (Empty): 7,412lbs (3,362kg)
Weight (MTOW): 9,370lbs (4,250kg)


Powerplant: 1 x Aichi Atsuta Type 31 V12 engine generating 1,400hp.


Maximum Speed: 295mph (474kmh; 256kts)
Maximum Range: 1,243miles (2,000km)
Service Ceiling: 32,480ft (9,900m; 6.2miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 0 feet per minute (0m/min)


Hardpoints: 2
Armament Suite:
STANDARD:
1 x 13mm heavy machine gun

OPTIONAL:
2 x 551lb bombs. 1 x 1,874lb bomb OR 1 x Torpedo


Variants:
M6A1 Prototype - Prototype


M6A1 "Seiran" - Production Model Designation; 18 production aircraft.

M6A1-K "Seiran Kai" - Trainer derivative of the base Seiran; never reached production status.

M6A2 - Prototype Model; fitted with Mitsubishi Kinsei MK8P 62 at 1,560 horsepower; single production model.


Operators:
Imperial Japan