|Manufacturer||Nakajima Aircraft Company|
|Primary user||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Number built||approx 100 (A2N) + 66 (A3N)|
Design and development
The A2N was originally developed as a private venture by Nakajima for the Imperial Japanese Navy. It was based loosely on the Boeing Model 69 and Boeing Model 100, examples of both having been imported in 1928 and 1929 respectively. Takao Yoshida led the design team. Two prototypes, designated Navy Type 90 Carrier-based fighter in anticipation of Navy acceptance were ready by December 1929. Powered by Bristol Jupiter VI engines, these were rejected, not being regarded as offering a significant improvement over the Nakajima A1N.
Jingo Kurihara carried out a partial redesign and another prototype, the A2N1, powered by a 432 kW (580 hp) Nakajima Kotobuki 2, was completed in May 1931. The type was adopted by the Navy in April 1932. In 1932, Minoru Genda formed a flight demonstration team known as "Genda's Flying Circus" to promote naval aviation and flew this type.
The Navy Type 90 Carrier-based fighter flew from the Hōshō, Kaga and Ryūjō. On what would become the first air battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War-Second World War for the air-combat units of these aircraft carriers, A2N fighter pilot Akio Matsuba from Kaga, flying air-cover in support of Japanese troop-landings in the Battle of Shanghai on 16 August 1937, shot-down a Chinese Air Force Douglas O-2M on an attack mission against Japanese forces in Shanghai. A2Ns were soon completely superceded by the A4Ns and A5Ms fighters.
- (Navy Type 90-I Carrier-based fighter) - Guns located in both sides of the nose, but few produced.
- (Navy Type 90-II Carrier-based fighter) - Guns transferred to the upper surface of the nose, the fuel tanks mounted on the fuselage sides.
- (Navy Type 90-III Carrier-based fighter) - principal production variant. 5° of dihedral on upper mainplane.
- two-seat trainer
- Crew: 1
- Length: 6.183 m (20 ft 3 in)
- Wingspan: 9.37 m (30 ft 9 in)
- Height: 3.025 m (9 ft 11 in)
- Wing area: 19.74 m2 (212.5 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 1,045 kg (2,304 lb)
- Gross weight: 1,550 kg (3,417 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima Kotobuki 2 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine 343–433 kW (460–580 hp)
- Propellers: 2-bladed Hamilton Standard fixed-pitch metal propeller
- Maximum speed: 293 km/h (182 mph, 158 kn)
- Cruise speed: 167 km/h (104 mph, 90 kn)
- Range: 500 km (310 mi, 270 nmi)
- Endurance: 3 hours
- Service ceiling: 9,000 m (30,000 ft)
- Time to altitude: 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 5 minutes 45 seconds
- Wing loading: 78.5 kg/m2 (16.1 lb/sq ft)
- Power/mass: 0.222 kW/kg (0.135 hp/lb)
- Guns: 2× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nakajima A2N.|
- Mikesh & Abe 1990, p. 225.
- Mikesh & Abe 1990, p. 226.
- Gustavsson, Hakans. "Håkans Aviation page – Sino-Japanese Air War 1937". Biplane Fighter Aces - China. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
The light aircraft carrier Hosho with ancient A2N fighters was posted together with the carrier Ryujo to 1st Carrier Division of the 3rd Fleet, leaving the port of Sasebo on 12 August. Arriving in the Ma'anshan Islands area, they started supporting land operations beginning on 16 August. During this period, both Kaga and Ryujo groups had opportunity to engage in aerial battles.
- Sun, Lianggang. "Shanghai 1937 – Where World War II Began". SHANGHAI 1937: WHERE WORLD WAR II STARTED. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
When did World War II begin? The answer you might find surprising. Americans might say December 7, 1941… The day the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For Europeans, it was September 1, 1939… When Nazi Germany invaded Poland. But in China, people will tell you a different date. August 13, 1937.
- Gustavsson, Hakans. "Japanese biplane fighter aces - Akio Matsuba". Biplane Fighter Aces - Japan. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
On 16 August 1937, six A2Ns from Kaga commanded by Lieutenant Chikamasa Igarashi, engaged four enemy aircraft over Kiangwan. Three of the enemy aircraft were shot down, one Corsair and two Douglas O-38s (sic. O-2M, as the very similar O-38s were not with CAF service) One of the Douglases was claimed jointly by Matsuba and another pilot. This was Matsuba first combat and first victory.
- Green & Swanborough 1994, p. 423.