The Nakajima D3N Experimental 11-Shi Carrier Bomber was designed to replace the Aichi Type 97 Carrier Bomber, but lost out to the Aichi D3A1.
The Nakajima entry into the 11-Shi Carrier Bomber design contest was similar to their earlier B5N1 Carrier Attack Aircraft and C3N1 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft. It was a low-wing monoplane, with the crew carried in a covered cockpit. It was of all-metal construction,
The D3N had one unusual feature. The main undercarriage was also expected to serve as the dive brakes. The main wheels could rotate through 90 degrees, so that the wheels themselves faced forwards and served as air brakes. To retract the wheels they would fold forwards into the wings. This system only worked with the original specified dive speed of 240kts. When the Navy reduced the top speed in the dive to 200kts a new set of perforated spoilers had to be added to the wing to act as further dive-brakes.
The first prototype was completed in March 1937 and was given the short designation D3N1. After that work was slow. The second prototype didn't appear until early in 1939 and the third prototype in the autumn of the same year. Despite two years of development the Nakajima design couldn't complete with the Aichi design, which was accepted as the Aichi D3A1 'Val'
Engine: Nakajima Hikari 1-kai nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines
Span: 47ft 7in
Length: 28ft 10.5in
Height: 9ft 2.25in
Empty weight: 3,968lb
Loaded weight: 7,495lb
Max speed: 218.65mph
Climb Rate: 8 minutes to 9,843ft
Service ceiling: 22,965ft
Range: 944 miles
Armament: Three 7.7mm machine guns, two fixed forward firing and one flexibly mounted
Bomb load: One 551lb bomb and two 66lb bombs