The Art of Dogfighting: volume 1

J2m Raiden


Recently on Warthunder I have been flying a Japanese aircraft called the J2M Raiden, code name “Jack”.  This aircraft was designed as a land based high-altitude interceptor to defend mainland Japan from allied bomber attacks.  It featured a massive Mitsubishi Kasei 14 cylinder engine that produced nearly 2,000 hp and had to be buried deep within the cowl in order to be within CG limits.  It was fast, with a top speed of 407 miles per hour, and climbed at a rate of 4,600 ft/min.  As the late Billy Mays used to say “but wait there’s more!”  It sported not two, not three, but FOUR 20 mm cannons.  The F-22 only has one by the way, and that can only be fired for 3 seconds before it runs out of ammo.  Yeah yeah, dogfighting is dead… riiiiighht.  Clearly this plane was one of the best that the Japanese had, but how does it stack up in War Thunder?

J2m in warthunder


Incredible! It doesn’t turn so well but that’s okay, you don’t fly it like a zero, you come in high and dive on your target, sometimes reaching blistering speeds of up to 470 mph, nearly 70 mph over the reported maximum speed, before opening fire upon the unsuspecting enemy,  after your shots have been fired, and if the enemy has not lost a wing or been set on fire, you pull up, converting your airspeed into altitude, and prepare for another pass.  The aircraft has been given a climb rate of 2500 ft/min in war thunder to make up for the fact that it almost always gets an air start as most Japanese maps are naval battles.  In conclusion I give this plane an 8/10, and I am a hard grader.  It has excellent dive capabilities, and armament, but the energy retention is severely lacking.  This means that you can dive on your target but after a couple failed attempts they will catch you and put an end to your reign of terror.  I would say you have two good opportunities to at least cripple a spitfire or bearcat before the J2m loses its momentum.  If you have no momentum and have a healthy bearcat, spitfire, or P-51 mustang on your tail follow these steps:

1. Perform a rolling scissor maneuver or regular scissors (see diagram) until the pursuer overshoots you. If this fails proceed to step two.

Rolling Scissors


2. Call your enemy a name, and bail out of your downed aircraft

3. Rage quit the game and uninstall war thunder.

4. Reinstall war thunder and repeat steps 1-3.

You get the idea.  It is not a forgiving aircraft when the energy is spent, so be mindful of when you use it and who you use it on.


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