Japanese Secret Projects 2: X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft of the IJA and IJN

Published: April 16th, 2015     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Edwin M. Dyer
Reviewed by: 
Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Crecy Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN #: 978-1-906537-41-8
Other Publication Information: 160 pages, over 150 photos
Price: $42.95
Product / Stock #: MC741

This book is the second in a series on Japanese prototypes and secret projects. It covers many different aircraft from pre-war types to right up till the end of World War II. In all 38 types are covered in this volume with an additional section covering the nuclear weapons programs of the IJA and IJN.

The book begins with two Aichi designs. The B8A Mokusei (a slightly smaller B7A "Grace" with straight non-folding wings) and the S1A1 Denko are discussed. The Denko was a lovely design for a twin engine night fighter. Ordered into production, it would never take to the air as both prototypes and the Aichi factories were destroyed in raids by B-29s.

Another area of interest is the influence of German designs. The Hitachi "He-type" heavy bomber was a He-177 powered by 4 radial engines instead of the fire prone coupled DB-601A used in the German built versions. While Heinkel was able to delivery some tools and plans the more important jigs and machining tools so the newly completed factory produced no new long range four engine bombers for the IJN. I really enjoyed this section and the discussions on other heavy and very heavy bomber designs. There are several other German designs the Japanese considered building or basing a revised design on that are covered in the book.

One of the most interesting and ambitious designs was the Kawanishi KX-3 flying boat. This leviathan would have dwarfed Howard Hughes' H-4 "Spruce Goose"! With a length of 531 feet, wingspan of 590 feet, height of 116 feet! Power was to come from 12 turbo-prop engines arranged on top of the wings. It was estimated that the fully loaded weight would be 920,000 lbs with a range of over 11,000 miles

In addition to the above discussed types, the list of the rest of those covered are; Gasuden Koken-ki, Kawanishi G9K , Mitsubishi Tozan, Kawanishi K-60, K-100,K-120, TB, Kawasaki Ki-48 variants, Ki-85, Ki-119, Kayaba auto gyros, Koshiki A-3, Kugisho D5Y1, MXY3 & 4, MXY10 & 11,Kusho H7Y, Kyushu Q3W, Mitsubishi 1Mt1N, 2MR1,A7M,G6M,Ki-20, Ki-69, Ki-90, Ki-95, Ki-103, Ki-109, Ki-112, Ki-167, Q2M, Nakajima B4N1, G8N, Ki-58, Ki-68, Ki-106,Ki-113, Ki-116 and Ki-117.

The final chapter covers the IJA and IJN nuclear programs. Both services had their own program and there was no sharing of information as both services had a healthy rivalry. The IJA attempts were pretty much ended with B-29 raids on March 13 and April 12, 1945. The IJN efforts also would not end with a working bomb, but it is said that the IJN had completed all steps except for the actually building of an A-bomb.

This is a very good book! The question is; is it as good as Vol. 1? My answer to that is no. I feel Vol. 1 is better illustrated but that is the only thing it has the nod on. The information is in-depth and solid. It will provide the reader with much interesting information. There are kits available of some of these aircraft. In 1/48 Raccoon Resin in Japan produced the S1A1, Ki-119; Anigrand has some of the very long range bombers in 1/144 as does Fujimi. RS models have some in 1/72. Fine Molds has produced a gorgeous A7M in 1/48. The MPM in 1/48 or Revell 1/72 He-177 could serve as the basis for a conversion to the He-Type Heavy Bomber. For the scratch builders among us the KX-3 would be a monumental build in 1/144 with a 49.1 inch wingspan. I can recommend this book to all. Everyone that has an interest in WWII, WWII aviation, Japanese aviation, prototypes and what ifs will find something of interest in this book. The book can be purchased from the website above or by calling 1-800-895-4585. A $6.95 shipping and handling fee is applied to each order.

Our thanks to Specialty Press for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity!

  • Back Cover
    Back Cover
  • Sample Page 1
    Sample Page 1
  • Sample Page 2
    Sample Page 2
  • Sample Page 3
    Sample Page 3
  • Sample Page 4
    Sample Page 4
  • Sample Page 5
    Sample Page 5
  • Sample Page 6
    Sample Page 6

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