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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. The specification was to produce a plane that would be in forward areas protecting assault forces. The design team was Baba, Kikuhara, Inoue, and Adachi.

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

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.

Floats

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

Prototype

The prototype for the N1K1 first flew on May 6, 1942.

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

Production

  • Prototypes: 2, 8
  • Preseries: 6
  • Kawanishi N1K1: 89
  • Total: 97
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi Kokuki K.K.
    • Production; July 1943 - March 1944

Variants

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

Usage

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

Specifications

  Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu
Type Fighter, Fighter floatplane
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi MK4C Kasei 13
OR Mitsubishi MK4E Kasei 15
Cylinders 15: Radial 14
Cooling  
Net HP 13: 1,460
15: 1,530
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 39' 4", 39' 4.5"
12 m
Length 34' 9"
10.59 m
Height 15' 7"
4.75 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 6,067 lb
2,752 kg
Normal load 7,716 lb
3,500 kg
Maximum load 8,183 lb
3,712 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 18,700' /
5,700 m
304 mph
489 kph
Cruising speed @ 6,560' /
2,000 m
230 mph
370 kph
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
5.5 minutes
Service ceiling 34,645'
10,560 m
Range 656 miles, 1,036 miles
1,056 km
Maximum range 1,036 miles
1,667 km
Armament 2: 20 mm
2: MG
Nose 2: 7.7 mm MG
Wings 2: 20 mm
Bombs 132 lb

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