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Kawanishi N1K

Kawanishi N1K

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Nakajima radial
1,990 h.p.
5,860 lbs.
10,700 lbs.
4- 20 mm
30 ft. 8 in.
39 ft. 5 in.
400 mph
4,100 fpm
35,500 feet
1,450 miles

The Kawanishi N1K, called Shiden, code named "George" by the Allies, was initially a float plane with its floats replaced by retractable landing gear.

Without the drag of its float gear it became a formidable fighter aircraft. Flaps that deployed automatically during extreme combat maneuvering, to increase lift, help improve the maneuverability of the aircraft.

The Kawanishi N1K has been credited with being one of the best fighter aircraft of the Pacific theatre, able to hold its own against the best Allied aircraft, especially at low and medium altitudes.

A number of changes were made to the aircraft to help improve performance. The wings were lowered from the mid-wing position of the original float plane to the bottom of the fuselage. This somewhat improved maneuverability, overall structural integrity, and pilot visibility.

A further benefit of lowering the wing was that shorter landing gear could be used. The longer landing gear of the original aircraft often failed on all but perfect landings.

The low wing Kawanishi N1K could be built with about half the man hours of the original aircraft. A total of over 1,400 of the aircraft were produced.

Kawanishi N1K
Kawanishi N1K - Kit Cutters

Pictured immediately above is the Kawanishi N1K built from Jerry Bates plans by Kit Cutters. It is also available as a kit. Wingspan is 94 1/2". For power you will need engines from 3.7 to 5.2 c.i.d. The completed model should weigh around 35 lbs.

You can find three view drawings for a Kawanishi N1K Shiden at Free Model Warbird Plans.

The AMA has plans for a free flight, rubber power Kawanishi N1K for sale that can be converted to to a radio control airplane. It can be powered by a small brushless electric motor and use rudder and elevator controls. You can find the plan as number 28548.

Pictured below are three excellent examples of Kawanishi N1K scale plastic model airplanes.

In the first picture below is the 1/48 scale Kawanishi N1K from a kit by Tamiya. It was built by Randy Colvin.

The middle picture is of a Kawanishi N1K from a kit by Hasegawa. Kiyokazu Isomi built the model airplane.

Mark Mallinson built the 1/24 scale Kawanishi N1K shown in the last picture below.

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Kawanishi N1K
Kawanishi N1K - Colvin

Kawanishi N1K
Kawanishi N1K - Isomi

Kawanishi N1K
Kawanishi N1K - Mallinson.

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