Nakajima Kikka

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Nakajima Kikka
Nakajima Kikka
General
Type: Ground Attack
Owner: Japan
Specifications
Armament
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History
In early 1944 the Japanese military attaché in Germany was shown the Me-262 along with several other advanced German aircraft. He reported back to Japan on these new aircraft who authorized him to open negotiations to buy a production licence for the Me-262 & Me-163. Documents for the two planes along with a complete Me-163 and other aircraft parts where then loaded onto the Japanese submarine I-29 in Lorient France and left on 16 April 1944 to take the perilous journey around Africa back to Japan. On 14 July 1944 the I-29 arrived in Singapore, several of the passages then disembarked and completed the rest of the trip by plane, taking some of the Me-262 documents along with them. Once resupplied I-29 also left Singapore to complete it's journey back to Japan, while going through the Luzon Strait though the I-29 was intercepted by American forces and sunk with only one survivor. With the loss of the I-29 the engineers at Nakajima only had the few documents flown from Singapore along with the memories of a few offices who had seen the Me-262 first hand.


Even with this limited amount of information Nakajima started work on the Kikka in September 1944. Several changes where made to the original Me-262 design making it simpler and easier for manufacture in Japan including using more readily available materials such as wood. One major change was the addition of folding wings which would enable the aircraft to be concealed more easily. At first it was planed to fit the Kikka with the Ishikawajima Tsu-11 motorjet which was originally designed for use on the MXY7 Ohka kamikaze plane. Instead Ishikawajima started development of new jet engine specificity for use in the Kikka called the Ne-10, this design however was unable to produce enough thrust to power the Kikka. With this failure work moved to the Ne-20 which was a reverse engineered version of the German BMW 003, the engineers at Ishikawajima only had a few photographs and a cut-away drawing to work from though. Even with this limited amount of information they were able to produce a usable engine.


The first prototype was completed in June 1945 and after ground tests it took to the skies for it's first flight on 7 August 1945 with with Lieutenant Commander Susumu Takaoka piloting. The short flight went well but the Ne-20 required a long time to get the Kikka up to takeoff speed. To elevate this on the second test flight the Kikka was fitted with RATO (rocket assisted take off) units, unfortunately the rockets had been fitted at an incorrect angle resulting in the Kikka crashing during takeoff. Work started on repairing the damage but the war ended before they could finish. A second prototype was also nearing completion at the time the war ended, along with around 20 other airframes in various stages of completion. After the war American forces captured airframes number 3, 4 and 5, they where sent to Patuxent River Naval Air Base in America for testing. The prototypes where later cannibalized to make a single complete aircraft, which was then given to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Museum kept it in storage for many years but it has recently been moved it to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for restoration work.


Notes

The Kikka is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the J9N1 or J9Y, these are unofficial post-war designations based on the Japanese wartime naming convention. The name Kikka is also somewhat incorrect, the original Japanese name 橘花 is Kitsuka when translated into Rōmaji/English. Kikka is instead the phonetical translation from Japanese into English. It's unknown how this translation error came into common use but it was presumably from US intelligence reports, which have been repeated by historians ever since.


References

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Time Frames
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Pre-War
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Early-War
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1945 - 1960:
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Buildable Yes Yes
Bonus Crate
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Japan

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Defenses
Anti-Tank: Type 1 47mm, Type 90 75mm, Type 5 105mm, M40 106mm
Anti-Aircraft: Type 96 25mm, Type 99 88mm, Type 5 150mm, Bofors 40mm L/70
Artillery: Type 91 105mm, Type 96 150mm, Type 4 40cm, M1A1 155mm
Ground Vehicles
Construction/Supply: Type 4 Chi-So, Isuzu Type 97, Nissan Type 180, Toyota Su-Ki
Transport: Isuzu Type 94, Type 95 Kurogane, Type 98 So-Da, Type 1 Ho-Ha, Type 1 Ho-Ki, Type SU 60
Armoured Car: Type 92 Osaka, Toyota J40
Tankette: Type 92, Type 94 TK, Type 97 Te-Ke
Light Tank: Ko-Gata, Otsu-Gata, Type 95 Ha-Go, Type 3 Ke-Ri, Type 4 Ke-Nu, Type 98 Ke-Ni, Type 98B Ke-Ni Otsu, Type 98 Ke-Ni Kai, Type 2 Ke-To, Type 5 Ke-Ho
Medium Tank: Type 89 I-Go, Type 97 Chi-Ni, Type 97 Chi-Ha, Type 98 Chi-Ho, Type 97 Chi-Ha "Shinhoto", Type 1 Chi-He, Type 3 Chi-Nu, Type 3 Chi-Nu Kai, Type 4 Chi-To (Prototype), Type 4 Chi-To, Type 5 Chi-Ri (Plan 1), Type 5 Chi-Ri, Type 5 Chi-Ri (TRI), Type 5 Chi-Ri (MHI), Type 5 Chi-Ri II, STA-1, STA-2, STA-3, Type 61, STB-1
Heavy Tank: Type 91, Type 95, Shisei 100t, Type 100 O-I, Type 120 O-I, Type 2604, Type 4 Tiger
Anti-Aircraft: Type 94 20mm AA, Type 98 Ta-Se, Type 98 Ta-Se II, M42 Duster
Tank Destroyer: Type 1 Ho-Ni I, Type 3 Ho-Ni III, Type 5 Ho-Ru, Type 5 Ho-Ri (Concept), Type 5 Ho-Ri, Type 5 Ho-Ri II, Type 5 Chi-Ri II TD, Type 5 Na-To, Type 5 Ka-To, Type 60
Support: Type 2 Ho-I, Type 5 Ku-Se, 120mm Short, 120mm Long
Artillery: Jiro-Sha, Type 100 Te-Re, Type 1 Ho-Ni II, Type 4 Ho-To, Type 4 Ho-Ro, Type 4 Ha-To, Type 5 Ho-Chi, Type SY 56, Type SX 60, Type 67
Flame/Chem Tank: Type 94 Ko-Go
Repair Vehicle: Se-Ri
Amphibious: Type 92 A-I-Go, SR I-Go, SR Ro-Go, Type 2 Ka-Mi, Type 3 Ka-Chi, Type 4 Ka-Tsu, Type 5 To-Ku
Other: Type 97 Ka-Ha, Type 97 Shi-Ki
Aircraft
Fighter: Ki-27, A6M2 Zero, A6M5 Zero, Ki-43 Hayabusa, Ki-61 Hien, Ki-84 Hayate, Ki-100, J7W1 Shinden, J7W2 Shinden-Kai, Ki-201 Karyu, Katsuodori, F-86 Kyokukō
Ground Attack: Ki-32, Ki-51, Ki-98, Ki-102, Ki-115 Tsurugi, Kikka, T-1 Hatsutaka
Bomber: Ki-21, Ki-48 Sokei, Ki-49 Donryu, Ki-67 Hiryu, R2Y1 Keiun, R2Y2 Keiun-Kai, G10N1 Fugaku, Kawasaki P-2J
Transport: Ki-57, G4M, Ki-105 Otori
Other: Fu-Go, MXY7 Ohka
Naval
Cruiser/Battleship: Yamato
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