Nakajima J1N

Nakajima J1N

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Nakajima J1N

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The Nakajima Aircraft Company J1N1 Gekkou was a twin-engine aircraft used by the Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II and was used for reconnaissance, night fighter, and kamikaze missions. The first flight took place in May 1941. It was given the Allied reporting name "Irving"', since the earlier reconnaissance version the J1N1-C, was mistaken for a fighter.


In mid-1938 the Japanese Imperial Navy requested a twin-engine fighter designed to escort the principal bomber used at the time, Mitsubishi G3M "Nell". The operating range of the standard Navy fighter, the Mitsubishi A5M "Claude", was only 1,200 km (750 mi), insufficient compared with the 4,400 km (2,730 mi) of the G3M. Moreover, at the time, the potential of the "Zero", then still under development, remained to be evaluated, stressing the need for a long-range escort fighter.

In March 1939, Mitsubishi and Nakajima began the development of a project 13-Shi. The prototype left the factory in March 1941 equipped with two 843 kW (1,130 hp) Nakajima Sakae 21/22, 14-cylinder radial engines. There was a crew of three, and the aircraft was armed with a 20 mm Type 99 cannon and six 7.7 mm (.303 in) Type 97 machine guns. Four of these machine guns were mounted in a powered turret, the weight of which reduced the performance of the aircraft considerably. Because of the sluggish handling, being used...
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