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N1K1-J Shiden aircraft resting at an airfield, date unknown

Caption   N1K1-J Shiden aircraft resting at an airfield, date unknown ww2dbase
More on...   
N1K Kyofu / Shiden   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 7 Sep 2006
Licensing  Public Domain

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Hobilar says:
22 Sep 2007 03:28:40 AM

A standard N1K1-J Shiden prior to installation of wing cannon.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
20 Nov 2011 12:19:50 PM

The Kawanishi Shiden (Violent Lightning) code
name "George" was a land-based development of the N1K1 Kyofu (Mighty Wind) code name of "Rex" floatplane fighter, of whch 97 were built.


Engineers and designers improved the N1K1 the
new fighter, still had the mid-wing design
and to clear the large propeller the landing gear used a double-retraction system.
The first two prototypes were built on the assembily line together one for flight test the other for static tests for structural integrity.
Other prototypes were built for continued testing and design improvements. some of the material used, were non-critical this helped
ease of production. Full size mockups were on the production floor, to assist workers
in production of operational aircraft.

During construction the aircraft received a blue-green anti-corrosive paint applied to
all interior surfaces, Japanese aircraft were designed to be modular using different sub-assemblies during construction.
Kawanishi also used sub-contractors for the landing gear, and other systems and onboard equpment. The modular system made transport easy and ground crews could repair damaged aircraft replacing parts from one aircraft, to keep others flying.

Factory test aircraft were painted a bright
orange color w/hinomaru markings in six positions. Test pilots both civilian and from the Imperial Navy evaluated the fighter
filed reports for modifications.
Finished aircraft were rolled out for final inspection, and the planes were turned over to the Imperial Navy.

Aircraft had good maneuverability the first models were armed w/2x7.7mm machine guns mounted in the cowling and 4x20mm cannons two mounted in the wings w/200rpg, and two mounted in underwing gondolas w/70rpg.

Entered service with the Imperial Navy, the
"George" as it was now code named was more than a match against US Navy Hellcats and Corsairs. Some N1KN-J fighters were found abandoned at Clark Field, Phillipines Is.
the TAIU inspected and test flew the fighters.


The 343rd Kokutai was one of Japan's best combat units, made up of veteran pilots, they formed an elite fighter unit.
The 343rd faced shortages of aircraft, spare parts, fuel and support equipment, but kept flying against the Allied forces, until Japan's surrender in August 1945.

File photo:

Kawanishi Model X-1 Experimental Land-based
fighter. Photograph shows the George does have its underwing gondolas installed, but without the 20mm Type 99 Model 2 cannons.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
22 Nov 2011 03:05:30 PM



A Shinto priest officiated at the blessing
ceremony for the first N1K1 prototype turned over to the Imperial Navy.

Aircraft produced during the last six months of the war suffered from poor quality control
lack of spare parts, support equipment fuel, oil and supplies.
U.S. B-29 raids crippled much of Japan's ability to wage war, quality control tests on airframes, engines and other material the lack of skilled labor, poor construction of jigs and fixtures made interchangability of many parts almost impossible.

Test flights were cut back due to the lack of fuel, test flights that used to take two or three hours, were now tested enroute to Army or Navy depots any problems found, were to be corrected and repaired after delivery.

Aircraft that should have been tested before delivery were now grounded due to lack of fuel, engines or spare parts.
Operational readiness of aircraft suffered many crashed due to inflight problems the shortage of skilled pilots unfamiliar with high-performance aircraft led to many losses, pilots were killed or injuried in takeoff and landing accidents or during ferry flights many of these replacement pilots died, never seeing combat.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2016 06:23:19 PM


Land-based N1K1-J Shiden prototype, developed from the Kyofu seaplane fighter made its first flight on Dec. 31, 1942 Kawanishi built (9) nine prototype aircraft.

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