J8M Shusui file photo [13925]

J8M Shusui / Ki-200

CountryJapan
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Primary RoleFighter
Maiden Flight7 July 1945

Contributor:

ww2dbaseIn 1944, Japan purchase the rights to license-build the German Me 163 Komet rocket-propelled fighter for a high price; the engine design alone cost 20,000,000 Reichsmark. This joint Army-Navy project got off to a rocky start when the various parts shipped from Germany were repeated lost en route to Allied attacks. In Jul 1944, the contract was given to Mitsubishi to complete the development for the design and to put the design to production; the Navy version was designated J8M Shusui ("Autumn Water", poetically meaning a sharp sword), and the Army version was designated Ki-200. Typical of the Army-Navy rivalry of the era, the Army secretly embarked on its own parallel project while the main project began at the 1st Naval Air Technical Arsenal in Yokosuka, Japan. The first mock up was completed in Sep 1944, and the first unpowered prototype, MXY8, was completed in early Dec 1944 and took flight on 8 Dec, piloted by Lieutenant Commander Toyohiko Inuzuka. On 8 Jan 1945, another unpowered J8M Shusui/Ki-200 aircraft took flight, with water ballast installed in place of the rocket engine. The first powered flight took place on 7 Jul 1945, again with Inuzuka in the cockpit. This maiden flight got off to a good start, but the rocket engine stalled; Inuzuka was nearly able to glide the aircraft to ground safely when he clipped a building, causing the aircraft to catch fire, mortally wounding him (he would die on the next day). In early Aug 1945, production of various components began, and further flight tests were scheduled. The end of the Pacific War, however, ended the project. A total of seven prototypes were built, and only one of them had flown. In Nov 1945, two of the prototypes were taken to the United States for testing, one of which is now on display at the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino, California, United States. In the 1960s, another J8M/Ki-200 aircraft was found in a cave in Japan; this aircraft is now on display at Mitsubishi's Komaki Plant Museum in Aichi, Japan.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Feb 2012

J8M Shusui / Ki-200 Timeline

8 Dec 1944 The first unpowered prototype of the J8M Shusui/Ki-200 aircraft took flight.
8 Jan 1945 Another unpowered J8M Shusui/Ki-200 aircraft took flight, with water ballast installed in place of the rocket engine.
7 Jul 1945 The J8M Shusui/Ki-200 fighter took its first flight; the aircraft stalled in flight and was destroyed after a unsuccessful crash landing.

SPECIFICATIONS

Ki-200
MachineryOne Mitsubishi KR10 (Toku Ro. 2) Rocket engine rated at 3,300 lbf
Armament2x30mm Type 5 cannon
Crew1
Span9.50 m
Length6.05 m
Height2.70 m
Wing Area17.73 m
Weight, Empty1,505 kg
Weight, Loaded3,885 kg
Speed, Maximum900 km/h
Speed, Cruising347 km/h
Service Ceiling12,000 m

J8M1
MachineryOne Mitsubishi KR10 (Toku Ro. 2) Rocket engine rated at 3,300 lbf
Armament2x30mm Ho-105 cannon
Crew1
Span9.50 m
Length6.05 m
Height2.70 m
Wing Area17.73 m
Weight, Empty1,505 kg
Weight, Loaded3,885 kg
Speed, Maximum900 km/h
Speed, Cruising347 km/h
Service Ceiling12,000 m

Photographs

J8M Shusui aircraft and men of the ground crew at Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, 1945J8M Shusui prototype aircraft at an airfield, 1945J8M Shusui prototype aircraft at rest, 1945, photo 1 of 2J8M Shusui prototype aircraft at rest, 1945, photo 2 of 2




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan says:
7 Feb 2012 01:51:30 AM

Between fifty and sixty MXY7 Akigusa gliders were built by the Maeda company as trainers for the J8M1. These were intended to provide a nucleus of semi-trained pilots. The gliders had water tanks fitted to compensate for the weight of the Toku Ro.2 rocket motor and its fuel tanks, and several Akigusa gliders were actually supplied to the J.A.A.F. which proposed to use the Shusui under the designation of Ki.202 (the new designation allocated after the Ki.200 project was taken over by the Army's Rikugun Kokugijutsu Kenkyujo Aero-Technical Research Institute).

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J8M Shusui aircraft and men of the ground crew at Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, 1945
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