Author Topic: HDC trilogy Pt.1: Fuji Kaiken-Kai "Terry"  (Read 1546 times)

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Offline comrade harps

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HDC trilogy Pt.1: Fuji Kaiken-Kai "Terry"
« on: November 03, 2013, 03:01:05 am »
Fuji Kaiken - Kai Terry
personal mount of Chūi Emiko Raika
Habu Sentai, Imperial Home Defence Command
Godo, Honshu, Japan
11 January, 1946



Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni was a very well connected and educated man. A member of the Imperial Japanese family, politician, qualified engineer and from 1939 a General in the Imperial Japanese Army, he was at the heart of power. Aware the Japan could not realistically expect to win a war of aggression against America, and assigned the position of Commander-in-Chief, Home Defense Headquarters in 1942, the Prince set about secretly establishing an alternate military-industrial complex to those of the Army and Navy to defend the Home Islands.



To create an air defence force, Higashikuni planned ahead and by late 1942 had drawn up requirements for interceptors with high speed and fast climb that could be in service by mid-1944. Forced to go around the production plans of the IJA and IJN, he enlisted the aid to small firms to pursue unfunded, futuristic projects like turbojet and rocket power. He emphasised that designs needed to be easy to build, use non-strategic materials and be able to be manufactured in locations dispersed away from major cities.




Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries began work on jet engines in the late 1930s, but neither the IJA nor IJN showed interest until late 1943. By then, Prince Higashikuni had already spun-off a promising but only privately funded jet research program of Ishikawajima's to the Fuji company, who set about improving on the design and designing interceptors around their jet developments. This work crystallized into a workable proposal by early 1944 and Higashikun ordered the type into production as the Kaiken (a traditional Japanese dagger). Much of Fuji's jet development work had been secretly undertaken at a remote Korean estate and it was near Singye in central Korea on land owned by Higashikuni that Kaiken production was commenced. The Singye production line delivered 587 Kaikens by the time that it was overrun by the Red Army in early September, 1945, but by then two underground assembly lines had been established on Honshu, these accounting for a further 239 Kaikens by VJ Day. The Allies gave it the code-name Terry.

Home Defence Command also flew the tailless rocket-powered Ya (arrow) interceptor and the vertically-launched Bo-hiya (fire arrow), the latter designed for aerial ramming taiatari attacks and later adopted for kamikaze attacks against the Allied invasion, both types being the result of Higashikun's development programs.




As he needed to work around the IJA and IJN for design and production, so Higashikun had to create an alternate recruiting mechanism. For pilots, he first found ex-military aircrew who had been retired on medical grounds, but then went a step further and resurrected the tradition of Onna-bugeisha (women warriors from Japanese antiquity). Chūi (lieutenant) Emiko Raika was Japan's the first women ace, ultimately flying the Kaiken-Kai to 17 air-to-air victories over Allied planes between 12 Sepetmber, 1945 and April 23, 1946. This aircraft is depicted as it was photographed on the occasion of Raika's 5th and 6th kills (an USAAF P-51H and a RAF Mosquito PR Mk 34, shot down on separate sorties during the same day), 11 January, 1946.




The fact that there were women fighter pilots was kept from the Japanese public until after the 14 August, 1945 coup that saw Prince Higashikun overthrow Emperor Hirohito and install himself as Regent. Emiko Raika survived the war and is quoted as saying  "When I told friends that I want to become a fighter pilot, they were surprised and put down my decision because I am a woman, but I had to resist. I liked planes and wanted to fly and I wanted to do it, for myself as much as for the Emperor and my nation."

« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 04:21:14 am by comrade harps »
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Fuji Kaiken-Kai
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 07:41:24 am »
Really nice and it looks right  :thumbsup: Did one similar a couple of years ago when the Hobbyboss easy kit came out. Did 3 I think ?
Decals my @r$e!

Offline lancer

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Re: Fuji Kaiken-Kai
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 01:07:30 pm »
Very very nice. The backstory is pretty damm good as well.
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Offline Nils

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Re: Fuji Kaiken-Kai
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 11:39:10 pm »
looks good, it did almost become realworld  :thumbsup:

i remember reading "Japanese Secret Projects: Experimental aircraft of the IJA & IJN 1939-1945" and there was a feature on a license produced version of the Heinkel He162 for the IJA, the Tachikawa Ki-162  :mellow:
one prototype was ready, but never flew.
on the bench:

-all kinds of things.