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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Nakajima Kikka (orange blossom) bomber

Photos

  • Nakajima Kikka Orange Blossom attack bomber
  • Nakajima Kikka Orange Blossom attack bomber

 

Design

The Kikka was influenced by the Messerschmitt Me 262A but it was designed by the Japanese. It ended up being slightly smaller than the Me 262A. The Kikka became the only jet plane to fly in Japan during World War II.

In September 1944 the Navy asked Nakajima to design a jet propelled aircraft to be used as a bomber. It needed to go 435 mph, go 125 miles, and carry 550 lbs of bombs. The wings need to be foldable so that the aircraft could be hidden in caves and tunnels. With the addition of two 990 lb thrust rockets the Kikka could take off in 115'.

The Kikka was designed by Kazuo Ohno and Kenichi Matsumura.

Engines

Initially the engines were Tsu-11 ducted flow but they were replaced by Ne-12 turbojets and then the Ne-20 axial-flow turbojets were installed. Auxiliary rockets were used for takeoff.

Prototype

The Kikka prototype was first flown by Lieutenant Commander / Captain Susumu Tanaoka on August 7, 1945. This flight took place at Kisarazu Naval Air Base. Four days later, a faulty installation of the takeoff rockets damaged the aircraft.

A second prototype and 18 aircraft were under construction when the program was cancelled on August 15.

Production

  • Prototypes: 1
  • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.

Variants

  • Nakajima Kikka:
  • ?: Trainer. Two seats.
  • ?: Reconnaissance.
  • ?: Fighter. Two 30 mm cannons. Ne-130 engines with 1,980 lbs of thrust.

Specifications

  Nakajima Kikka
Type Attack Bomber, Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 2: Ne-20, Ne-20 axial-flow turbojets
Thrust 1,045 lb each, 1,047 lb
475 kg
Dimensions  
Span 32' 9", 32' 9.75"
10 m
Length 26' 7.875", 26' 8"
8.125 m
Height 9' 8", 9' 8.125'
2.95 m
Wing area 142.08 sq ft
13.2 sq m
Weight  
Empty 5,071 lb
2,300 kg
Loaded 7,716 lb, 8,995 lb
4,080 kg
Performance  
Speed at 32,810' / 10,000 m 433 mph
697 kph
Climb to 32,810' / 10,000 m 26 minutes
Service ceiling 39,370'
12,000 m
Range 586 miles
940 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 30 mm Type 5 cannon
Bombs 1,102 lb
500 kg
OR 1,764 lb
800 kg

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site