Sakae Aircraft Engine

Sakae 12
Photograph of
              Japanese Sakae 12 aircraft engine

U.S. Navy. Via Francillon (1979).

Sakae 21

Photograph of Japanese Sakae 21 aircraft engine

U.S. Navy. Via Francillon (1979).


Photograph of Japanese Ha-115 aircraft engine

U.S. Navy. Via Francillon (1979).

The Nakajima Sakae ("Prosperity") was an air-cooled 14-cylinder double-row radial engine with a single-speed supercharger and a bore of 130mm and stroke of 150mm. It was derived from the Gnome-Rhone engine produced under license in the 1930s, and resembled a scaled-down Ha-5. It could run reliably on a very lean fuel mixture on extended flights, which helped give the A6M "Zero" its impressive range. Kawasaki also produced the engine under license for the Army as the Ha-25 or Ha-115.

1000 hp (takeoff)
970 hp (9800 feet)
746 kW (takeoff)
723 kW (3000m)
Also known as the NK1B or [Ha-35] 11
940 hp (takeoff)
950 hp (13,800 feet)
701 kW (takeoff)
708 kW (4200m)
Also known as the NK1C or [Ha-35] 12
1130 hp (takeoff)
1100 hp (9350 feet)
980 hp (19,700 feet)
834 kW (takeoff)
 820 kW (2850m)
731 kW (6000m)
Also known as the NK1F or [Ha-35] 21.  The Sakae 22 was a mirror image developed for the J1N "Irving".
Army Type 99 Ha-25
980 hp (takeoff)
970 hp (11,155 feet)
731 kW (takeoff)
723 kW (3400m)

Army Type 1 Ha-115
1150 hp (takeoff)
1150 hp (8040 feet)
980 hp (18,375 feet)
857 kW (takeoff)
857 kW (2450m
731 kW (5600m)
Also known as the [Ha-35] 25. Added a two-stage supercharger.
Army Type 1 Ha-115-II
1190 hp (takeoff)
1230 hp (9,185 feet)
950 hp (22,310 feet)
887 kW (takeoff)
917 kW (2800m)
708 kW (6800m)
Also known as the [Ha-35] 24 or Sakae 24. Tuned for high altitude performance.

The Sakae powered the A6M "Zero", A6M2-N "Rufe", C5M "Babs", J1N "Irving", B5N2 "Kate", Ki-43 "Oscar", Ki-45 "Nick", Ki-48 "Lily", and Ki-56 "Thalia."

American experts who examined Sakae and Kinsei engines in aircraft wreckage at Pearl Harbor described them as "like a Swiss watch", comparing their workmanship favorably with Allied aircraft engines.

Photo Gallery

Close up of cylinder heads on Sakae engine

Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned Sakae engines on captured airfield

Naval Aviation Museum


Francillon (1979)

Goodwin and Starkings (2017)
Gunston (2006)
Peattie (2001)

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