N1K2-J

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This aircraft page is in two sections:
World War II aircraft
Shiden-KAI
Shiden-KAI
Variant of N1K1 Kyofu
Type N1K2
Country of origin Japan
Manufacturer Kawanishi
Crew Pilot
Dimensions Wing span 39' 4.5" (12m)
Length 30' 8" (9.35m)
Height 13' (3.96m)
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The N1K2-J in World War II

Development

Unit Deployment

External Links

Aces High II aircraft
N1K2-J Shiden Kai "George"
N1K2-J Shiden Kai "George"
Type Fighter/Attacker
Crew One
Aces High II loadout options
Package 1 4x 20mm cannons, 200 rounds/gun
Package 2 2x 20mm cannons, 200 rounds/gun
2x 20mm cannons, 250 rounds/gun
Options 2x 250kg bombs
1x 400 liter drop tank
Aces High II Main Arenas
Earliest MA Late War
Typical perk cost 0 (Late War)
ENY value 5 (Late War)
Available on carrier no
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The N1K2-J in Aces High II

The N1K has always been a pretty popular aircraft and I'm surprised that it doesn't attract a more loyal following. The N1K has a number of attributes that pretty much ensure a strong following; it is highly maneuverable, has 4 cannons with buckets of ammunition, accelerates, climbs and turns very well, even at low speeds. The N1K used to actually be more popular though and has waned a bit in popularity with the tendancy towards faster and more sexy aircraft. Still, every once in a while you'll see someone flying the N1K who really knows there stuff and can pull maneuvers you thought impossible, only to blow you out of the sky a second later.

Engine Power

The N1K really isn't all that fast, clocking a low 313mph at sea-level (324mph with WEP) and things really don't get a whole lot better at higher altitudes. 355mph is available at 10K and top speed is ~368mph at 18K, leaving it mostly as a low to mid-altitude fighter. Up high it is going to be terribly out-classed by almost everything. Climb rate is very good at 3,700ft/min, decreasing to about 3,100ft up to 15K or so, which is still good. Vertical maneuvers really suit the N1K well too, it can loop like crazy and seem to hang on the prop at times. Fuel duration is excellent at 44 minutes on internal alone, with the option to add another 24 minutes in a drop tank. Full internal fuel (only 190 gallons) is seldom required unless you are planning on a marathon journey so lighting the internal load can be useful. Acceleration is decent at lower levels though deteriorates at higher level where it is less suited to fight. Most aircraft are going to be able to out-run you though if given a decent head start. Only the really slow earlier war planes or ones not known for speed at lower levels should be catchable in a chase.

Aces High II Performance Charts

N1K2-J speed chart N1K2-J climb chart

Firepower

The N1K can make life hell for anything that gets infront of it. Four 20mm Type 99 cannons are paired two to a wing. One pair packs 200 rounds/gun while the other has 250 rounds/gun, which is almost ludicrous. I can't think of another aircraft that can pack 4 cannons at that much ammunition that isn't perked. The Type 99 cannons have a bit poorer ballistics so take a little getting used to but aren't all that bad. The cannons in each wing are outside the propellor arc and mounted fairly close together. This gives a better rate of fire since they don't need to be synchronized and the close pairing tends to give a bit better convergence. I've heard that many pilots set the convergence out further with the N1K and then rely on the volume of fire and damaging effects of the 20mm shells in order to get kills. The N1K should be taking any shot it can get though, short or long ranged since it has ammo to burn and even a couple of 20mm hits can take a fighter out. Even if they don't most fighters will have to maneuver to evade and thus remain slow in order for you to close up the distance and get better shots. N1K's firing at D900 is not unusual and Head-On attempts by N1K's are also common. Four cannons and all that ammo are simply scary.


Maneuverability

Outstanding, there are only a couple of aircraft in the game that can out-turn a N1K at low speeds. Of the planes that can out-turn it, most can't use the vertical anywhere nearly as well. Specifically, some aircraft like the Zero, FM2, F4F and Hurricanes might out-turn it in a descending or flat turn, but if the turn moves vertical a bit those planes will find themselves struggling at the stall limit. The N1K has the power these other aircraft don't to almost instantly turn vertical and start looping. The N1K also has flaps that can be deployed to further improve turn-rate at lower speeds. For planes like the Spitfire, this can be deadly, as the Spit V is a very close match to the N1K but the Spit IX is actually slightly inferior in turn rate at lower speeds. At high speeds, the N1K is a little heavy, in turn and roll rate, so chasing diving contacts is not usually a great idea. The N1K is also one of those planes that can faster than you expect and almost force a Head-On engagement whenever they want, making it dangerous to prosecute a N1K is he is willing to face you at every pass.


Fighting in the N1K2-J

Niki.jpg

Everyone should be scared of you and if they aren't then they are fools. The N1K may not be very fast, but it is so highly maneuverable and has so much firepower that most N1K's will shoot you in the face at every chance they can get. It's almost silly, N1K's tend to blast away at anything with D900 and often can land lucky shots that hurt you badly. There is nothing quite like the nervous feeling of a N1K D900 back spraying the sky around you full of lead.

When in a N1K, realize that you need to keep very vigilant of your situational awareness because you are doomed to lower speed turning fights. It's unusual to really get to BnZ in a N1K because the high speed handling and some adversion to altitude hurt it. Usually, N1K's trap people in turns and then simply reel them in as they win angles. If the contact tries to escape, the N1K sprays them dead at long range, but otherwise simply pulls in behind for a nice easy kill. Try and kill the guys who are the most dangerous too you though, the ones who can turn at low speeds and altitudes well since something like an La7 or P-51 is more likely to simply dance around you and never really slow down enough to fight. Also see if you can't corner someone, or find someone who got too low and too slow so you can trap them. Speed demon planes are totally outclassed in turn-fights with a N1K if they have no way to maintain their speed. Don't get impatient either, you should have lots of fuel so if you only get 1-2 kills and then head away for a minute or two to re-charge WEP and altitude, you likely still have enough bullets and fuel to come back 2 or 3 more times.

Defensively, the N1K can present a number of problems to enemy aircraft. You simply can't really run in the N1K because it's not quicjk enough to escape the vast majority of aircraft in the game. Given an even head start though you will be able to out-race some of the guys who are going to give you turning problems, namely the Hurricanes, Zero's and F4F/FM2's of AH. Otherwise, anything that can easily catch you shouldn't be anywhere near your ability to turn. The break turn is very effective and should be used with some sort of vertical component in order to make it more difficult for someone to slash attack you. You should also be able to Head-On anyone that you detect with a reasonable amount of warning, if you need to. The N1K isn't really strong though so you are likely to suffer pretty badly in a Head-On, but your cannons should make it a no-win situation for the enemy too. Lots of pilots will respect that and will break off at the first sign of a Head-On, but many pilots simply will suicide into your guns and hope to take you with them. I think the Head-On is still a last resort. The N1K can try and drag low since it is pretty good down near the ground where people can no longer use altitude to escape. Sustained turns (Merry-go-round) can work if you get a sucker who realizes too late that he's stuck in a turn-fight near the ground. Typical N1K defense though involves a lot of violent low-speed maneuvering until you can reverse the situation and get into a guns position.

Fighting against the N1K2-J

Dangerous, you never know what to expect from a N1K. It might simply get out of your way or it might spin around and stare you in the face. It really depends on how alert the N1K pilot it. Luckily, there are few decent pilots who ride the N1K around a lot so you can often catch N1K drivers napping.

When attacking the N1K never slow down. The N1K isn't really that tough and seems unable to take a real hit and continue. It's not fragile, but it also seems pretty easy to catch one on fire or knock of a tail. The N1K also has some serious visibility problems from the cockpit. The canopy is heavily framed which can lead to a number of blind spots and difficulties in tracking, so you might be able to sneak up on a N1K fairly easily. Also, most N1K's turn so much that they are vulnerable from almost any angle, not just behind, since what is facing you at one second might be facing away at another. See if you can't get some bait to take the focus of the N1K and then try and time your attack so you slip in behind for your shot. Never slow down though. If you do get slow and try to out-accelerate the N1K he is going to spray the sky full of 20mm and probably get you, even if you think you'd normally be safe from such a tactic. Slash attack, never Head-On, and never get lower than the N1K so he can't corner you.

If attacked by a N1K, try to break free with speed. Dive steeply using roll to get the N1K out of phase and then sprint to safety. You can't really turn with a N1K in most planes and even if you can the smart N1K pilot will move the fight vertical on you and spoil your plans. Don't give even low percentage shots and never assume the N1K will hold fire to preserve ammunition, he won't. The N1K isn't good at high speeds though, or at medium or higher altitudes, so if you meet one up that high simply don't engage unless you get him by surprise or can use a reasonable amount of vertical in order to stay out of harms way.


External Links

Soda's Aircraft Evaluations