Yokosuka R2Y2-G Jet Tactical Bombers
With Kyushu J7W Prop And Jet
Long Range Escort Fighters
by Richard Lewis Mendes 

Manchurian Candidates - Yokosuka R2Y2-Gs With Kyushu J7W1/2 Escorts
Patrol Western Manchurian Soviet Border, July 6, 1946

Certainly among the more exciting of the Japanese WWII "secret weapons" projects, the
Yokosuka Naval Air Arsenal's single seat R2Y2-G "Keiun-Kai" tactical bomber was one
of several documented (and/or speculated) extemporized jet engine variants under
development from 1944 of the R2Y1 "Keiun" ("Beautiful Cloud") long-range piston engine
reconnaissance airplane. Capable of a maximum speed of 460 miles per hour (mph, 741
kilometers per hour, km/h) at 32,808 feet (10,000 meters) altitude, the R2Y1's concept
dated back to 1941, but it suffered from an interminably long gestation period, not flying
until May 8, 1945 at the hands of Imperial Japanese Navy Lieutenant Commander
Kitajima from the Kisarazu Naval Air Station. Powered by the doggedly troublesome
Ha-70-01 A.23 3,400 horsepower piston engine similar to the doubled V-12 German
Daimler-Benz 606 (or 610) buried mid fuselage, it drove a massive six blade propeller
vibrating so severely it easily could have shook the airplane apart. Commander Kitajima
discovered this uncomfortable fact almost too late on the airplane's maiden and only
flight, decoupling the prop's drive shaft from the engine just in the nick of time to save his
life! Despite having saved the airplane, Commander Kitajima no doubt was disheartened
when the prototype was later destroyed in a bombing raid, such are the fortunes of test
piloting and war!

As anticipated of many airplanes undergoing a long and troubled development, the
R2Y1's performance fell far short of designer expectations and no mass production was
undertaken. The airframe was sound however and it formed the basis for the projected
R2Y2 series of jet powered airplane projects which included twin 2,910 thrust pound
(1,320 kilogram) Mitsubishi Ne-330 engines mounted externally beneath the wings. A
second R2Y airframe was under construction at war's end and it may have been the
R2Y2 prototype but was not completed.
Art Notes

The R2Y2-G depicted within this diorama is an extemporized tactical attack bomber
variant capable of carrying a 1,764 pound (800kg) bomb load with (presumably) four
30mm cannons mounted in the nose. Larger than the Messerschmitt Me 262, it was
projected to have a maximum speed of 497 mph (800 km/h) which would have made it
among the fastest Japanese airplanes of WWII had it been built, flown and put into

Many thanks to Mr. Evan L. Mayerle providing the critical historical information in making
drawing this diorama possible.

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