Easy Model EM37323 Imperial Japanese Navy Sen Toku I-400 Aircraft Carrying Submarine (1:700 Scale)
"The fate of the Empire rests on this enterprise - every man must devote himself totally to the task in hand."
- Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander in Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy, December 7th, 1941
The Sen Toku I-400-class submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy were the largest submarines of World War II, and remained the largest ever built prior to the development of nuclear ballistic missile submarines in the 1960s. They were submarine aircraft carriers able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft underwater to their destinations. They were designed to surface, launch the planes then dive again quickly before they were discovered. They also carried torpedoes for close range combat.
The I-400 class was designed with the range to travel anywhere in the world and return. A fleet of 18 boats was planned in 1942, and work started on the first in January 1943 at the Kure, Hiroshima arsenal. Within a year the plan was scaled back to five, of which only three (I-400 at Kure, and I-401 and I-402 at Sasebo) were completed.
Pictured here is a 1:700 scale replica of an Imperial Japanese Navy Sen Toku I-400 Aircraft Carrying Submarine.
Length: 6-1/2 inches
Release Date: November 2009
Historical Account: "Undersea Aircraft Carriers" - The Sen Toku I-400 aircraft carrying submarine was able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft, each carrying an 800 kilogram (1,764 lb) bomb 650 miles (1000 km) at 295 miles per hour (474 km/h). The existence of the Seiran was unknown to Allied intelligence. The wings of the Seiran folded back, the horizontal stabilizers folded down, and the top of the vertical stabilizer folded over so the overall forward profile of the aircraft was within the diameter of its propeller. When prepared for flight, they had a wing span of 40 feet (12 m) and a length of 38 feet (11.6 m). A crew of four could prepare and get all three airborne in 45 minutes. The planes were launched from a 120-foot (37-m) catapult on the deck of the giant submarine. A restored Seiran airplane is displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.. Only one was ever recovered and it had been ravaged by weather and souvenir collectors, but the restoration team was able to reconstruct it accurately.