The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden was designed by the same team that had designed the famous A6M Zero, though the Raiden was not as successful as its predecessor. The emphasis on the design was for a quick-response interceptor, and the requirements for the aircraft specified that it to climb to 19,685 feet (6000 meters) in about five minutes, and have a speed of 373 mph at that altitude. The high performance requirement meant that a powerful engine was essential, and the large-diameter engine that was chosen resulted in an interesting placement of the engine somewhat farther back in the fuselage. This allowed the front part of the nose to be more tapered to reduce drag, though it required the use of an extension shaft between the engine and the reduction gear. The first prototype flew on March 20, 1942, and after some modifications it went into production in October of 1942. Subsequent teething problems meant that the Raiden would not go into service until December of 1943, and by then the model version was the J2M3. Engine changes, turbochargers, and superchargers were tried on different models, though reliability with the aircraft continued to be a problem. The Raiden was used until the end of the war, gaining notable success against Allied bombers in the defense of the Japanese home islands.
Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden
Type: Land Fighter/Interceptor Service: Japanese Navy Air Force (JNAF) Crew: pilot Armament: four 20mm Type 99 cannon in the wings two 60 kg bombs (132 lb of bombs) Reference: Francillon: 395, Mondey: 204 Specifications: Length: 32' 7.5" (9.945 m) Height: 12' 11.25" (3.945 m) Wingspan: 35' 5.25" (10.8 m) Wing area: 215.816 sq. ft (20.05 sq. m) Empty Weight: 5423 lbs (2460 kg) Loaded Weight: 7573 lbs (3435 kg) Max Weight: n/a Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder radial Horsepower: 1800 hp Performance: Range: 1180 st miles (1025 naut miles) Cruise Speed: 219 mph (190 kt) Max Speed: 365 mph at 17390 ft (317 kt at 5300 m) Climb to/in: 19685 ft (6000 m) in 6 min 14 sec Ceiling: 38385 ft (11700 m)
Production: approximately 476 J2Ms total
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia HERE.
For several very nice scale color drawings of this aircraft, see here (7 versions available on left).
Additional color schemes for this aircraft can be found
(go to Mitsubishi page)
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