J7W1 Shiden

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Nov 15, 2022
From the little information we have on the J7W Shinden, how would it fare against other aircraft in combat? (I know it wasn't designed for that)
Just fine IMO.
J7W was - finally - a Japanese fighter outfitted with a 2-stage engine. Meaning it will have far better chances in the fight against the P-51D, P-47, F4U, Spitfire VIII above 20000 ft than it was the case with the in-service Japanese fighters. Great firepower will make a short work of the enemy aircraft, and the 30mm cannons earmarked for it were of useful muzzle velocity so the chance to hit is not as low as it was the case with the German MK 108. It was also pretty small when compared with P-47 or F4U.
All in all, a well-rounded fighter, but too late, as it was the case with many Japanese aircraft.
One wonders how well it would have flown. Designing canard controlled aircraft is a tricky problem. Too much control power from the canard and the plane stalls uncontrollably. Too little and one can't get the wing to generate all of it's lift. Get the center of gravity wrong would also adversely affect the flyability. I suspect that there was goung to be a long flight test program required to work out its controllability.
The prototype was tested only three times but maneuverability had little serious problem as the canard undertook 12% of the airframe weight, which means the center of gravity was located about 12% ahead the main wing between the canard and the main wing. Problem to be solved immediately was high torque of propeller. Report does not mention about the possibility of air-combat with the allied fighters but an anxiety, if existed, would have been strength of the canard. More and more tests were needed for service.

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