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Aichi M6A Seiran


Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane Aircraft


Imperial Japan | 1945



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



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/16/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
This oft-forgotten Aichi aircraft design was classified as an attack floatplane, designed exclusively for the launching from Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) I-400-class submarines. The IJN plan was to carry these aircraft in water-tight containers until arriving at a launch waypoint. The vessel would then surface, the aircraft readied, and then launched towards a target of opportunity. To help with storage aboard the submarine, the Aichi M6A Seiran ("Mountain Haze") was designed with wings that rotated and lay flat along the fuselage sides as well as tail surfaces that folded at their tips. Overall, the aircraft was largely conventional, featuring floatplanes for water-borne landings and a crew of two to spread the workload. Power was from an Aichi Atsuta Type 31 liquid-cooled V12 inline piston engine of 1,400 horsepower driving a three-blade propeller at front. Armed with a 13mm machine gun, the M6A was also to carry an offensive load of 1 x Type 91 torpedo or up to 1,875lbs of drop ordnance.

Aichi designed, developed, and produced their M6A series from 1943 to 1945 - the final year of the war. The type was being prepared for a surprise attack on the Panama Canal , a vital waterway for U.S. Naval operations in the Pacific. However, Allied advanced in the Pacific Theater, as well as the dropping of the two Atomic bombs on Japan forced an unconditional surrender for the Empire of Japan. As such, the aircraft did not see combat service in the war. Production was also disrupted due to the unrelenting Allied bombing campaign of the Japanese mainland which led to only 28 examples manufactured.

Eight base M6A1 prototypes preceded the eighteen M6A1 Seiran production models. A land-based derivative, known as the M6A1K "Seiran Kai", was intended for pilot and these would have been deployed with a wheeled undercarriage and of the tail-dragger arrangement for land-based service - losing the floatplane equipment. Only two prototypes were built. The M6A2 was a proposed platform that existed in a sole prototype - this outfitted with a Mitsubishi Kinsei MK8P 1,560 horsepower engine driving a constant speed propeller.

Performance specifications for the Seiran included a maximum speed of 295 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 185 miles per hour, a range of 740 miles and a service ceiling of 32,500 feet.

A sole, intact, Seiran floatplane aircraft is displayed by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington, D.C. This aircraft represents the last production model completed. It was surrendered to U.S. occupation forces at the close of the war.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Aichi M6A1 Seiran Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane Aircraft.
1 x Aichi Atsuta Type 31 liquid-cooled V12 inline piston engine developing 1,400 horsepower.
Propulsion
295 mph
474 kph | 256 kts
Max Speed
32,480 ft
9,900 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,243 miles
2,000 km | 1,080 nm
Operational Range
1,640 ft/min
500 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Aichi M6A1 Seiran Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
34.9 ft
10.63 m
O/A Length
40.2 ft
(12.26 m)
O/A Width
15.0 ft
(4.58 m)
O/A Height
7,412 lb
(3,362 kg)
Empty Weight
9,370 lb
(4,250 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Aichi M6A Seiran Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x 13mm Type 2 heavy machine gun

OPTIONAL:
2 x 551lb bombs OR 1 x 1,874lb bomb OR 1 x Torpedo
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Aichi M6A Seiran family line.
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
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Aichi M6A Seiran. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 28 Units

Contractor(s): Aichi Kokuki KK - Imperial Japan
National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (295mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
28
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE
ANTI-SHIP
MARITIME / NAVY
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Aichi M6A Seiran Submarine-Based Attack Floatplane Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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