The Kawanishi N1K-J “Shiden” (紫電 "Violet Lightning"; allied codename: “George 11”) was a single engine, low-wing fighter aircraft, that was used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.
History[edit | edit source]
The N1K-J was based on the float plane Kawanishi N1K Kyōfū, to create a land-based variant of it. The prototype of the fighter (N1K1-J) was first flown on 27th December 1942. After multiple losses of Japanese aircraft carriers, the N1K-J became one of the most important Japanese fighter aircraft.
At the end of the year 1943, the Shiden entered service and it has proved to be successful, due to its outstanding manoeuvrability and performance.
In air-to-air combat it showed to be highly effective against American fighters like the F6F Hellcat and better useable than the A6M against fighters like the F4U Corsair and P-51 Mustang. However the N1K-J entered service too late and only 1000 built aircraft weren’t sufficient to change the end of the War.