Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA2014 B5N2 Type 97 "Kate" AII-3II, Lt. Ichiro Kitajima, IJN Carrier Kaga, December 1941 "Pearl Harbor first wave attack"

The Nakajima B5N1 first flew in January 1937. It was quite unique for a carrier-aircraft with its low mono wing that folded for storage and wide-track inward folding retractable landing gear. The new Kates were far superior to its competition, the TBD Devastator and the Fairey Swordfish however it did have its shortcomings. It was very poorly armed for self defense and required A5M escort protection. Also the crew and fuel tanks had no protection. The B5N1 was replaced by the improved B5N2.

In the first wave attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the group leader of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga was Lt. Ichiro Kitajima flying his Nakajima B5N2 torpedo bomber AII-3II. In all 40 B5N1 Kates and 49 B5N2 Kates took part in the initial raid with 54 more B5N2s arriving in the second wave along with 26 Aichi D3A Val dive bombers. When it was over Japan had sunk the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS West Virginia and USS California, USS Nevada sinking.

Type 97, model 3
Allied Reporting Name - Kate
Crew - 3 X (pilot, commander, rear gunner/radio operator)
Length - 33 ft 9.5 in (10.30 m)
Wingspan - 50 ft 11 in (15.52 m)
Height - 12 ft 1.6 in (3.70 m)
Empty weight - 5,024 lb (2,279 kg)
Loaded weight - 8,380 lb (3,800 kg)
Max takeoff weight - 9,040 lb (4,100 kg) Performance
Engine - 1 X Nakajima Sakae 11 radial engine, 750 kW (1,000 hp)
Maximum speed - 235 mph (378 km/h, 204 kn)
Range - 1,237 mi (1,992 km, 1,075 NM)
Service ceiling - 27,100 ft (8,260 m)
Rate of climb - 1,283 ft/min (6.5 m/s)
Armament Guns
1 X 7.7 mm Type 92 machine gun 'Ru' (Lewis) rear dorsal, hand-loaded drum magazines - 97 rounds.
1 X 1,760 lb (800 kg) type 91 torpedo
1 X 1,760lb (800kg) bomb
3 X 550 lb (250 kg) bombs
6 X 293 lb (132 kg) bombs