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Oxygen bottles on Nakajima B5N2 Kate


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Hello modeller friends,

As I’m currently building a B5N2 Kate model, I wonder about the use of the 3 oxygen bottles located on the port side of the observer’s station.
Are they related to the torpedo operation or something else? Were they present in which ever mission, torpedoeing or bombing? Which colour were the bottles?

I searched the internet with no result and hope that you can help me in that matter.

Thank you,



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Something like this came up some years ago.

As primarily a torpedo bomber, and so operating at low level, there would be no need for oxygen.  More likely they are for compressed air to operate various systems eg landing flaps.

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The Kate could also carry bombs instead of a torpedo   In either case it depends on the ceiling of the flight path to target if the crew would require tank supplied oxygen.   As designed, the service ceiling was 27,100 ft.   Online sources state generally that when 30 mins or more is spent at  or above 14,000 ft is when supplemental oxygen is required.

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These are oxygen bottles, one for each crew member. The Aichi E13A had the same arrangement, with the oxygen flow described in Maru Mechanic No.12. Colour is black.

I can‘t see them in the internal photos/drawings of the B5N either. They may have not been installed on all planes/missions?

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6 minutes ago, Toryu said:

They may have not been installed on all planes/missions?

That’s what I thought at first. Hence my question.

I added the bottles to my build mistakenly painted white as per Airfix. That was BEFORE your caveat! 😜


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Found three Hasegawa reviews that do include the oxygen bottles/tanks





Profile Publications no 141 mentions on page 6 oxygen was usually not carried, though that is in the description of the B5N1




Another forum had this colour cutaway posted and does not appear to have tanks present  It was from a publication entitled  Mechanic of the World no 14



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