|This page is about the Japanese fighter A6M2-N. For other versions, see A6M (Family).|
The A6M2-N, designated as Type 2 Seaplane fighter (N1K1, this A6M is the result of taking the A6M2 mod. 11, modifying the tail, and adding 3 floats, with the center pontoon containing an additional fuel tank. While intended as an offensive measure for the Japanese island hopping campaign, it came too late to be used in its initial role but was continued to be used due to not requiring airfield infrastructure to operate, and used in patrol and defensive roles.), was as a stop-gap solution for the slow development of the
It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. Mainly just a way heavier version of the A6M2 mod. 11, armament- and engine-wise nothing has changed and hence will perform worse than the regular A6M series due to the added weight of the pontoons. The pontoons can however break off from gunfire, overspeeding or ripping them off by means of ground, making the plane return to its ideal aerodynamics and weight.
- IJN Pilot nickname: Suisen (水爆, Abbriviation of ).
- Allied reporting name: Rufe.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,300 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 310||< 420||< 410||> 324|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|3,560 m||935 hp||1,055 hp|
Survivability and armour
The A6M2-N has no armor protection, and the fuel tanks are not self-sealing. Most major modules are located in the nose and wing roots of the plane, but there is also a fuel tank in the center pontoon. This means the pilot and major modules have very little protection, although from the front the engine can absorb shots before the injure the pilot. The pontoons are very large, and can absorb fire from surface targets (ships, SPAAGs, machine guns) or even a plane at a lower altitude. Most fuel is located in the center pontoon, so be careful not to lose that pontoon or else you will not have much more flying time.
- No Armor Protection
- Not Self-Sealing Fuel Tanks
Modifications and economy
Grinding the A6M2-N will be depending what game modes that you play frequently. If it is Realistic or Simulator battles, it is best to focus on aircraft performance as you will be engaged in frequent manoeuvring engagements. In Arcade battles, it's better to focus on firepower as most of the time you will get into head-on attacks against other players.
The A6M2-N is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 navy cannons, wing-mounted (60 rpg = 120 total)
- 2 x 7.7 mm Type 97 navy machine guns, nose-mounted (680 rpg = 1,360 total)
The A6M2-N can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 60 kg Navy Type 97 Number 6 bombs (120 kg total)
Usage in battles
This play style is a common theme among all Japanese Zeroes, due to the fact that playing aggressive and going for head on attacks is not an option (no armour + wood frame + no self sealing tanks = fires!). In saying that, you want to stick to tactics that are purely defensive and only attack when someone attacks you and not vice-versa. If you do think you can attack, make sure that the enemy is within 1 km of you (2 km max). Once engaged you are in that fight till the end but if the fight goes sour, remember to turn in defensive manners and only manoeuvre in manners that will keep you safe and leave the chaser in a disadvantage where he has to or is forced into a recovery manoeuvre to keep up with you. But because you're a float plane, it's going to be a bit hard trying to turn so speed is everything, but luckily due to the weight being below the plane, downward turns are fast and quick but be warned... the neck of the main float has a oil cooler and the float itself has a massive fuel tank, so be more careful than you would be in a normal Zero.
In Simulator, the A6M Zero is overall a great plane to fly. Its advantages include the extremely smooth handling, impressive turn rate despite having extra floats, low stall speed, the ability to not enter spins in extreme manoeuvres, and decent rear visibility. It is able to pull really tight turns or barrel rolls without losing control or going into a spin, allowing the player to use this stability to their advantage. Its disadvantages, however, are the fragile protection, wing-mounted guns with very little ammo, and the cockpit scattered with frames. Although not thick, these frames can still be obstructions in a fight. Also the gunsight is small and mounted very low, resulting in inadequate visibility over the nose. This can limit the player's ability to see the target in a turn fight since to lead the target, the player must cut inside its turn, meaning the nose will now block the target. The A6M can perform dogfighting, some ground pounding and some intercepting.
You can bring the minimum amount of fuel (29 minutes) since this model of the Zero only has a 60-round drum per cannon, as a result you might need to constantly return to airfield to reload so there is no need to bring more fuel. Set the convergence to 150-300 m. When taking off, the A6M will shift severely to the left so it is best to set separate keybind for left and right brakes to counter the torque.
For dogfighting, it is better to engage with an altitude advantage so climb to around 2,500 m. Track the opponent using lead or pure pursuit, as with lag pursuit you will eventually end up at the 6'o clock of the target aircraft whose fuselage will soak up most of your MG bullets, and your wing mounted cannons will become really awkward to aim. With the amazing stableness the aim should be easy. Target their wings or nose and avoid the back half of the fuselage as there is usually nothing in there. You can turn with most planes with your combat/takeoff flaps deployed. Note that it is best to fire in 5-round/half-second bursts to avoid wasting cannon rounds. Once the cannons are out, the leftover 7.7 mm MGs can only effectively damage single engine fighters.
For ground pounding with bombs, look for tanks and pillboxes. First you need some separation between you and the target so you have enough time to line-up the drop. Dive at the target at a rather shallow angle, and release the 60 kg bombs when you are very close, with the target below the gunsight and filling up around half of it. If you only use the MGs, your targets are trucks, AAA and howitzers. Dive at it and stabilise the plane so the gunsight stays overall still at the target. Then, once the target fills out around 1/6 of the gunsight, open fire. If your aim is accurate you can destroy one target in a single pass. However, it is very recommended to set keybind for firing MG only as you can definitely not waste the valuable cannon rounds. Save them for any unexpected dogfights.
Landing is easy thanks to the low stall speed and lovely handling. Line up and approach the airstrip at treetop, decrease speed to at most 210 km/h and deploy combat, takeoff and landing flaps in order. Further decelerate so the touchdown speed is no more than 180 km/h to avoid bouncing up.
Enemies worth noting:
- I-16: the late I-16s are equipped with ShVAK cannons that can be pretty dangerous to your fragile airframe. They can turn equally well as the Zero, have superior roll rate but the stability is so terrible that as soon as they pull a little more on the stick, they will enter spins. Therefore it is quite easy to counter them: engage a turnfight with them and turn tighter and tighter, or do a few barrel rolls. They will quickly lose control and start spinning and it is quite hard to recover. Then simply get some separation, turn around and put some solid shots into them. They have an I-15's short and fat fuselage, a flat radial engine and triangular stabilisers located right after the low-mounted mono wings, all covered in olive green paint.
- I-153: This late variant of the I-15 Chaika is highly formidable against the A6M, as they can literally spin circles around the enemy. The A6M2-N may be the most manoeuvrable monoplane at its BR, an extended turnfight against an I-153 won't go well, with the Chaika being able to end on your 6 after a few circles. The I-153 is vulnerable to your cannons and MGs, but so are you to the flammable incendiary content of the ShKAS MGs, and the Chaika features 4 such nose-mounted guns. There is also a premium version of the plane with twin ShVAK autocannons, which can shred your plane apart with a well-placed burst. Use energy-fighting techniques against the Chaika as it has poor energy retention, like the lightweight Ishak, and can be caught in an energy trap if done well. Be warned of the Chaika's excellent low-speed handling, however.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Gets an air spawn on all maps
- Good manoeuvrability
- Relatively fast
- Decent climb rate
- Powerful armament
- Center float can protect the plane from attacks from below
- You can ram other planes with the float (esp. the wings)
- Excellent smooth handling in simulator and great rear visibility
- Low ammo count for the cannons of only 60 RPG, not beginner friendly
- Low cannon velocity makes leading harder
- No self-sealing fuel tanks
- Landing on water can be hard in certain weather conditions
- Very poor energy retention
- Very fragile
- Excessive drag due to floats
The single-seater, single-engine float seaplane fighter A6M2-N was created to cover combat operations near atolls, where the construction of airfields was often impossible.
Initially, the Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu was planned for this purpose, but it soon became clear that Kawanishi was unable to produce the planes in sufficient quantity before the start of the war, so the navy asked Nakajima to create a float seaplane fighter. The A6M2 model 11, with non-folding wings, was chosen as a starting point. The landing gear was removed, and a large float with a built-in fuel tank installed in its place. A float was also installed under each wing for stability. The plane's armament was left unchanged.
Despite the significantly increased aerodynamic resistance and weight, the plane was quite fast and manoeuvrable.
327 of these aircraft were produced, including the original prototype, but the first A6M2-Ns barely ever took part in combat, since they were destroyed shortly after arriving at Tulagi (in the Solomon Islands) in an attack by U.S. B-17s from the 11th Bombardment Group.
They were used primarily as interceptors.
- Related development
- Kawanishi N1K1
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|Nakajima Aircraft Company ()|
|Fighters||Ki-27 otsu · Ki-27 otsu Tachiarai|
|Ki-43-I · Ki-43-II · Ki-43-III otsu|
|Ki-44-I · Ki-44-I 34 · Ki-44-II otsu · Ki-44-II hei|
|Ki-84 ko · Ki-84 otsu · Ki-84 hei|
|Interceptors||J1N1 · J5N1|
|B6N1 Model 11 · B6N2 Model 12 · B6N2a Model 12Ko|
|G5N1 · G8N1|
|Ki-49-I · Ki-49-IIa · Ki-49-IIb · Ki-49-IIb/L|
|Captured||␗Ki-27 otsu · ▃Ki-43-II · ␗Ki-43-III ko · ␗Ki-44-II hei · ␗Ki-84 ko|
|*Refit of the Mitsubishi A6M2 mod. 11|
|See also||Fuji Heavy Industries (1957-2017)|
|A5M||A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4|
|A6M||A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu · A6M5 Hei · A6M6c|
|A7M||A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2|
|J2M||J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5 (30 mm)|
|N1K-J||N1K1-Ja · N1K2-J · N1K2-Ja|
|Ki-10||Ki-10-I · Ki-10-I C · Ki-10-II · Ki-10-II C|
|Ki-27||Ki-27 otsu · Ki-27 otsu Tachiarai|
|Ki-43||Ki-43-I · Ki-43-II · Ki-43-III otsu|
|Ki-44||Ki-44-I · Ki-44-I 34 · Ki-44-II otsu · Ki-44-II hei|
|Ki-61||Ki-61-I ko · Ki-61-I otsu · Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I hei Tada's · Ki-61-I tei · Ki-61-II Otsu Kai|
|Ki-84||Ki-84 ko · Ki-84 otsu · Ki-84 hei|
|Ki-100||Ki-100 · Ki-100-II|
|Other countries||▅F4U-1A · ▅P-51C-11-NT · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅Fw 190 A-5|
|*Imported designation of the He 112 (A6M was in development - A7M would take A7 designation after the cancelation of the A7He)|