The J7W1 Type 18 “Shinden” (Bright Lightning) experimental high-speed, short-range, ground-based fighter-interceptor fighter at the Fouok factory.
The aircraft was created by Kyushu Hikoki K. K. It was an all-metal low plane, built according to the “duck” scheme. Mitsubishi MK9D KA1 18-cylinder radial air-cooled engine producing 2130 hp was located behind the pilot’s cabin (no one installed similar air-cooled engines in the rear part of the fuselage), and set in motion a six-blade pushing propeller of variable pitch with a diameter of 3.4 m (the propeller was one of the record for single-engine aircraft). Designers have provided the possibility of shooting screw in case of an emergency. When developing, it was originally intended to install two types of engines on a new aircraft: piston or turbojet.
In the nose of the fuselage were placed four 30-mm gun Type 5 with a rate of 450 shots, which was considered very powerful weapons for the time. The machine was equipped with an emergency reset system, which was activated by the pilot if necessary to leave the plane with a parachute.
The first flight took place only on August 3, 1945 – three months after the construction of the first prototype. The car was recognized as promising, but due to time constraints, work on it could not be continued. At the end of 1945, the fighter was dismantled by US naval intelligence specialists and, among 145 other Japanese aircraft, was sent to the United States for testing and evaluation. With the help of Japanese experts, the aircraft was restored and passed a test cycle at the Wright Field test site (the current Wright-Patterson air base). The results impressed the American engineers, especially they were surprised by the maneuverability characteristics. The plane in the picture is the second of the two built. Now “Sinden” is located in the Paul Garber Aircraft Museum in the state of Maryland, which is part of the National Aerospace Museum in Washington.
Location: Phuoca, Japan
Image Date: October 10, 1945