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J1N "Gekko / Irving"

Night Fighter

Nakajima

J1N  Gekko / Irving © Kazuaki Koizumi

The Night fighter Gekko (Moonlight), Nakajima. Twin-engine long-range escort fighter (J1N1), reconnaissance aircraft (J1N1-C and J1N1-R) or night fighter (J1N1-S and J1N1-Sa). All-metal construction with fabric-covered control surfaces.

Accommodation: Crew of three (J1N1, J1N1-C and J1N1-R), or two (J1N1-C KAI, J1N1-S and J1N1-Sa) in enclosed cockpit.

Armament: One forward-firing 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 cannon, two forward-firing 7.7 mm Type 97 machine-guns and four 7.7 mm Type 97 machine-guns in two remotely controlled dorsal barbettes (J1N1).

One rear-firing hand-held 13 mm Type 2 machine-gun (J1N1-C and J1N1-R).

One 20 mm Type 99 Model 1 cannon in a dorsal turret (some J1N1-R).

Two fuselage-mounted upward-firing 20 mm Type 99 cannon and two 20 mm Type 99 downward-firing cannon (J1N1-C KAI and J1N1-S).

Two fuselage-mounted upward-firing 20 mm Type 99 cannon and, optional, one forward-firing 20 mm Type 99 cannon (J1N1-Sa).

Production: A total of 479 J1Ns were built by Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Koizumi as follows:

2 J1N1 prototypes (spring 1941)

7 J1N1-C prototypes (1941-42)

470 J1N1-C, J1N1-R, J1N1-C KAI, J1N1-S and J1N1-Sa production aircraft (July 1942-Dec1944)

'Gekko' Specification
J1N1 J1N1-C J1N1-S
Crew 3 3 3
Dimensions
Wing span, m 16.98 16.98 16.98 (55 ft. 8¼ in.)
Wing area, m² 40.0 40.0 40.0 (430.57 sq. ft.)
Length, m 12.18 12.18 12.77 (41 ft. 10¾ in.)
Powerplant
Two Nakajima NK1F Sakae Maximum, hp 1,130 1,100 594
Altitude, m take-off 2850 (9,350 ft) 6000 (19,685 ft)
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 5,020 4,852 4,850 (10,692 lb)
Loaded weight 7,250 6,890 7,010 (15,454 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight 8,030 7,527 8,184 (18,045 lb)
Wing loading*, kg/m2 181.3 172.3 175.3 (35,9 lb/ft²)
Power loading, kg/hp 3.6 3.3 3.7 (8.16 lb/hp)
Performance
Speed, km/h maximum 507 530 507 (315 mph)
at altitude, m 5000 6000 5800 (19,030 ft)
Speed, km/h cruising 330 278 330 (205 mph)
at altitude, m 4,000 4,000 4,000 (13,123 ft)
Climb - 5min 37sec 9min 35sec
Service ceiling, m - 10,300 9,320 (30,580 ft)
Normal range, naut miles - 1,457 1,374
Maximum range, naut miles - - 2,040

References

  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War " /Rene J Francillion./

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