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Best Japanese fighter?

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by Poppy, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Maybe the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate "Frank" ? If it had enough resources to keep it in fighting trim, the best? Nice looking plane.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What do you mean by "best"? Is carrier capability required? How important is range? How do you weight interception missions vs dog fighting? etc.
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Mmmm, if you suddenly found yourself in a dog fight 1944. No worries about getting home 'cause you'll wake up soon.
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The problem here is that the Japanese fighters were only good in "dogfights" because of their light construction, and that didn't change much to the dismay of the Japanese pilots. The "Frank" and "Oscar" weren't bad dogfighters, just not great airframes.

    In this case (1944 and later) I might chose the Mitsubishi J2M5 "Jack", it was reasonably powerful (1,820 hp) good range, good climb to about 36,000 feet, fair armament (combination of cannon and machine guns), and a decent "look". Only their limited production run made this model a "non-factor" for the allies.

    But then again, knowing the low quality of the later Japanese aircraft it might be pretty tough to find one a guy is really "comfortable" with by 1944 when the resources were long gone.
     

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  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    I vote for the "Frank".
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I was always partial to the N1K2 Shiden Kai aka "George" myself.
     
  7. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Frank lc had 2-20mm and 2-30mm!... George with the 4- 20mm and had the auto combat flaps controlled by "manometer". .... Tony is cool. Looking kinda Macchi / Messerschmitt.
     
  8. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf Member

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    If playing IL2 flight sim I'll mostly use the KI 100 or the KI 61 Tony as I like to fly high alt. Although they are rice paper and burn easily with the right pilot they are all deadly :)
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I'd say it is probably the Ki 84 Hayate (Frank) with the N1K2 Shiden Kai (George II) a close second. Post war in limited flight testing the Frank proved more than capable of out dogfighting the P-51D and P-47N at Wright Field Ohio.

    The J2M5 had some serious issues with it. The engine cooling was always a problem. Controls proved less coordinated and heavier than expected. The cannon armament suffered from jamming.
     
  10. Dcazz7606

    Dcazz7606 Member

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    Some years ago I read that the Franks best speed during the war was around 390 mph. After the surrender the plane was tested by US pilots and using the hi octane US gas, the US pilots were amazed at speeds of arounf 425 mph. Can't remember the origin of the article or book.
     
  11. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    belasar likes this.
  12. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Love to have seen what the A7M Reppu might have done with development. As for those that did get in the air and fight, I'd go with the George.
     
  13. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    shiden? not so bought on the idea. nothing beats the zero in a fight below 10,000 feet.
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    In a turning fight only. Keep up your speed above 300 knots and the Zero isn't so invincible.
     
  15. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    well, maneuverability is a basically a defensive feature. but it'll help you shoot down someone who insists on turning with you.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I'd go with the Shiden-Kai. Yes, by all accounts the high octane aviation gasoline made an incredible difference to the Japanese aircraft.

    In the book "Genda's Blade: Japan's Squadron of Aces", the authors tell of postwar testing in Japan of three Shiden-Kais shortly after the war, and with the American AvGas, they were able to race Marine Corsairs. Although no top speed or altitude is given, the Shidens gave good account of themselves against the Corsairs speedwise.
     
  17. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    heavy, hard to master flying, shorter range.
     
  18. Bryan Zero

    Bryan Zero Member

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    I'll have to think about it.....
     
  19. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    I'm thinking that was an estimation not an actual attained speed. It was discussed over on J-Aircraft.com a couple of years ago. I remember getting some info about it. I'll see if I can find it.
    Here's a link to the discussion over on J-Aircraft.

    http://www.j-aircraft.org/smf/index.php?topic=9515.0
     
  20. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    And how might the The Kyūshū J7W1 Shinden have fared if properly developed. Top speed was 469 mph!
     

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