Kyushu J7W1 Shinden (Magnificent Lightning)
The Shinden was designed by Captain Masaoki Tsuruno of the Japanese Navy Technical Staff. The Shinden was to be powered with a jet engine and would be use as an interceptor against B-29s Superfortresses bombing Japan. This aircraft was the only World War II aircraft to use the canard configuration, with the main wing mounted at the rear of the fuselage and a smaller wing fixed to the front.
Two prototypes were built by Kyushu Hikoki K. K. with a radial engine driving a pusher propeller. Even before the first flight, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) ordered the aircraft into production and planned to produce 150 a month at two factories. Only two prototypes were built before the end of the war.
Development began in June 1944 and J7W1 Shinden Prototype 1 was ready by April 1945. On August 3, 1945 the prototype made a short, successful test flight piloted by designer Captain Tsuruno. Two more flights were made on August 6 and August 9. Each flight was short with the landing gear never retracted for a total flight time of only 45 minutes between the three flights. During these flights, several issues were experienced including pulling to the right during full power at take off and strong vibrations from the propeller and drive shaft.
The second prototype J7W1 Shinden Prototype 2 was never flown. At the end of the Pacific War, captured at shipped to the United States for technical evaluation then donated to the Smithsonian Institution and is the sole surviving example in the world.
Crew One (pilot)
Engine 1 x Mitsubishi Ha-43 (MK9D) 18 cylinder air-cooled radial engine 1,598 kW driving a six bladed pusher propeller
Span 11.11 m (36 ft 5 in)
Length 9.66 m (31 ft 8 in)
Height 3.92 m (12 ft 10 in)
Maximum Speed 750 km/h / 469 mph
Range 850 km / 531 mile
Armament (nose) 4 x 30mm Type 5 cannon with 240 rounds per gun
Bombload (under wing) 4 x 30 kg bombs or 4 x 60 kg bombs