MANUFACTURER(S): Mitsubishi - Japan
OPERATORS: Imperial Japan; Indonesia
LENGTH: 32.64 feet (9.95 meters)
WIDTH: 35.50 feet (10.82 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.96 feet (3.95 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 5,423 pounds (2,460 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 8,697 pounds (3,945 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder 2-row radial piston engine developing 1,820 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 370 miles-per-hour (595 kilometers-per-hour; 321 knots)
RANGE: 656 miles (1,055 kilometers; 570 nautical miles)
CEILING: 38,386 feet (11,700 meters; 7.27 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,838 feet-per-minute (1,170 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack) Interceptor.
Entry last updated on 5/5/2016.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The J2M Raiden (translating to "Thunderbolt" and codenamed "Jack" by the Allies) was primarily used as a local defense fighter / interceptor by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). The aircraft was developed to combat the growing threat of high-flying American bombers - primarily the new Boeing B-29 "Superfortresses" being used during daylight raids over Japan. The J2M's design was attributed to Jiro Horikoshi, famous engineer of the fabled A6M "Zero" IJN fighter aircraft that provided near-complete air dominance for the Empire during the early years of the war. Introduced in December of 1942, the Raiden fought on well into 1945 (the final year of World War 2) where it was eventually retired from service in August with the fall of the Japanese Empire itself.
Design of the J2M was traditional, with the cockpit seated in the middle of the stubby fuselage, a single vertical fin at rear and the powerplant up hled up front. Wings were rounded monoplanes and low-mounted just forward and under the cockpit seating area, which had accommodations for a single pilot. The engine was of a Mitsubishi design, an MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder 2-row radial piston engine, developing 1,800 horsepower.
As an interceptor, the J2M design centered around a powerful armament array. This consisted of 4 x 20mm Type 99-2 cannons in the wings. Fuel drop tanks could added for increased range at the expense of weight and performance. By all accounts, the Raiden offered up poor visibility for the pilot but made up for it in performance, firepower and rate of climb - factors vital in the success of any interceptor of the time. Production of the Raiden totaled some 621 aircraft and covered six variants from J2M1 through J2M6.
Initially, the service models of the J2M were plagued by engine issues that limited the reach of the aircraft, delaying outright production by up to a year or more. Some J2M's fought on in the Battle of Philippine Sea but were mostly relegated to homeland defense as the war progressed. Their use became increasingly light as the Americans would adapt to nighttime bombing raids, effectively rendering further development of the J2M's a moot point.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
This entry's maximum listed speed (370mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden (Jack)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
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