A Carrot Aircraft
The Aichi M6A1 aircraft design came about in 1942 via the chief designer of Aichi Kokkuki (Toshio Ozaki) as a response to the Imperial Japanese Navy requirement for a fast catapult launched aircraft for use on the giant Sen Toku I-400 class Submarine aircraft carrier's.
Initially, the requirement specified no landing gear was to be included, but this was later changed to two detachable floats which could be jettisoned.
The Carrot connection:
There were only two Aichi M6A1 training aircraft ever built, these were given the name of "Nanzan" and the letters M6A1-K "Seirankai".
Both aircraft were finished in a carrot orange livery which had been designated as the colour for the training aircraft, the shape of the fuselage length also had a vague carrot shape to it and as a result quickly lead to the nickname "ninjin" - meaning "Carrot". The orange livery was later abandoned in favour of a two-tone finish with dark green to the upper surfaces and light grey on the underside as the threat of being shot down by U.S. air crews became real.
Only 28 examples of the Aichi M6A1 (including the two M6A1-K Nanzan trainers) were completed by 1945 where the aircraft met its untimely end, the M6A1 aircraft was well loved by its pilot's who liked it's sleek looking design which reportedly handled beautifully.The actual plane (right)
Surviving aircraft:- Only one Seiran aircraft was ever recovered from the remains of the Aichi factory, its serial number was No.28 which made it the last of its type and had likely never flown, it was shipped to the U.S. where it was fully restored where it now sits on public display at the Udvar-Hazy museum in Washington DC.
Shown below is a 1/72 scale replica of how the M6A1-K Nanzan "Seirankai" would have looked in her "Carrot" livery.
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