With the need for a new faster-flying, high-altitude land-based interceptor to combat the growing presence of Allied bombers in and around Japanese territories during World War 2, the Japanese Navy drew up a requirement for such an aircraft. Kawanishi developed a pair of contenders in the N1K2 and the J3K - both appearing in 1942. However, the N1K2 proved itself the better aircraft and work on the J3K1 was eventually abandoned. As the war progressed against Japan's favor, Nakajima resurrected the J3K1 design once more, this time with a new engine, and evolved it as the "J6K1" - given the name of "Jinpu".
The J6K was never to achieve anything more than being a high-altitude experimental interceptor proposal as the worsening war effort for Japan ultimately doomed any further progress on the type
By and large, the J6K1 was a conventionally-arranged, no-frills aircraft of the wartime period. It was to fit a Nakajima NK9A0 (HA45-42) non-turbocharged radial piston engine (with forced cooling) and three-speed mechanical supercharger in the nose driving a four-bladed propeller unit. The cockpit was of single-seat design and set behind the engine in the typical way. Monoplane wings were to be used along with a single vertical tail fin and low-set horizontal planes. Engineers estimated a maximum speed in the 425 mile per hour range with exceptional range (around 5.5 hours endurance time) on internal fuel alone and a loaded weight of 9,635lb.
The original proposed form carried 4 x 20mm Type 99-2 cannons and 2 x 13.2mm Type 3 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs). A second proposed form carried 2 x 30mm Type 5 cannons and 2 x 13.2mm Type 3 HMGs. Still another revision (of 1944) to the armament array included a full battery of 6 x 20mm cannons. It was intended that the design move away from the earlier Type 99 series cannons and adopted the newer 20mm 18-Shi 1-Gata cannon series instead - this fit offering an improved rate-of-fire and increased muzzle velocity (the gun never reached serial production before the war).
From blueprints readied in 1943, a full-scale mockup was reviewed by IJN authorities during February of 1944. Another review took place in June of that year as the groundwork for an actual prototype was being laid and some changes were instituted as a result (revised rudder, cockpit armoring). A second mockup was underway when the project was cancelled in mid-August 1944 as Kawanishi became overly committed to the successful N1K2 line - regarded by many observers as one of the best Japanese fighters of the war.
Kawanishi engineers maintained their optimism about the J6K1 - believing it would have become a high-performance interceptor with strong handling characteristics, sound maneuverability, powerful armament, and a healthy rate-of-climb to contend with the Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombs of the Americans.
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