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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:50 PM

KAWANISHI N1K1-J GEORGE 11 SHIDEN "Violet lightning":

The following information is from the T.A.I.C 107A report dated March 1945.
Engine: Nakajima Homare 21 / 1,975 hp. @ S.L. take off power / 2,050 hp. @ 2,500 ft. (W.E.P.) /  1,875 hp. @ 5,900 ft. (military) / 1,675 hp. @ 19,620 ft. (military). 92 Plus methanol (methanol/water injection).
Altitude..Speed/Climb/Time to height.
Meters...mph/fpm/minutes to altitude.
Feet......mpn/fpm/minutes to altitude.

FTH in low s/c: 369 mph./762.2 m.

Switch low to high: 369 mph./2,683 m.

FTH in high s/c: 408 mph./5,000 m.

FTH at military power: 408 mph./5,945.1 m.


Critical altitude low s/c: 4,550 fpm./762.2 m.

Switch low/high: 3.650 fpm./2,683 m.

Critical altitude high s/c: 3,760 fpm./5,000 m.

Critical altitude at military power: 3,340 fpm./5,945.1 m.
Combat Weight: 7,717 lbs.
Combat Ceiling: 33,800 ft.
Operational Ceiling: 36,800 ft.
Service Ceiling: 39,500 ft.
Wing area given: 253 sq.ft. (Actual: 252.95 sq.ft.)
Wing Loading: 30.51-lbs./sq.ft.
Power Loading: 3.764+lbs./hp.
Armament: N.G. (Standard early models: 2 x 7,7mm cowl and 2 x 20mm /200rpg in wings + 2 x 20mm / 100rpg in under wing pods.)
Range Clean: 670 mls./169 mph./1,500 ft./125 gallons fuel.
Range Maximum: 1,085 mls./143 mph./1,500 ft./212 gallons fuel.

Edited by CORSNING, 01 February 2017 - 01:17 PM.



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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:57 PM

KAWANISHI N1K1 kyofu (Mighty Wind) REX 11 Floatplane:

A float plane is the beginning of this story. It entered service with the Japanese Navy in July 1943. I have a lot of the regular published information from William Green and a lot of internet stuff but the only semi-official specifications I have are from the T.A.I.C. 109A report dated December 1944.

Engine: Mitsubishi Kasei 24 / 1,825 hp. @ take off. / 1,655 hp. @ 6,900 ft. (military power) / 1,520 hp. @ 18,700 ft.

Maximum Speed: 336 mph. @ 18,680 ft.

Cruising Speed (75% power): 230 mph. @ 1,500 ft.

Combat Weight: 7,700 lbs.

Maximum Take Off Weight: 7,962 lbs.

Armament: 2 x 7.7mm cowl + 2 x 20mm or 4 x 7.7mm in wings.

I have read a few places that flight testing of the N1k2-J did occur. In Mick Spick's book "The Illustrated Directory of Fighters", he reports that a captured Shiden-Kai reached 670 kpr. (416 mph.) at an altitude of 5,800 m. (19,025 ft.). I have read that the T.A.I.C. tested the N1K2-J to a maximum speed of 415 mph. I do not have any of these reports in my files, I am sorry to say.


Edited by CORSNING, 01 February 2017 - 01:56 PM.



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Posted 01 February 2017 - 03:21 PM

KAWANISH NIKI Kyofu (Mighty Wind)  'Rex 11' Floatplane Timeline


September 1940: The IJNAF instructed Kawanishi Kokuki Kalsha (Kawanishi Aircraft

     Co. Ltd.)  to design an all new floatplane fighter under the issued specifications

     15-Shi. Kawanishi designated this project K-20 and the design team consisted of

     Shizuo Kikuhara, Toshiharu Baka, Elizaburo Adachi and Hiroyuki Inoue.


6 May 1942: The 1st of 8 prototypes for service trials was completed and flown. Testing

     found that the complexities of the contra-props' gearing and added weight outweighed

     any advantages. The wings were considered laminar flow.

     Engine: Mitsubishi MK4D Kasei Model 14: 1,460 hp./T.O.,   1,400 hp./2,700m.,   1,260 hp./

          6,100 m. with contra-rotating propellers.


17 August 1942: The 2nd prototype was delivered to the IJNAF for service trials.

     Engine: Mitsubishi MK4C  Kasei Model 13: 1,460 hp./T.O.,   1,420 hp./2,000 m.,  

     1,300 hp./6,000 m. with a 3-blade propeller. 

Note: Flight trials found the 2nd prototype suffered serious snaking at take-off that the

     contra-props of the 1st prototype had been intended to safeguard against. However pilots

     rated the N1K1 extremely pleasant to fly and its maneuverability was very impressive due

     to its manually actuated Fowler type combat flaps.


Early December 1942: The K-20 was accepted by the IJNAF and ordered into production as

    the N1K1 Kyofu Floatplane Fighter Model 11.


July 1943: The 1st production N1K1 Kyofus are delivered o the IJNAF.


December 1943: The Koku Gijutsu  Sho (Air Technical Unit) at Yokosuka finally

     declared the Kyofu ready for operational use. That same month The IJNAF ordered

     Kawanishi to cease production of the Floatplane Fighter because the Navys focus

     had changed to land-based interceptors. Production of the N1K1 had reached 15 per

     month by this time.


16 January 1944: The 1st victory of the N1K1 Kyofu was when PO1c Kiyomi Katsuki intercepted

     a B-24 as he was flying from Java to Ambon. The 934th was bringing a handful of Kyofus

     from Singapore.


March 1944: Including the eight prototypes, the last of 97 Kyofus had been received. Performance

     figures at military rating were as follows:

     Maximum Speed: 264 kt./5,700 m. (304 mph./18,700 ft.)

     Cruising Speed: 200 kt./2,000 m. (230 mph.//6,562 ft.)

     Climb: 5,000 m. (16,404 ft.)/5 min. 32 sec.

     Service Ceiling: 10,560 m. (34,645 ft.)

     Range Normal: 570 n. mls. (656 mls.), Range Maximum: 900 n. mls. (1,036 mls.)


From Aircraft of the Aces No.129 page 25

     "...the handful of pilots who got to fly the aircraft operationally appreciating the N1K1's

impressive rate of climb but criticizing its inferior maneuverability and range when compared

to the A6M2-N."

Edited by CORSNING, 05 February 2017 - 08:13 PM.



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Posted 01 February 2017 - 05:44 PM

KAWANISHI N1K1-J Shiden (Violet Lightning) 'George 11' Timeline


December 1941:The Kawanishi engineering team worked up a projection for a

     land-based N1k1 and gave the proposal to their management. Kawanishi's

     Technical Director for Aircraft, Vice Admiral Rikizo Tada found the proposed

     performance sufficient enough that management decided to develop the land-

     based fighter as a private venture. Shizuo Kikuhara was appointed to head the

     engineering team.


31 December 1942: The 1st prototype designated Model X-1 Experimental Land-

     based Fighter is completed. Modifications had been made to the combat flaps

     making them automatic.

     Engine: Nakajima Homare 11: 1,820 hp.

     Armament: 2 x 7.7 mm. Type 97 machine guns in the upper cowl + 2 x 20 mm.

          Type 99 Model 2 cannons in underwing gondolas.


31 December 1942: 1st test flight of the N1K1-J prototype from Itami airport with

     Air Arsenal pilot Lt Takumi Hoashi at the controls. Test pilot notes noted the


     Poor visibility during taxiing.

     Excessive propeller torque during take-off.

     Pleasant handling characteristics.

     Almost as maneuverable as the Mitsubishi Reisen.


Note: The maximum speed of the Model X-1 prototype was a disappointing 310 kt.

     (357 mph.). This was primarily because of the poor fuel quality and unreliable

     carburetors. The Kawanishi was more maneuverable and had greater range than 

     the faster Mitsubishi J2M2. The IJNAF instructed Kawanishi to suspend development

     on the Naval Experimental Fighters 17-Shi (J3K1) and 18-Shi (J6K1) and to concentrate

     on improving the land based N1K1 with the help of IJNAF Engineering Commander

     Junjiro Suzuki to offer guidance at the Naruo plant. The IJNAF assigned Engineering

     Commander Junjiro Suzuki to offer guidance at the Naruo plant.


July 1943: Four prototypes had been completed and one was given to the IJNAF. The

     aircraft were evaluated by pilots of the Koku Gijutsu Sho at Yokosuka. The Naval

     personnel were prejudice toward the aircraft because it had been a private venture as

     apposed to being from IJN specifications and service engineers were critical of the

     design initially complaining about the overall poor workmanship.


15 November 1943: The 341st Kokutai (Naval Air Corps)was chosen to be the 1st unit

     to receive the N1K1-J. They were formed at Matsuyama in the Ehime Prefecture on

     the island of Shikoku.


December 1943: 70 N1K1-Js had been built at the Naruo Works and the first had rolled

     off the Himeji Works line. The Engine unreliability and poor machine tooling along

     with inferior quality materials caused undercarriage problems.


During 1943: At Kawanishi's Naruo Works the aircraft were fitted with the Nakajima

     NK9H Homare 21 engine. The cowling was modified with a lower lip scoop, individual

     exhaust stacks and an external oil cooler was mounted on the port side under the

     cooling gills. These aircraft had an additional pair of 20 mm. Type 99 Model 2

     cannon wing mounted guns just outside the wing gondolas.


Mid February 1944: The first Shidens are delivered to the 341st Hikotai while training

     at Kasanohara.


15 June 1944: The 341st Kokutai as part of the 62nd Koku Sentai conducted service

     trials. They had constant problems with undercarriage failures and the unreliability of

     the Homare 21 engine. There were engine oil leaks and buckling of the metal skin

     during violent evasive maneuvers also.


12 October 1944: The Shiden's 1st 'kills' were when PO1c Takeo Yamada and PO1c

     Hideo Hirakawa of the 401st Hiketai claimed 4 Hellcats each after diving from above

     into a group of about 60 aircraft. The Hellcats were from Third Fleet's TF38.


23 December 1944: PO1c Hideo Hirakaw died when his Shiden collided with an USAAF

     bomber over Luzon. He was the only Known N1K1-J ace. He had 5 kills in the Shiden.


16 April 1945: N1K1-J's final combat during the Okinawa campaign. Very few Shidens

     remained in front line service after that, a handful being used as fast reconnaissance

     by the 132nd Kokutai on Formosa and Teisato 11th Hikotai in southern Kyushu.


Note: Kawanishi's Norue Works plant produced 539 prototypes and production aircraft.

The Himeji plant produced 486 N1K1-Js. Four major versions were produced powered

by the Homare 21 engine.

     1. N1K1-J Model 11: Armament: 2 x 7.7 mm. Type 97 cowl machine guns + 2 x 20 mm. 

         Type 99 Model 2 wing guns + 2 x 20 mm. Type 99 Model 2 cannon in underwing


     2. N1K1-Ja Model 11a: 4 x 20 mm. wing cannon.

     3. N1K1-Jb Model 11b: 4 x 20 mm. wing cannon + 2 underwing racks for 250 kg.

         bombs. This version had square tipped horizontal tail surfaces.

     4. N1K1-Jc Model 11c: Identical to the Model 11b except had 4 under wing racks.


Pilot Note: Aircraft of the Aces No.129 Page 59

     The 343rd Kokutai was an elite unit formed by Capt Minoru Genda.

     " He knew that the Shiden's inferior performance - slower rate of climb, top speed,

less armament and shorter range - when compared to the Shiden-Kai meant that the

two aircraft could not employ formation tactics together."

Edited by CORSNING, 05 February 2017 - 09:27 PM.



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Posted 01 February 2017 - 09:37 PM

KAWANISHI N1K2-J Shiden-Kai (Violet Lightning Improved) "George 21" Timeline


4 January 1943: Kawanishi's design team began work on an improved version of the

     N1K1-J. Elimination of the long landing gear was the prime reason.


31 December 1943: 1st flight of the N1K2-J prototype with the 1,990 Homare 21

     engine. It had a much cleaner cowling. Total assembly parts were lowered from

     66,000 to 43,000 simplifying construction.


1 January 1944: 1st flight of the N1K2-J prototype with Kawanishi at Naruo airfield

     with pilot Munekichi Okayasu. The wing was lowered on the fuselage and tail

     surfaces were redesigned. All four 20 mm. cannons were installed within the wings.


April 1944: Kawanishi delivered the N1K2-J prototype to the IJNAF.


June 1944: Navy Interceptor Fighter Shiden-kai Model 21 production began at Naruo.


25 December 1944: The 343rd Kokutai, a new elite unit, is formed at Matsuyama.

     Commanding officer was Commander Minoru Genda who was able to select

     experienced pilots and crewmen. They became known as the "Genda Circus"

     and "Ken Butai" (Sword Unit).


Early January 1945: 1st N1K2-Js are delivered to the 343rd Kokutai at Matsuyama.


16 February 1945: Ens Matsuo Hagiri claimed the 1st victory of the N1K2-J over

     Kanto Plain shooting down and F6F which was his 13th 'kill'.


12 April 1945: 343rd ground crews struggled to keep N1K2-Js airworthy due to

     poor quality of fuel. Two fighters refused to start and eight were forced to abort 

     mission due to backfires.


Spring 1945: Two N1K4-J prototypes and one carrier-borne N1K4-A prototype were

     built at Naruo. Their engines were 2,000 hp. NK9H-S Homare 23 radial with low-

     pressure fuel injection systems.


Notes: Navy pilots noted the following improvements of the N1K2-J over the N1K1-J:

     Better forward visibility on the ground.

     More sensitive control surfaces.

     More reliable undercarriage.


N1K2-Ja Model 21A: Fighter-bomber fitted with 4 x 250 kg. bombs. Production not


N1K2-K: Limited number of N1K2-J airframes fitted with a second seat behind the



     By VJ-Day 351 N1K2-Js had been completed by the Naruo plant and 42 by Himeji.

Edited by CORSNING, 11 February 2017 - 02:15 PM.



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Posted 02 February 2017 - 07:38 PM


J2M Raiden and N1K1/2 Shiden / Shiden-Kai Aces, Aircraft of the Aces No.129

      Yasusho Izawa with Tony Holmes.


Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War

      Rene J Francillon.


Warplanes of the Second World War Vol.6, FLOATPLANES

     William Green.


Aircraft Profile 213, Kawanishi Kyofu & Shiden

     Rene J. Francillon, Ph.D.

Edited by CORSNING, 11 February 2017 - 02:16 PM.



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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:20 PM

N1K2-J Pilot Notes: From Aircraft of the Aces No.129


From the Author

     "The Shiden-kai (prototype) was totally different to fly than the Shiden." "There were

still problems with the engine and propeller." "Stall came abruptly."

     "Although the Siden-kai was a handful near the stall (pilots had to be sensitive with

the flight controls, as being rough with the aircraft could lead to an autorotation spin that

was hard to recover from), it was an excellent heavy interceptor that could exceed the

Zero-Sen fighter."

     "The performance of the Homare engine continued to be lower than expected." "Fuel

quality was down to 85 octane because it was mixed with an oil extract from pine tree

roots - this proved to be very volatile." "Pilots in the front line still claimed that the Shiden- 

kai's performance was good up to 30,000 ft."


From Capt Menoru Genda

     "It (the undercarriage) was very poor - much worse than on the average Japanese

aircraft. When dive-bombing or strafing, if the aircraft reached 420 mph, the gear was apt

to fall apart in the air. About a quarter of the pilots we lost in combat fell for this reason.

The Shiden-kai got to be a better airplane toward the end, however."


Shiden-kai vs. VF-17 Hellcats

     "Naval aviators from VF-17 also noted that the enemy fighters had excellent climbing

characteristics and superior speed. When confronted with Hellcats on their tails, the

Japanese pilots would snaproll to the left, their automatic combat flaps having saved

them time and time again."



     "Unlike the J2M Raiden, the N1K2-J had not really been designed for high altitude

interceptions. Indeed, according to Lt Cdr Shiga, the fighter's Homare 21 engine suffered

significant loss of power above 21,000 ft."


Shiden-kai diving on P-47s

     "..., the P-47N pilots were quickly above their opponents thanks to their fighter's

superior performance at medium-to-high altitude."


Shiden-kai vs FG-1D

     "The "George" compared favorably with the Corsair in speed, had good diving

characteristics and could outmaneuver it."

Edited by CORSNING, 06 November 2017 - 07:58 PM.



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Posted 11 February 2017 - 02:20 PM

Aircraft Profile 213 Page 16:


N1K2-J vs. J2M3m21

     "...the Shiden-kai had a nominal maximum (military power) speed advantage of 4 mph but it had

a much longer range while being more maneuverable and having markedly superior visibility from the


#9 Laurelix


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Posted 06 November 2017 - 01:16 PM

N1K2 manual:






This was made before N1K2 went into production.

The N1K2 Prototype had i believe the Ha-45-11 (1800hp) engine in December 1943

During Test Flights it achieved 


315 knots (583km/h) at 3000m at military power

330 knots (611km/h) at 6000m at military power


Rate of Climb: (Military Power)

Time to 3000m: 2:50

Time to 6000m: 6:20


The Japanese estimated performance for Production N1K2 (with the Ha-45-21 1990hp) is also listed


321 Knots (594km/h) at 2500m at military power

348 Knots (644km/h) at 6000m at military power


Rate of Climb: (Military Power)

Time to 2500m: 2:07

Time to 6000m: 5:15

Edited by Laurelix, 06 November 2017 - 04:35 PM.

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