Mitsubishi J2M3 'Raiden'

  Base model:J2M
  Basic role:Fighter (Japan)

  Length: 31' 9" 9.6 m
  Height:12' 6" 3.8 m
  Wingspan: 35' 5" 10.7 m
  Max Weight: 8,699 lb 3,945 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Kasei 23a
  Horsepower (each): 1820

  Range: 656 miles 1,056 km
  Max Speed: 380 mph 611 km/h 330 kt
  Ceiling: 37,799 ft 11,521 m

Examples of this type may be found at
The Air Museum "Planes of Fame"ChinoCalifornia

J2M3 on display

The Air Museum "Planes of Fame"


Recent comments by our visitors
 Berkeley, CA
Regarding the Raiden's armament: the earlier J2M2 had a pair of cowl-mounted .30 cal machine guns and a pair of 20mm cannon in the wings, while it's successor, the J2M3, removed the cowl guns and had an additional pair of 20mm cannon in the wings. In it's primary role as a bomber destroyer, the change to all cannon was a good move, despite the increased weight and consequent decrease in performance. Maybe replacing the .30 cal machine guns in the cowl with .50 cal machine guns, if possible, would have been good for a combined fighter/bomber interceptor.
12/27/2013 @ 20:20 [ref: 68258]
 Dallas, TX
I was playing Secret Weapons over Normandy, an Air Combat Sim for PS2. It has live clips of the Planes of Fame Museum of Chino California. A particular clip stated that the Raiden in their collection is the only one lefy in the world.
08/26/2009 @ 13:34 [ref: 24354]
 Mark K1RMC
 , NH
My father (1LT My Starin) had one confirmed Jack and one probable while P-51D's with the 458th FS of the 506th FG from Iwo Jima. He and his fellow pilots were always instructed to NEVER dogfight with Japanese fighters. Their tactics were to make diving attacks and then to climb back up to altitude and continue making attacks until the enemy aircraft were destroyed or headed for home. They used these tactics even though the P-51D was almost 100 mph faster than the Jack.
12/25/2007 @ 13:15 [ref: 19043]
 , CA
I understood it as having 4 20mm too.
08/06/2006 @ 19:18 [ref: 13815]
 Ron B.
 , CA
The most numerous model was the J2M3 with a pair of old Type 99-I Model 4 20mm cannon with 190 rounds each. The 20mmx72 cartridge fired a projectile of 128 grams with 6 grams of explosive with an inferior muzzle velocity of 600 meters a second but at a rate of 520 rounds per minute. The other pair of cannon it carried were the newer Type 99-II Model 4 with 210 rounds of 20mmx101 high velocity cartridges with a half mile range but at a slower rate of fire -- 500 rpm. This propelled the same projectile at the rate of 750 meters per second. Thus the trajectories were not all in harmony until a later version debuted. Some also carried an additional cannon behind the cockpit to fire upward at U.S. bombers as it flew under them. Wish I could find more detail on all performance factors of all fighters of the war, it shouldn't be so hard to find. RAF pilots who flew captured examples were impressed with it's handling (probably late versions).
05/17/2005 @ 22:08 [ref: 10248]
 Hinomaru Hawk
 , ON
One correction: The Raiden mounted four 20mm cannon, not 30 cal. guns as stated above. This gave it a very heavy punch indeed, comparable to the Kawanishi Shiden, almost as heavily armed as a German FW-190A. It was less maneuverable than most Japanese fighters, being built specifically for greater speed and higher climb rate. This made it a good B-29 interceptor. It was fairly unpopular with many Japanese pilots, because they were accustomed to more maneuverability in fighters, but a few of them did very well with it and got to like it. The most famous Raiden ace was Lt.(Jg) Sadaaki Akamatsu. An extremely unconventional man, Akamatsu was a hell-raiser, a drinker, a womanizer, and a rebel against military discipline. His great talent for shooting down enemy aircraft kept him from getting kicked out of the JNAF! He once made a lone attack on a formation of 75 P-51 Mustangs, shot down two of them, and lived to tell the tale. Akamatsu was flying a Zero on that occasion. One of the American pilots involved in the combat said that if Akamatsu had been an American he would have rated a Congressional Medal of Honour for carrying out that attack.

(for info check out Osprey Publications printing of "Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45")
02/28/2004 @ 10:08 [ref: 6866]
 Irvine, CA
The J2M was first used in the battle for the Marianas Islands. It was built to take a lot of punishment and it did. It took a lot of bullets to take down a raiden. It had .30 cals and had poor agility. Write to me if u want any data on WWII and Aircraft I know everything!

06/06/2001 @ 00:14 [ref: 2414]


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