| Nakajima G8N Renzan |
Mountains of the Rising Sun
The Nakajima G8N Renzan (連山, "Mountain Range") is Japan's only carpet bomber. Nothing makes it stand out amongst other nation's bombers; it's fairly slow, but it can defend it self from weaker fighters surprisingly well. It is a heavy bomber, so it can decimate most structures in a single run. The Renzan was mostly used as a transport. It was expensive to produce and hard to fly.
In February 1943 the Imperial Navy staff asked Nakajima Aircraft Company to design a four-engined bomber, capable of meeting an earlier specification set for a long-range land-based attack plane. The final specification, issued on 14 September 1943, called for a plane with a maximum speed of 320 knots (370 mph; 590 km/h) able to carry a 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) bomb-load 2,000 nmi (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) or a reduced bomb-load 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi). Nakajima's design featured a mid-mounted wing of small area and high aspect ratio, a tricycle landing gear and a large single-fin rudder. Power came from four 2,000 hp Nakajima NK9K-L "Homare" 24 radial engines with Hitachi 92 turbosuperchargers driving four-bladed propellers. The engines were cooled by counter-rotating fans positioned just inside the engine cowlings. Defensive armament included power-operated nose, dorsal, ventral and tail turrets along with two free-swiveling machine guns at the beam positions.
The initial prototype was completed in October 1944 and delivered to the Navy for testing in January 1945, a mere one year after the Navy ordered development to start. Three further examples were completed by June 1945, with the third prototype being destroyed on the ground by US carrier aircraft. Other than minor problems with the turbo-superchargers, the Renzan performed satisfactorily and the Navy hoped to have a total of 16 prototypes and 48 production-version G8N1s assembled by September 1945. But the worsening war situation and a critical shortage of light aluminum alloys led to the project's cancellation in June.
Just prior to Japan's surrender in August 1945 consideration was also briefly given to producing an all-steel version of the aircraft, to be designated G8N3 Renzan-Kai Model 23, but the cessation of hostilities precluded any further development. After the war, one prototype was taken to the United States and scrapped after testing. None are in existence today.
Heavy carpet bomb