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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (mighty wind) fighter floatplane
Allied code name: Rex

Design

The Kawanishi N1K1 was designed to meet a Japanese Navy specification for a single seat floatplane fighter that was put forward in September 1940.1,2 The specification was to produce a plane that would be in forward areas protecting assault forces.1,2,3 The design team was Baba, Kikuhara, Inoue, and Adachi.2

The N1K1 had excellent performance despite its main float and outrigger floats.1

Engine

The first N1K1 prototype had a contra-rotating propeller but gearbox problems caused it to be replaced by a conventional propeller starting with the second prototype.1

Floats

The prototypes had retractable outrigger floats but this was abandoned due to difficulties and fixed floats were used.1

Prototype

The prototype for the N1K1 first flew on May 6, 1942.1,2

Preseries aircraft were testing in early 1943.2 In the spring of 1943 the N1K1 was approved for production.2

Production

  • Prototypes: 2, 81
  • Preseries: 62
  • Kawanishi N1K1: 891,3
  • Total: 971,2
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K.2
    • Production; July 1943 - March 19442

Variants

  • Prototype: Was powered by Mitsubishi MK4D Kasei 14 radial engine (1,460 HP).1,2 Used counter rotating two blade propellar.2

Usage

By July 1943 when the N1K1 started entering service, Japan was on the defensive the efforts were switched to the N1K Shiden.1,2

Specifications

  Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu1,2
Type Fighter2, Fighter floatplane1
Crew 11,2
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK4C Kasei 131
OR Mitsubishi MK4E Kasei 151,2
Cylinders 15: Radial 141,2
Cooling  
Net HP 13: 1,4601
15: 1,5301,2
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4"2, 39' 4.5"1
12 m1
Length 34' 9"1,2
10.59 m1
Height 15' 7"1,2
4.75 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 6,067 lb1
2,752 kg1
Normal load 7,716 lb1,2
3,500 kg1
Maximum load 8,183 lb1
3,712 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 18,700' /
5,700 m
304 mph1,2
489 kph1
Cruising speed @ 6,560' /
2,000 m
230 mph1
370 kph1
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
5.5 minutes1
Service ceiling 34,645'1,2
10,560 m1
Range 656 miles1, 1,036 miles2
1,056 km1
Maximum range 1,036 miles1
1,667 km1
Armament 2: 20 mm2
2: MG2
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG1
Wings 2: 20 mm1
Bombs 132 lb2

Sources:

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