The Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-Kai

Allied codename 'George 21'

Japan
Japan

Sorry, No ID pictures yet

The Shiden already was an excellent interceptor, but it had a couiple of shortcomings. Initially the Kawanishi team wanted to improve on it in a minimal way, but in the end almost redesigned it. The wing was moved from the mid/low-set position to the low-set position, enabling the landing gear to become shorter and the visibility to improve. Furthermore the fuselage and tail contruction were revised. The result was a remarkable plane indeed.

Versions:

Further pictures:

Sorry, no picture available yet
Sorry, no picture available yet

 

Technical data on the Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-Kai
Powerplant 1 × Nakajima NK9H Homare 21 radial, rated at 1990 hp (1483.52 kW) Role during war
  • Fighter
  • (Ground) Attack Fighter
  • Fighter-bomber
  • Advanced Trainer
Length 30 ft 8 inch Height 12 ft 0 inch
Empty weight 5858 lb Operational weight 8818 lb typical,
10714 lb max
Wing Span 39 ft 4.5 inch Wing Aspect ratio 6.13
Wing Area 252.95 sq ft Service ceiling 35300 ft
Maximum speed 369 mph at 18375 ft Cruising speed 230 mph at 9845 ft
Initial climb rate Climb to 19,685 ft in 7 min 22 sec Range 1066 miles typical,
1488 miles max
Fuel capacity internal unknown Fuel capacity external Up to 88 Imp gal (106 US gal) in 1 drop tank
Machine guns 2 × 0.303 inch Type 97 fixed forward-firing in the forward fuselage Cannons 4 × 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 fixed forwrad-firing in the wing leading edges
Bomb load Up to 1.102 lb carried on two underwing hardpoints, rated at 551 lb. General disposables load consisted of 2 × 551 lb bombs Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 1 Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 27 December 1942 Operational Service 1943 - 1945
Manufacturer Kawanishi Kokuki K.K. Number produced 415 total, 415 this version
Metric system
Length 9.35 m Height 3.66 m
Empty weight 2657 kg Operational weight 4000 kg typical,
4860 kg max
Wing Span 12 m Wing Aspect ratio 6.13
Wing Area 23.5 m² Service ceiling 10759 m
Maximum speed 594 km/h at 5601 m Cruising speed 370 km/h at 3001 m
Initial climb rate Climb to 6.000 m in 7 min 22 sec Range 1716 km typical,
2395 km max
Fuel capacity internal unknown Fuel capacity external Up to 400 liters in 1 drop tank
Machine guns 2 × 7,7 mm Type 97 fixed forward-firing in the forward fuselage Cannons 4 × 20 mm Type 99 Model 2 fixed forwrad-firing in the wing leading edges
Bomb load Up to 500 kg carried on two underwing hardpoints, rated at 250 kg each. General disposables load consisted of 2 × 250 kg bombs Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the Kawanishi N1K2-J  Shiden-Kai
Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-Kai 'Kai' stands for 'Kaizo', which means 'modified'. This improved version of the Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden dealt with the under carriage problems, and took some extensive redesign. One subversion existed.

N1K2-Ja Shiden-Kai Fighter-bomber version of the Shiden-Kai. It could carry 4 × 551 lb (250 kg) bombs


Number built: 415
Kawanishi N1K2-K Shiden-Rensen This type was a two-seat advanced trainer. Actually it was a sub-version of the Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-Kai
Number built: unknown out of a total of 415
Navy Fighter Shiden Model 21 The official designation for the N1K2-J Shiden-Kai of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force (IJNAF)
Redesignated aircraft

Remarks:

The Shiden-Kai was a formidable fighter, however it was too late. At the end of the War Japan hurridly ordered 4 additional manufacturers to manufacture it, but the total of 6 facilities only produced an additional 20 aircraft.
Not much is known about the Shiden-Kai (by me), but it was an even better aircraft then the Kawanishi Shiden.

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

 

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© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 12/11/00