Nakajima Aircraft Company

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The Nakajima Aircraft Company (中島飛行機株式会社 Nakajima Hikōki Kabushiki Gaisha?) was a prominent Japanese aircraft manufacturer throughout World War II.

History[edit]

Japan's first aircraft manufacturer, it was founded in 1918 by a naval engineer, Chikuhei Nakajima, and a textile manufacturer, Seibei Kawanishi as Nihon Hikoki (Nippon Aircraft). In 1919, the two founders split and Nakajima bought out Nihon Aircraft's factory with tacit help from the Imperial Japanese Army. The company was renamed Nakajima Aircraft Company in 1919.[1]

Nakajima Aircraft Company's manufacturing facilities consisted of the following:

  • Tokyo plant
  • Musashino plant
  • Donryu plant
  • Ota plant, near Ōta Station. Visited by Emperor Hirohito on November 16, 1934. Critically damaged by American bombardment on February 10, 1945. Currently a Fuji Heavy Industries plant.
  • Koizumi plant, near Nishi-Koizumi station. Critically damaged by American bombardment on April 3, 1945. Currently a Sanyo plant.

After World War II[edit]

After Japan's defeat in World War II the company had to close down since production and research of aircraft was prohibited by the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers. This had a severe impact on Nakajima because it was one of the two largest aircraft manufacturers, together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Unlike MHI though, it was not diversified into shipbuilding and general machinery, and so had to dissolve into a number of spin-off companies set up by former managers, engineers, and workers. As a result, leading aeronautical engineers from NAC, such as Ryoichi Nakagawa, helped transform Japan's automobile industry.[1]

The company was reborn as Fuji Heavy Industries, maker of Fuji Rabbit scooters and Subaru automobiles, and as Fuji Precision Industries (later renamed Prince Motor Company which merged with Nissan in August 1966), manufacturer of Prince Skyline and Prince Gloria automobiles. Fuji began aircraft production in the mid-1950s and has been producing military training aircraft for the Japanese Self Defense Force.

Products[edit]

Piston-engined aircraft[edit]

  • Nakajima A1N - 1927 carrier-borne fighter
  • Nakajima E2N - 1927 reconnaissance aircraft
  • Nakajima Ki-4 - 1933 reconnaissance biplane
  • Nakajima Ki-6 - 1930 transport, training aircraft
  • Nakajima A2N 九〇式艦上戦闘機 - 1930 carrier biplane fighter
  • Nakajima E4N - 1930 reconnaissance aircraft
  • Nakajima Type 91 九一式戦闘機 - 1931 parasol monoplane fighter
  • Nakajima B3N - 1933 Navy torpedo bomber
  • Nakajima Ki-8 - 1934 fighter prototype
  • Nakajima Ki-11 - 1934 fighter prototype
  • Nakajima A4N 九五式艦上戦闘機 - 1935 carrier-borne fighter
  • Nakajima E8N 九五式水上偵察機 - 1935 reconnaissance seaplane
  • Nakajima Ki-12 - 1936 fighter prototype
  • Nakajima AT-2 九七式輸送機 - 1936 passenger transport
  • Nakajima C3N - 1936 carrier-borne reconnaissance aircraft
  • Nakajima LB-2 - 1936 bomber aircraft
  • Nakajima Ki-19 キ19 航空機 - 1937 Army heavy bomber (prototypes only)
  • Nakajima Ki-27 九七式戦闘機 - Late 1936 Army monoplane fighter
  • Nakajima Ki-34 九七式輸送機 - 'Thora' 1937 Army transport aircraft version of AT-2
  • Nakajima B5N 九七式艦攻 Kyushichishiki-kanko (Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber) - 'Kate' 1937 Navy torpedo bomber
  • Nakajima Ki-43 隼 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) - 'Oscar' 1939 Army fighter
  • Showa/Nakajima L2D - 1939 airliner, transport aircraft
  • Nakajima Ki-44 鍾馗 Shoki (Devil-Queller) - 'Tojo' 1940 Army fighter
  • Nakajima Ki-62 - 1941 prototype fighter, competed with Kawasaki Ki-61 design
  • Nakajima A6M2-N 二式水戦 Nishiki-suisen (Type 2 Float Fighter) - 'Rufe' 1941 floatplane version of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero
  • Nakajima G5N 深山 Shinzan (Mountain Recess) - 1941 heavy four-engined long-range bomber
  • Nakajima Ki-49 呑龍 Donryu (Dragon gulper) - 'Helen' 1941 Army medium bomber
  • Nakajima J1N 月光 Gekko (Moonlight) - 'Irving' 1941 Navy land-based night fighter
  • Nakajima Ki-84 疾風 Hayate (Gale) - 'Frank' 1943 Army fighter
  • Nakajima B6N 天山 Tenzan (Heavenly Mountain) - 'Jill' Navy torpedo bomber
  • Nakajima J5N 天雷 Tenrai (Heavenly Thunder) - 1944 Navy land-based single-seat twin-engine interceptor
  • Nakajima C6N 彩雲 Saiun (Rainbow Cloud) - 1943 carrier-borne reconnaissance aircraft
  • Nakajima Ki-87 - 1945 high-altitude interceptor
  • Nakajima G8N 連山 Renzan (Mountain Range) - 1945 heavy four-engined long-range bomber
  • Nakajima Ki-115 剣 Tsurugi (Sabre) - 1945 special attack (suicide) aircraft
  • Nakajima Ki-116 - 1945 single-seat fighter aircraft
  • Nakajima G10N 富嶽 Fugaku (Mount Fuji) - 1945 projected six-engined long-range bomber

Jet prototypes[edit]

  • Nakajima Kikka 橘花 Kikka (Orange Blossom) 1945 Navy experimental land-based jet, two prototypes built
  • Nakajima Ki-201 火龍 Karyu (Fire Dragon) - 1945 Army jet with strong resemblance to the German Messerschmidt Me 262, project only

Aero-engines[edit]


References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b Odagiri, Hiroyuki (1996). Technology and Industrial Development in Japan. Clarendon Press, Oxford. p. 216. ISBN 0-19-828802-6. 
Bibliography
  • Francillon, René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London, Putnam & Company, 1970,1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6.

External links[edit]