|CARRIER-BORNE FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Japan / Nakajima|
The 1930s were a busy time for the Nakajima company. A whole series of experimental types appeared, including the Ki-8 low-wing monoplane two-seat fighter; the PA or Ki-11 low-wing monoplane single-seat fighter, reminiscent of the Boeing P-26, and of which four were built between 1935 and 1937; the Ki-12 low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear; the Ki-19 mid-wing twin-engine bomber; the NAF-1 and NAF-2 two-seat carrier fighter biplanes; the Y3B 7-Shi carrier torpedo-bomber biplane and the LB-2 private-venture twin-engine long-range navy bomber.
Yet, even in the middle of this innovative period, Nakajima set to work to build a conventional single-seat biplane fighter, the. resulting YM prototype being an unequal-span biplane of mixed construction and clearly owing much to the obsolescent A2N. Nevertheless, it was considered essential by the navy until more modern types could be perfected and Nakajima was accordingly authorized to proceed with development of the biplane concept. The resulting Navy Type 95 Carrier Fighter (Nakajima A4N1) had new divided landing gear designed to cope with carrier landings, a tailwheel instead of a tail-skid, and other minor changes which only marginally affected performance by comparison with the earlier fighter, the increase in speed being due entirely to the more powerful Hikari engine. Production totalled 221 between 1935 and 1937.