Kawanishi N1K

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #1 Jenisch, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
    So, how do you view this plane in it's J land-based model? It's top speed was lower than most Allied fighters, but IIRC the Americans higly praised the machine when evaluated it.
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    TAIC manual gives 415 mph for the 'George 11' (the early, mid-wing version), that would be pretty fast? It's 4 cannons would ruing the day for anything flying.
    The main shortcoming was, 1stly, the weak undercarriage (remedied when the wings were relocated in lower position, so the legs could be shortened), the Homare engine not being the paragon of reliability.
     
  3. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    I thinj it fared well in medium and low altitude against most Allied figthers.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Kawanishi N1K - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Nothing wrong with N1K per se. However it never entered mass production, at least not by American and European standards.

    Why wasn't the N1K placed into mass production during Spring 1944, six months before U.S. B-29 raids began?
     
  5. alejandro_

    alejandro_ Member

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    Because JAAF was trying to debug J2M Raiden. The N1K was a private initiative by Kawanishi, a company that had experience in floatplanes but no high performance fighter aircraft. IIRC Kawanishi had a number of engineers assigned to help with the development of the frame/landing gear.

    The George found its niche because it did not make sense to carry producing floatplanes the way the war was going, and the Raiden was a nightmare. Still, some pilots were critical of it's characteristics and reliability:

    http://www.warbirdforum.com/sakai.htm
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Both Shinden and Raiden were Navy's plane, IJAAF got nothing to do with it. As for the Raiden being a nightmare, that's an overstatement by a country mile.
     
  7. alejandro_

    alejandro_ Member

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    Indeed. This is what you get for writing from work... :lol:

    Raiden first flight as a prototype was on October 1942. 6 months later only 11 aircraft had been completed. There were some accidents for unexplained reasons as well. First front line unit to receive the type was 381 Kokutai in December 1943 (more than a year later). In June 1944 the production was almost cancelled because the type did not meet specifications. The idea was to focus on te N1K and keep Raiden in small volume production until A7M was ready. This changed after first B-29 raids, as Raiden was one of the few aircraft with adequate ceiling and handling to attack the Superfortress.
     
  8. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thanks for the overview.

    The Raiden was, in many things, sharing it's issues with, not just Japanese hi-performance aircraft. Ie. it took time for the late war models to get into mass production. Not really some production, if we compare that with other major beligerents. Further, the Raiden was Japanese plane to introduce fan cooled engine, along with extension shaft, plus it was 1st to introduce laminar flow wings.
    We can compare Raiden with Fw-190, Typhoon, P-47B, La fighters - they all have had issues, that were threatenning to cancel or sidetrack whole programs. The respective countries did have suitable replacements to hold the line by the time the bugs were ironed out. For the Japanese, the Zeroes and Oscars were holding the line, so the lack of suitable new-generation fighters was harming the Japanese much more than it was situation with other countries.
    The claim Raiden was 'not meeting specifications' demands: 1st that we know specifications and, 2nd, that we know what kind of performance the Raiden was really offering. Since the Raiden was used to ward off B-29s, I'd say that it's performance was decent, at least. TAIC manual gives 407mph for 'Jack 11'.
     
  9. alejandro_

    alejandro_ Member

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    You can find the requirements here:

    Mitsubishi J2M Raiden

    I know what you mean. All aircraft have teething issues that take time to solve but in the Raid's case it prevented a suitable production and effectiveness for front line service.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Many thanks for the link.
    Unfortunately, the performance data for the late-war Japanese aircraft is contradictory thing on it's own, with speed figures being 30-40 mph apart, depending what one reads.
     
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