Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 014

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

What-if Nipponki '46: "Shusui" on catapult

A rather interesting small model in 1/72 was recently on-sale on the Japanese Ebay. A Mitsubishi J8M2 "Shusui" placed on a catapult. The modeler wrote he was inspired by a Japanese novel mentioning that such a configuration was tested on the carrier "Shinano". Considering the very short flight time, only 2 and half minutes, it could be useful as an interceptor but taking off from an aircraft carrier? To intercept what? Dive or torpedo bombers? And then landing with her sledge on the carrier deck? Hmmm....
The "Kikka" could have been more suitable as a carrier fighter and bomber.


Anonymous said...

Wind Swords said...

This would not have worked IMO. The J8M needed at least a short runway to build up speed to become airborne. In this configuration it would fly off the end of the ramp and then hit the ground (or water) some distance away.

What *could* work is to strap jettisonable rocket boosters, similar to those as used on the Ohka to give it the thrust needed at the very beginning. Maybe one under each wing and one on the launching dolly itself - all of which would be dropped off after the first few seconds of flight.

Some will say that these kinds of catapults were used for seaplanes and they worked just fine. Those seaplanes had much larger wings; some of them were bi-planes, they had a much greater amount of lift than the J8M.

I have never read of any test of a J8M (or it's trainer versions) on the Shinano or any other ship. As a matter of fact, IIRC the Shinano was never operational and was sunk before the J8M's first fatal test flight. I assume that the aforementioned novel has the ship not being sunk and being used in combat operations. It is mute point anyway. An interceptor with 2-3 minutes of powered flight is not practical for an aircraft carrier. However, for use as a land-based system, with the Ohka style rocket boosters, I think might have be feasible.

Wind Swords

Michael Thurow said...

To me the Shusui looks like a die-cast model. The catapult may be plastic but seems to be made of large elements tacked together. I hope I'm not doing injustice to the modeller.

Arawasi said...

I checked again and the modeler said the "Shusui" is De Agostini, the catapult Fujimi.