Nakajima J9Y Kikka (Orange Blossom)
The Nakajima Kikka (中島 橘花 "Orange Blossom") was Japan's first jet-powered aircraft. It was developed late in World War II and the first prototype had only flown once before the end of the conflict.
The first prototype J9Y Kikka Prototype 1 commenced ground tests at the Nakajima factory on June 30, 1945. The following month it was dismantled and delivered to Kisarazu Naval Airfield where it was re-assembled and prepared for flight testing. The first flight took place on August 7, 1945 piloted by Lieutenant Commander Susumu Takaoka for a 20 minute test flight and performed well with the only concern being the length of the takeoff run. For the second test flight on August 11, 1945 rocket assisted take off (RATO) units were fitted to the aircraft. However, because their alignment had been miscalculated, the pilot mistakenly believed that they had not fired and thus shut off the main engines to abort takeoff. As a result the aircraft did not take off at all and was damaged when it ran off the end of the runway, tearing off the landing gear and crashing into Tokyo Bay. Before it could be repaired Japan surrendered and the Pacific War ended.
The second prototype J9Y Kikka Prototype 2 was built as an airframe only for load testing with small engine nacelles and was never flown.
The third prototype was almost ready for flight at the end of the Pacific War.
A total of two prototypes were built, with a third almost completed by the end of the Pacific War. plus 18-25 Kikka were in various stages of assembly in the Nakajima factory when the war ended.
Engine 2 x Ishikawajima Ne-20 turbo jet engines under each wing
Span 10 m
Length 9.25 m
Height 3.05 m
Maximum Speed 700 km/h at 6,000m
Range 980 km
Armament (nose) 1 x 30mm cannon or 2 x 30mm cannons or 2 x 20mm cannons
Bombload 1 x 500 kg or 800 kg bomb