Info: Nakajima Kikka (Orange Blossom)

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Robert Hurst
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Info: Nakajima Kikka (Orange Blossom)

Post by Robert Hurst » 22 May 2003 11:44

Hi

Design work on the Kikka (Orange Blossom) - the only Japanese jet-powered aircraft capable of taking-off on its own power, albeit only twice during the Second World War - began in September 1944. The enthusiastic reports on the progress of the Messerschmitt Me 262 twin-jet fighter received from the Japanese Air Attache in Germany had prompted the Naval Staff to instruct Nakajima to design a single-seat twin-jet attack fighter based on the German Me 262. Requirements included: (1) maximum speed 375 kt (432 mph); (2) range 110 naut miles (127 st miles) with a bomb-load of 500 kg (1,102 lb) or 150 naut miles (173 st miles) with a bomb-load of 250 kg (551 lb); (3) landing speed 80 kt (92 mph); and (4) take-off run 350 m (1,150 ft) when using two 450 kg (992 lb) thrust RATOG bottles. In addition, provision was to be made for folding the wings, to enable aircraft to be hidden in caves and tunnels and also for ease of production by semi-skilled labour.

The aircraft, designed by Kazuo Ohno and Kenichi Matsumura, externally resembled the Me 262 but was smaller. The two turbojets were mounted in separate nacelles under the wings to allow, with a minimum of changes, the installation of engines of various types. This feature was to prove particularly useful when engine development fell behind airframe design. Initially the aircraft was to be powered by two 200 kg (441 lb) thrust Tsu-11 Campini-type engines, but these were soon replaced by two 340 kg (750 lb) thrust Ne-12 turbojets. By that time the project had been designated Navy Special Attacker Kikka, but its future was still uncertain as the Ne-12 failed to deliver sufficient thrust. Fortunately, photographs of the German BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet had been obtained by Eng Eichi Iwaya of the Japanese Navy, and from these the Japanese were able to design a similar turbojet, designated Ne-20, offering a thrust of 475 kg (1,047 lb). It appeared that with two Ne-20 turbojets the Kikka would meet its design performance and the project rapidly picked up speed.

Completed in August 1945, the first Kikka made its maiden flight on 7 August at Kisarazu Naval Air Base with Lieut-Cdr Susumu Takaoka at the controls. Four days later the pilot aborted a take-off during the second flight, the accident being caused by mounting the two RATOG bottles at an incorrect angle. A second prototype was almost ready for flight trials and eighteen additional prototypes and pre-production aircraft were in various stages of assembly when on 15 August, 1945, the development of the aircraft was terminated.

Several advanced versions of the Kikka remained on the drawing board, and included an unarmed two-seat advanced trainer, for which version the third Kikka was to serve as prototype. An unarmed two-seat reconnaissance aircraft and a single-seat fighter were also under development. The fighter version was to be armed with two 30 mm Type 5 cannon and powered with either two 900 kg (1,984 lb) thrust Ne-130 or two 885 kg (1,951 lb) thrust Ne-330 axial-flow turbojets.

Technical data

Type: Twin-jet single-seat attack bomber
Accommodation: Pilot in enclosed cockpit
Powerplant: Two 475 kg (1,047 lb) static thrust Ne-20 axial-flow turbojets
Armament: One 500 kg (1,102 lb) or 800 kg (1,764 lb) bomb
Dimensions: Span 10 m (32 ft 9 11/16 in); length 8.125 m (26 ft 7 7/8 in); height 2.95 m (9 ft 8 5/32 in); wing area 13.2 sq m (142.083 sq ft)
Weight: Empty 2,300 kg (5,071 lb); loaded 3,500 kg (7,716 lb); maximum 4,080 kg (8,995 lb); wing loading 265 kg/sq m (54.3 lb/sq ft); power loading 3.7 kg/kg s t (3.7 lb/lb s t)
Performance: Maximum speed 336 kt (387 mph) at sea level and 376 kt at 10,000 m (433 mph at 32,810 ft); climb to 10,000 m (32,810 ft) in 26 min; service ceiling 12,000 m (39,370 ft); range 509 naut miles (586 st miles).
Production: Two aircraft were built between June and August 1945 by Nakajima Hikoki K K.

Source of text and photos: Japanes Aircraft of the Pacific War by Rene J Francillon.

Regards

Bob
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Cobra6
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Post by Cobra6 » 22 May 2003 17:11

Is it just me or does it resemble the me262 :lol:
Cool info, nice photos,

Joep

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 22 May 2003 19:32

Interesting, thanks.

/Marcus

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 23 May 2003 01:05

It's a LOT slower than the Me262 - a P-51 could outpace it easily - but the Japanese did well to produce their own jet engine that fast.

This aircraft is the Japanese counterpart to the American Bell P-59, which never saw action because it was too slow.

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Post by Topspeed » 19 Jun 2004 08:18

There is one significant difference between Kikka and Me 262.

Kikka was a lot smaller in every respect.

Patrice
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Post by Patrice » 19 Jun 2004 16:05

Hello.
I found this link on the Kika.
http://www.choiquehobbies.com.ar/revist ... /kikae.htm
Somes fine pictures found on it.
Patrice
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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 19 Jun 2004 17:48

Yes indeed Patrice,

The fuselage of Kikka was proportionally longer than in a Me 262..that may have given some stability in flight.
Looks pretty hastily done though.
Undercarriage folds fully in the wings thus the engines are far apart; this brings about problems in engine out situation.

Thanks,

Jukka

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Post by xtela » 20 Jun 2004 04:44

The website http://www.j-aircraft.org/xplanes/ is the Japanese equivalent of the http://www.luft46.com website. It has a chart comparing the Kikka to the Me-262A-1a. It also has additional photos and states that the two prototypes have survived and are at a Smitsonian NASM facility.Included are two color photos of a engine. Be sure to check out the other aircraft listed and note other similarities to German design.

David

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 20 Jun 2004 09:18

Interesting site ....the first link I mean.

Saab 21 and Ki-98 are practically similar..altough I don't think any information was excanged between them.

US XB 42 Mixmaster and German Do 252 were quite alike too. Both had a contrarotating pusherprop at the rear of the cigar shaped fuselage.

Ki-78 was a speed attempt that failed 34 mph from Me 209R speed..nevertheless a clean looking aeroplane.

Excellent Kikka pics.
Last edited by Topspeed on 08 Jul 2004 16:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Sewer King
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Kikka

Post by Sewer King » 22 Jun 2004 04:41

I thought only one surviving Kikka, the last, was preserved by the US National Air and Space Museum. I didn't know there were two of them. The new NASM annex just opened recently, but the Kikka was not there. Not yet at least.

I've wondered about that too, how fast the Japanese developed a working turbojet engine so late in the war.

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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 22 Jun 2004 14:10

Tim Smith wrote:It's a LOT slower than the Me262 - a P-51 could outpace it easily - but the Japanese did well to produce their own jet engine that fast.
This aircraft is the Japanese counterpart to the American Bell P-59, which never saw action because it was too slow.
.....Maximum speed 336 kt (387 mph) at sea level and 376 kt at 10,000 m (433 mph at 32,810 ft); climb to 10,000 m (32,810 ft) in 26 min; service ceiling 12,000 m (39,370 ft); range 509 naut miles (586 st miles)... 8O
433 mph (Mach 0.75) horizontally at B-29 ceiling = slow? 8O What are your figures about?

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 08 Jul 2004 16:12

Sorry, gabriel, I missed out the 'H' on 'P-51H' which is what I intended to post.

The P-51H had a top speed of 487 mph and would have replaced the P-51D in many US fighter units in time for the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands in December 1945 (which is the earliest the Kikka could be available in any numbers). Only 555 P-51H's were produced by V-J Day, but several fighter groups were starting to convert to them at that time.

Even the older P-51D could do 437 mph, so would have been capable of catching the Kikka. And of course the P-51 would be a lot more maneuverable than the twin-engined jet.


gabriel pagliarani wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:It's a LOT slower than the Me262 - a P-51 could outpace it easily - but the Japanese did well to produce their own jet engine that fast.
This aircraft is the Japanese counterpart to the American Bell P-59, which never saw action because it was too slow.
.....Maximum speed 336 kt (387 mph) at sea level and 376 kt at 10,000 m (433 mph at 32,810 ft); climb to 10,000 m (32,810 ft) in 26 min; service ceiling 12,000 m (39,370 ft); range 509 naut miles (586 st miles)... 8O
433 mph (Mach 0.75) horizontally at B-29 ceiling = slow? 8O What are your figures about?

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Post by Topspeed » 08 Jul 2004 16:40

Here is the H model SUPER Mustang !

Wing is straight and thinner wingsection than D model has + upgraded engine.

Above first the P-59 Airacomet:
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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 08 Jul 2004 19:11

Topspeed wrote:Above first the P-59 Airacomet:
:lol: ..what an abort! And this ugly avionette was better than kikka? :lol:

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 09 Jul 2004 10:42

No, but it was flying nearly three years earlier than Kikka, in October 1942! (Thanks to license-built British Whittle engines.)

The P-59A could do only 413 mph.
The P-59B, built in 1943, had more powerful engines, and could do 450 mph - better than Kikka! - 30 built.

But the P-59 was a poor design, too big for the engine power available, and so was used only as a jet training aircraft. There was no point in producing an expensive jet fighter that was only slightly faster than the P-51D, and with far less range and maneuverability.


gabriel pagliarani wrote:
Topspeed wrote:Above first the P-59 Airacomet:
:lol: ..what an abort! And this ugly avionette was better than kikka? :lol:

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