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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Kyushu J7W Shinden (magnificent thunderbolt) 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.


A MXY6 glider was first tested in late 1943.

It took from June 1943 to April 1944 to make the first prototype. The only flight done by a J7W prototype was on August 3, 1945.


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
  • Prototype aircraft: 2
  • Manufacturer: Kyushu Hikoki K.K.


  • MXY6: Prototype gliders.
  • Kyushu J7W:


  Kyushu J7W1 Shinden
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK9D
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,130
Propeller blades 6
Span 36' 5"
Length 31' 8"
Height 12' 10"
Wing area  
Loaded 10,854 lb
Speed @ 28,545' 466 mph
Cruising speed  
Service ceiling 39,370'
Range 529 miles
Nose 4: 30 mm
Bombs 264 lb


  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site