Aichi S1A

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S1A Denko
Role Night fighter
Manufacturer Aichi Kokuki KK
Status Cancelled
Primary user Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service

The Aichi S1A Denko (Bolt of Light) was a Japanese night fighter, intended to replace the Nakajima J1N1-S Gekkou (Allied code name Irving). It was to be, like the Gekkou, equipped with radar to counter the B-29 air raids over the Japan. Development time increased while trying to overcome design shortcomings, such as the insufficient power of the Navy's requested Nakajima Homare engines, resulting in no aircraft being completed before the war ended.

Design and development

Because it was full of special equipment the Denko's service weight exceeded ten thousand kilograms. Some of this specialized equipment included oxygen injection but the turbocharger's remote location from the engine caused many problems. Because the initial prototypes' engines did not pass Navy standards only two were ever manufactured. Two more had been planned before cancellation that would have used the more powerful Mitsubishi HI MK9A Ru or MK10A Ru engines.

Additionally, Tonankai earthquake occurred in December 1944 and the aircraft factories and prototypes were badly damaged. On 1945 June 9 the airstrikes on Aichi Kokuki KK and Aichi Tokei Denki Seizo Co., Ltd blew up the first prototype and forced movement of the second to the Gifu large Sadakazu factory to be assembled. But on July 9 of that year the another airstrike destroyed the second prototype. To date it is still the most massive fighter developed in Japan's naval history.

Specifications(S1A1 Denko)

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the pacific War[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 49 ft 6.5 in (15.100 m)
  • Wingspan: 57 ft 5 in (17.50 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 1.5 in (4.610 m)
  • Wing area: 505.902 sq ft (46.9998 m2)
  • Empty weight: 16,138 lb (7,320 kg)
  • Gross weight: 22,443 lb (10,180 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 25,375 lb (11,510 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Nakajima NK9K-S , 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) each at take-off
  • Propellers: 4-bladed


  • Maximum speed: 360 mph (579 km/h; 313 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 273 mph (237 kn; 439 km/h)
  • Range: 1,054 mi (916 nmi; 1,696 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,553 mi (1,350 nmi; 2,499 km)
  • Service ceiling: 39,370 ft (12,000 m)
  • Wing loading: 44.4 lb/sq ft (217 kg/m2)


See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. Francillon 1979, p. 296.
  • Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6.

External links