The single-engine Kawanishi N1K-J, flown by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service, was a land-based version of the N1K float plane fighter. Code-named "George" by the Allies, it was considered by both its pilots and opponents to be one of Japan's finest land-based WWII fighters. A prototype debuted on January 1, 1944. The N1K-J evenly matched the F6F Hellcat and proved a better match than the A6M Zero against such aircraft as the F4U Corsair and P-51 Mustang. It carried heavy armament and could absorb considerable battle damage â unlike most other Japanese fighters. At least three Shiden Kai aircraft survive in American museums, including one at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.
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