Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nakajima Aircraft

G8N1 Unit: Kugisho (Kaigun Koku Gijutsusho, Navy Aircraft Technical Arsenal)
Serial: Ko-G8-L
Prototype No.1, Ohta Airfield (Nakajima's Koizumi Factory), Gunma Prefecture, October 1944

Japanese aircraft manufacturer. Nakajima was started in 1917 by retired naval engineer Chikuhei Nakajima and Seibei Kawanishi as the Japan Aeroplane Manufacturing Work Co. Ltd. In 1920, after a disagreement between the two principals, it became Nakajima Aeroplane Co. Ltd.

In 1924, after several successful airframe designs, Nakajima began producing engines. The first engine produced was a French-licensed water-cooled Lorraine. The following year, Nakajima imported the British Bristol Jupiter. From this engine, Nakajima developed the Model VI.

 During World War II, Nakajima was one of the few companies that controlled all aspects of its manufacturing. From airframes to engines to all subparts and assemblies, Nakajima produced each part in its own factory. This allowed Nakajima to produce more than 19,500 aircraft from 1941 to 1945. This made up 28 percent of all Japanese aircraft produced and 37 percent of all Japanese combat aircraft produced. Nakajima provided the Ki 43 Oscar, Ki 44 Tojo, Ki 84 Frank fighters and the Ki 49 Helen heavy bomber for the army. For the navy, it produced the B5N Kate and B6N Jill attack bombers and the J1N Irving twin-engine fighter.

In 1946, Nakajima was reorganized as Fuji Sangyo Co., Ltd. In 1950, Fuji Sangyo was divided into 12 smaller corporations. Between 1953 and 1955, four of those corporations again merged to become Fuji Heavy Industries, the name by which it is still known today.

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