One of the best late-war Japanese Navy fighters, the Shiden could match the performance of any Allied fighter in terms of speed, maneuverability and armament.
In the original N1K1 Shiden, engine reliability problems and a mid-wing configuration with long, collapse-prone landing gear were balanced by these elements.
Mass production plans for the improved N1K2-J Shiden-kai came to naught as the Allies closed in on Japan, and a total of just 400 of these advanced fighters had been built.
Because of the lack of experienced pilots, some of these excellent aircraft had been expended in the kamikaze role. Any pilot who met this improved “George” in combat had his hands full.
|Empty/Max Weight and Dimensions||5,858 / 9,039 lbs (2,663 / 4,109 kg) Span: 39' 3.75" (12 m) Length: 30' 8" (9.3 m)|
|Engine||Nakajima NK9H Homare 21 18-cyl. radial air-cooled, 1,990 hp|
|Armament||Four 20 mm Type 99 (Oerlikon) cannon plus wing racks for four 132-lb or two 550-lb bombs|
|Max speed @ altitude||370 mph/322 knots (595 km/h) @ 18,370 ft (6,000 m)|
|Ceiling||39,698 ft (12,100 m) Initial climb rate: 3,300 ft (1,000 m)/min|
|Range||1,069 mi (1,720 km)|