|Artwork by Devlin Chouinard
Side view of the personal fighter of the "Eternal President" of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a.k.a. North Korea, Kim Il-Sung*.
He was trained to fly Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden by Soviets in Khabarovsk around 1941 as part of the program to train Korean guerrillas in the use of captured Japanese equipment. According to Soviet instructors he had trouble fitting into the cockpit but once inside he was able to perform manoeuvres unthinkable with this kind of aircraft.
During the Korean War he was credited with intercepting US B-29s carrying biological weapons and thus saving the population of Pyongyang. It was during one of these flights that he was inspired to create the flower Kimjongilia.
Finally shot down when bounced by no less than 25 F-86 Sabres. The "Great Leader" showing exceptional flying skills, managed to escape completely unhurt and make an emergency landing near a corn field where he met his second wife, chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Korean Women's Association, Kim Sung-ae.
Unfortunately his Raiden was damaged beyond repair but it was restored and is now on exhibition HERE. We kindly request visitors to send us photos.
The marking on the fuselage sides and the wings is the banner of the "Worker's Party of Korea" surrounded by a red star, symbolising the unity between the Soviet and Korean proletariat. The three objects in the banner are a hammer for the industrial workers, a kama for the rice growing peasants and a fude (ink brush) for the intelligentsia. The tail marking consists of portraits of (R to L) Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. The inscription on the cowling side means: "Air Comrade Number One".
Note the Soviet Nudelman N-37, 37 mm (1.46 in), cannon in the gondola under the wing instead of the two Type 99, Oerlikon 20mm, cannons.
Who said Japanese planes can't be fun.
*Kim Il-sung outlived Joseph Stalin by four decades, Mao Zedong by two, and remained in power (9 September 1948 – 8 July 1994) during the terms of office of six South Korean presidents, seven Soviet leaders, ten U.S. presidents, 14 UK Prime Ministers, 21 Japanese PMs and 35 Greek PMs.