Kawanishi N1K2-Ja Shiden (Violet Lightning) Kai (Modified) GEORGE

    Shiden Kai Cockpit

    The Museum’s Shiden Kai displayed at our Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. 

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    Kawanishi N1K2-Ja in Udvar-Hazy Aviation Hangar

    The Kawanishi N1K2-Ja Shiden Kai is prepared for display in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, September 2003.
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    Kawanishi N1K2-Ja at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Aviation Hangar

    GEORGE is the unlikely Allied nickname for the best Japanese naval fighter produced in quantity during World War II. The official Japanese name and designation was Kawanishi N1K2 Shiden (Violet Lightning). This outstanding land-based fighter sprang directly from a floatplane fighter design, the N1K1 REX.
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Display Status:

This object is on display in the World War II Aviation (UHC) at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

World War II Aviation (UHC)

GEORGE is the unlikely Allied nickname for the best Japanese naval fighter produced in quantity during World War II. The official Japanese name and designation was Kawanishi N1K2 Shiden (Violet Lightning). This outstanding land-based fighter sprang directly from a floatplane fighter design, the N1K1 REX (see NASM collection).

Many countries used floatplanes for scouting and reconnaissance duties, and to hunt submarines and surface ships, but only Japan built and fielded fighters on floats. The Japanese Imperial Navy intended to use these specialized aircraft to gain air superiority above a beachhead to support amphibious landing operations where carrier or land-based fighters were unavailable. The Kawanishi N1K1 (Allied codename REX) was the only airplane designed specifically for this purpose to fly during World War II.