Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Welcome to Hikoki: 1946. Hikoki, which roughly means airplane, and the year 1946 combine to present to you what might have been had the Japanese air arm and industry had another year with which to develop and deploy their experimental aircraft. In the recent years, there has been an explosion of information on German experimental aircraft. Books, videos, and websites abound with details, images, and speculation on these planes. But there has been a noticable vacuum when it comes to Japanese experimental ( or X-craft ) aircraft. Sure, you may see some of the more common ones mentioned, but there is so much more and unless you had access to Japanese bookstores or the ability to dig through scores of old magazines and books, you'd come up short on the depth and breadth of Japanese X-craft projects. The purpose of this website is to display and describe these planes and fill a very noticable hole in the WWW community for such data.
Hikoki:1946 will present not only those X-planes developed during the war years, but also those which came before the war and which were no less fantastic and novel. You will also find described German aircraft, some experimental in their own right, which the Japanese were either given or purchased in an attempt to hasten their technological edge and stem the Allied tide. You will find a wealth of history, aircraft descriptions, technical specifications, and scores of images on the various planes and much more, including engine specs, the influence of the Germans on the Japanese aviation scene, and what happened to captured Japanese aircraft postwar.
It is hoped that Hikoki:1946 will become a valuable resource and display the skill and ingenuity of the Japanese air industry. This site seeks to reveal to you the exotic and advanced aircraft Japan sought to field in the waning weeks of the war...and, as was the case with Germany, simply ran out of time to fully exploit their abilities.