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Duel: Nakajima C6N vs. Martin Mariner


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32 replies to this topic

#1 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 01:36 AM

I already announced to produce a very "limping comparison" (apologies again, Ricky!). Our competitors are

The Nakajima C6N "Saiun" rsp. "Myrt":

Posted Image

and the Martin PBM "Mariner":

Posted Image

Background for this comparison is that both planes, no matter how opposite they were in concept, had the main task: high-sea reconnoisater. And both fulfilled their task, both spotted the adversary fleet at the Marianas battle.

So, which would you prefer, and why? Also concern that the C6N maybe the cheaper solution, but probably has the worse radar equipment. And don´t use the Mariner as nightfighter nor the Saiun as transport:)!

#2 simon

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 02:33 AM

Interesting comparison and very difficult to argue since the two are so different.

Personally I'd rather be in a Mariner, you've got the comfort of extra crewmen to take over duties in rest periods, the insurance of the twin engines, the extra firepower, and I'm guessing as with most Japanese planes of the Myrt's period the latter is probably lacking most of the comforts of contemporary US aircraft (Self-sealing tanks, armour, etc).

Having said that if I was running the purchasing commission for any airforce I would consider the Myrt very seriously. For the cost of a Mariner you could probably get a half dozen or so Myrts (and train up most of the crew), which means a whole lot more ocean gets covered per dollar/yen.

BUT, Myrts are only really usefull if you have carriers whereas with a seaplane tender you can refuel a Mariner almost anywhere.....

Like I say, they're too different really to call in my opinion. I can only go back to what I originally said. If I had to choose one to crew, I'd choose the Mariner.

#3 Ricky

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 06:40 AM

No need to apologise RT!

Does anybody (I'm thinking of Greg here!;)) have any reliable stats on these aircraft?
I would assume that the Myrt would be a faster, more nimble aircraft, and therefore technically harder to intercept. The cost factor is also a big plus in its favour. However, I feel fairly sure that most actual servicemen would feel happier in the Mariner, for all the excellent reasons put forward by Simon.

#4 GregP

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 01:33 PM

The C6N is a GREAT plane. Span: 12.5 m, length: 11 m, height: 3.95 m, wing area: 25.5 sq. m. 1,990 HP, 610 kph max speed, 389 kpg cruise, Don't have a range on the Myrt.

Martin PBM, Span: 35.97 m, Length: 24.33 m, Height: 8.38 m, Wing Area: 130.8 sq. m, 2 x 1,900 HP, 340 kph max, 278 kph cruise, Range: 3,605 km.

OK, the Myrt costs less and is quite a better performer, though we can't say about range here.

I say the Myrt is better than the PBM as a recon plane when quick recon is needed. The PBM is better than the Myrt when absolute range and endurance is needed.

So, the choice boils down to the mission.

In most situations, I'd choose the Myrt. AT extreme range, the PBM is a WAY better choice.

#5 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 03:40 PM

The Saiun´s/Myrt´s range was exceptional, 5.310 km! That´s why I chose it here! Of course, it could not have self-sealing fuel tanks. You see what you can do when you use every cubic inch of the airplane´s body for fuel storange (reminds me of pre-war long-distance record flights, should make a topic out of that!).

#6 GregP

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 12:41 AM

Thanks for the data RT! 5310 km?

WOW! Wonder how the Myrt's pilot and passengers could stand to be airborne for that length of time? Doesn't appear to have a bathroom or a place for a reserve pilot.

So, the Myrt is an even better plane than I thought.

In that case, the Myrt is the best recon plane bar none, unless things degenerate to an engine-out situation. In that case, the plane with the hull will be the best choice.

#7 andyo2000

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 06:35 AM

The PBM Mariner was definitely more of a multirole aircraft. Each version had at least 4 50. cal MGs, and some had as many as 8. The PBM-1 could carry 2000 lbs. of bombs, and all subsequent versions could transport 4000 lbs. As RT stated, the PBM's radar was superior: The APS-15 AVS was a former bombing targeting radar fitted with a surface search antenna, which functioned well. It served well in the patrol and ASW, or Anti-Submarine Warfare. Because it bristled with defensive armaments, and because it could crash land virtually anywhere on it's route, it was a very safe aircraft. Furthermore, it's sea landing capability allowed it to land and refuel anywhere it could find some.

The Nakajima C6N's single-role abilities, however, make the designers at Martin seem even more able. Because the Nakajima lacked common safety features and had few guns, it was by no means an interceptor, and it's relatively small loaded weight prevented it from carrying any sort of effective bomb load. Furthermore, while it's speed was far superior to the Mariner's, it's range was inferior to the PBM-1 and was approached closely by the PBM-3S. It's few advantages were more than matched by it's disadvantages.

#8 GregP

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:11 AM

If money were no object, I'd agree.

But for the same money, Japan could field a LOT more Myrts than the USA could Mariners. The crew size was smaller too, as was the "runway" requirements, the fuel burn, the maintenance, etc.

I'd say the Myrt was far better at tactical recon and the Mariner was better at strategic recon.
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#9 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 02:17 AM

The range of the Myrt is no joke, see here:

http://www.russian.e...kajima_c6n.html

Its range, of course using the additional fuel tank, is a lot better than the Mariner´s (of course I don´t know how much you could extend the Mariner´s range by increasing its fuel bearing capacity to an extreme). Because of this, it is merely a strategic reconnoisater than a tactical one. It´s original design was to free carrier fleets from additional seaplane or heavy land-based plane support for very long range reconnoissance. The Saiun was very fast, being able to run away from severe fighter oppostion once again while shadowing an adversary fleet. I think the Mariner should rely more on its superior radar equipment to keep out of the enemy´s AC and turn away early when some dangerous looking spots appear on the screen. Also, the engine argument is not very beating, because the Mariner is one of the heaviest two-engined airplanes and could not keep height with only one engine running.

To be honest, I cannot make a decision. I would like to have both airplanes in my arsenal! Besides this, and instead of creating a Mariner vs. Catalina thread, do you think the Mariner is a substitute for the Catalina, or does the Catalina still find a role which the Mariner cannot fulfill in a suitable way?

#10 Lightning

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:54 PM

The Mariner-hands down. Its range, load-carrying capacity, and its ability to land on water make all the difference in the world. It was a more versatile aircraft.

It was a patrol bomber that had the capability to attack surface shipping and warships. It was an effective antisubmarine aircraft. It could also carry out search and rescue missions. (The Myrt could only have handled the "search" part of that mission.) If need be, it could be called into service as a cargo plane.

I really have a hard time comparing these two airplanes one-on-one. They are just too different: One is a single engined land/carrier-based plane. The other is a multi-engined seaplane. The fact that they were both used in the recon role does not, in my oppinion, make them comparable.






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