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Japan's Kyushu J7W Shinden (magnificent thunderbolt/lightning) fighter


  • Kyushu J7W1 Shinden fighter



The J7W Shinden was a very unique fighter for World War II as it was the only one that was a canard type aircraft with the horizontal tail in front.

The design was originally conceived by Captain Masaoki Tsuruno in 1943. His design was seen by the Dai-Ichi Kaigun Koku Gijitsusho (First Technical Arsenal of Naval Aviation) who then got involved with it.

Glider Tests

A glider was built to test the aerodynamics of the canard design. After these tests were conducted Kyushu Hikoki K.K. was asked to manufactured the plane based on the designs.

Landing Gear

The tricycle landing gear was completely retractable.


The engine was completely enclosed in the rear of the fuselage and there were vents in the side to provide cooling. The engine powered a six blade propeller.


A MXY6 glider was first tested in late 1943.

It took from June 1943 to April 1944 to make the first J7W1 prototype. The only flight done by a J7W1 prototype was on August 3, 1945 and was piloted by Captain Masaoki Tsuruno.


Nakajima and Kyushu were to slated to build the aircraft at a rate of 150 per month but the war situation prevented construction going forward.

  • MXY6: 3
    • Manufacturer: Chigasaki Seizo K.K.
  • J7W1 Prototypes: 2
    • Manufacturer: Kyushu Hikoki K.K. at Zasshonokuma
    • Production: Spring 1945


  • MXY6: Prototype gliders.
  • Kyushu J7W1:
  • Kyushu J7W2: Was to have a 1,984 lb / 900 kg thrust Ne-130 turbojet.


  Kyushu J7W1 Shinden
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Ha-43 12 (MK9D)
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,130
Propeller blades 6, 6 metal
Span 36' 5", 36' 5 9/16"
11.114 m
Length 31' 8", 31' 8 5/16"
9.66 m
Height 12' 10", 12' 10 11/32"
3.92 m
Wing area 220.659 sq ft
20.5 sq m
Empty 7,639 lb
3,645 kg
Load - Normal 10,854 lb
4,928 kg
Load - Maximum 11,526 lb
5,228 kg
Speed at 28,545' / 8,700 m 466 mph
405 knots
Speed - Cruising at 13,125' / 4,000 m 263 mph
228 knots
Climb to 26,245' / 8,000 m 10 minutes 40 seconds
Service Ceiling 39,370'
12,000 m
Range 529 miles
529 statute miles
460 nautical miles
Nose 4: 30 mm, 30 mm Type 5
Bombs 264 lb
2: 132 lb
2: 60 kg
OR 4: 66 lb
5: 30 kg


  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site