Designed and built by Kyushu Hikoki K. K as the first prototype built between June 1944 until completed in early August 1945. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as J7W1 Shinden (prototype no. 1).
On August 3, 1945 took off from Mushiroda Airfield piloted by Captain Masaoki Tsuruno on a first short, sucessful test flight.
On August 6, 1945 took off from Mushiroda Airfield piloted by Captain Masaoki Tsuruno on a second short test flight.
On August 9, 1945 took off from Mushiroda Airfield piloted by Captain Masaoki Tsuruno on a third short test flight and landed safely.
During these flight tests, several issues were experienced including pulling to the right during full power at take off and strong vibrations from the propeller and drive shaft. In total, all three flights were short duration with the landing gear never retracted for a total flight time of only 45 minutes.
After the official surrender of Japan, this aircraft was inspected by the U. S. Navy (USN) for intelligence value. Afterawards, disassembled and
loaded aboard USS Barnes CVE-20 with other captured aircraft and on November 3, 1945 departed Japan.
In the United States reassembled but never test flown. Afterwards, placed into storage by the U. S. Air Force (USAF). Over the years, the wings, rear fuselage and engine were lost, scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
In the 1960,
transfered from the U. S. Air Force (USAF) to the Smithsonian Institution and to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) with inventory Number: A19600333000 and placed into storage at NASM Garber Facility.
During 2016, placed on display at the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center as part of the World War II aviation exhibit. Other "'miscellaneous parts" from this aircraft remain in storage at NASM Garber Facility in building 7C on C level.
National Air and Space Museum (NASM) - Kyushu J7W1 Shinden (Magnificent Lightning)
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June 29, 2019