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Nakajima G8N Renzan (Rita) - Imperial Japan, 1945

Detailing the development and operational history of the Nakajima G8N Renzan (Rita) Heavy Bomber.

 Entry last updated on 8/7/2012; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Nakajima G8N Renzan (Rita)  
Picture of Nakajima G8N Renzan (Rita)

The Nakajima G8N Renzan never lived up to its potential, thanks in part to material shortages back home.

The Nakajima G8N Renzan (or "Mountain Range" - codenamed "Rita" by the Allies) was a heavy bomber design put forth by the Nakajima Aircraft Company in the latter stages of World War 2. The system saw a severely limited production run due to the shortage of available wartime materials, in particular aluminum, and the series as a whole lived on in just 7 total examples including prototypes. Heavily armed, the four engine bomber project was crippled from the outset thanks in part to advancing Allied forces, putting the Empire on the defensive.

With the prototype flying in 1944, production models of the Nakajima G8N were appearing in early 1945. The G8N was powered by Nakajima-brand NK9K-L 24 Homare 18-cylinder radial engines. Wings were of the low-monoplane type, mounted just under the fuselage near middle. The G8N sported a tricycle landing gear and features a single rudder fin in the tail assembly. Classified as a heavy bomber, the G8N could carry a maximum internal bombload of nearly 9,000 pounds. In addition to the internal offensive armament, the Nakajima G8N bristled with heavy defensive armaments throughout its design. Six 20mm Type 99 cannons were mounted in two-gun turret assemblies fore, aft and in a ventral turret position. Double Type 2 13mm machine guns were also fitted in the nose along with an additional machine gun in each waist gunner position.

Offering up a good defensive capability with offensive ability and powerful range, the Nakajima G8N might have made an impact if war events were in its favor. Never the less, the system would never reach its potential by any regard with the IJN. An existing prototype sample was confiscated by the United States and shipped back to the homeland for testing.

Nakajima G8N1 Renzan (Rita) Specifications

Service Year: 1945
Type: Heavy Bomber
National Origin: Imperial Japan
Manufacturer(s): Nakajima Aircraft Company - Japan
Total Production: 7

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 10
Overall Length: 75.26 feet (22.94 meters)
Overall Width: 106.76 feet (32.54 meters)
Overall Height: 23.62 feet (7.20 meters)

Weight (Empty): 38,360 lb (17,400 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 59,084 lb (26,800 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 4 x Nakajima NK9K-L 24 Homare 18-cylinder radial engines generating 2,000hp each.

Maximum Speed: 311 knots (358 mph; 576 kph)
Maximum Range: 3,915 nautical miles (4,505 miles; 7,250 km)
Service Ceiling: 33,465 feet (10,200 meters; 6.34 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,500 feet-per-minute (457 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

2 x 20mm Type 99 cannon in dorsal turret
2 x 20mm Type 99 cannon in ventral turret
2 x 20mm Type 99 cannon in tail turret assembly
2 x 13mm Type 2 machine guns in nose turret
1 x 13mm Type 2 machine guns in waist gunner position
1 x 13mm Type 2 machine guns in waist gunner position

Maximum internal bombload capacity limited to 8,800lbs.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Imperial Japan

Model Variants

G8N - Main Series Model Designation

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