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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mitsubishi J8M Shusui fighter

Design

The Mitsubishi J8M Shusui was a copy of the Messerschmitt Me. 163B, which the Japanese got license rights to manufacture.1

A German submarine, which was transporting a Me 163, was sunk by the Allies.1 This only left the plans and an engine for the Japanese to use.1

Army Navy Cooperation

The J8M project was one of the few that the Army and Navy cooperated on. Technicians from both services worked on building the engine.1

However, each then ordered separate glider trainers to be built.1 Maeda Koku Kenkyujo and Yokoi Koku K.K. built around 50 of the glider trainers.1

Rikugun Kogugijutsu Kenkyujo developed the Ki-202 which was to be the Army version.1

Prototype

Only one prototype got in the air, on July 7, 1945, but it crashed on takeoff after the engine failed.1 Test pilot Toyohiko Inuzuka was killed.1 It was found that there was a fault in the fuel system, and this was corrected in the other prototypes but then the war ended.1

Production

  • Prototypes: 71
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.1

Variants

  • Mitsubishi MXY8: Glider prototype.1
  • Mitsubishi J8M1: Navy version.1 Two 30 mm cannons.1
  • Mitsubishi J8M2: Navy version.1 One 30 mm cannon.1 Larger fuel tanks.1
  • Ki-202: Army version.1

Usage

The J8M never became operational.1

Specifications

  Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui1
Type Fighter1
Crew 11
Engine (Type) Toko Ro.21
Thrust 3,307 lb1
Dimensions  
Span 31' 2"1
Length 19' 10"1
Height 8' 10"1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 8,565 lb1
Performance  
Speed @ 32,810' 559 mph1
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 39,370'1
Range 5' 30"1
Armament 2: 30 mm1

Sources:

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