Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Experimental 7-Shi Carrier Fighter (Company designation NKIF)

Nakajima Experimental 7-Shi Carrier Fighter.

At the beginning of the 1930s, the Japanese Navy began a Continuous Development Programme for design development of its operational aircraft. As a result, the Navy placed orders with Mitsubishi and Nakajima in April 1932 to compete for a replacement for the Type 90 Carrier Fighter which had only been in service for a year. It was to be designed and built exclusively in japan.

For Nakajima, Yasushi Koyama was appointed chief designer for the project. As the 7-Shi Carrier Fighter, this was to be a parasol-monoplane because of the success that Nakajima had just achieved in producing the Army Type 91 Fighter of this configuration. There was very little difference between the two aeroplanes. The main difference was that the Navy aeroplane had the Kotobuki 5 engine with a Nakajima-built Hamilton Standard three-bladed propeller and contained standard naval equipment along with an arrestor hook.

The prototype was completed in the autumn of 1932. When evaluated by the Navy, it reported that this aeroplane, as well as Mitsubishi's entry, failed to meet the general performance requirements, which included a maximum speed of 180 to 200kt. For this 7-Shi aeroplane, the Navy had expected something revolutionary, considering the long development time for this project, and was not interested in a modification of an existing operational aeroplane as this was.

Single-engine single-scat parasol monoplane fighter. All-metal monoeoque fuselage with aluminium wing structure covered with fabric. Pilot in open cockpit.
460-560hp Nakajima Kotobuki 5 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a Hamilton Standard fixed-pitch three-bladed metal propeller.
Two forward-firing fixed 7.7mm machine-guns.
Span 11 m (31ft 1in); length 7.20m (23ft 7 1/2in); height 3.20m (10ft 6in); wing area 20sq m (215.285sq ft).
Empty weight 1,100kg (2,425Ib); loaded weight 1,600kg (3,527lb); wing loading 80kg/sq m (16.3Ib/sq ft); power loading 3.48kg/hp (7.6Ib/hp).
Maximum speed 160kt (184mph) at 3,500m (11,483ft).
One built in 1932

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