WI Panic Fighter 1938?

Several statements don't add up.
J2M was not powered by a 1938 version of the Kasei, but by 1942/43/44 versions. Kasei was indeed able to make more than 1800 HP, but it needed water-alcohol injection, 92 octane fuel and redesign of engine internals to withstand greater RPM and boost to do so. The 1st Kaseis, as used on G4M that helped sunk Force Z, were good for ~1500 HP for take off, and ~1350 HP at 15000 ft (note that this is winter of 1941/42). Granted, this is still about as good as BMW 801C, with much better reliability and lighter weight, however it is years too late for 1938.
The J2M design actually dates to 1938, it was initially made secondary in favor of the Zero so the first prototype did not fly until about 3 months after Pearl Harbor. Initial engine problems did include reliable output at highest power (hence the earlier question about engineers) but what I've read seems to indicate that this was solved and the need for water-methanol injection made unnecessary before Pearl Harbor. I was unaware of a need for 92 octane gas in the engine though - thanks.


We are very off topic here. The idea is a panic fighter in 1938.

As I see it, any small nation needing fighters NOW, will buy off the shelf. Forget Aircraft entering service in the next three years do not fit the requirements. Thus, you could choose from Gladiator, CR.50, CR 32, I 16, Buffalo, P 35, P 36, D XXI, M 406, P-11/24, or B 534. Of these, I would lean towards a monoplane with Mercury engine. I would lean towards D XXI or P-11 right this minute, with a projection of adding newer models when available. If money is no object, look into Hurricanes or P-36's, especially if you can get a production license. Train your pilots intensively. Build war stocks. Look at Finland for your example.
Except we apparently get to use airframes from Reno Air Racers per the OP which makes the scenario more interesting.
 
Give the OP Swamp Tiger is right to emphasise pilot training. A cheap force multiplier and I would add staff doing a close study of doctrine and minor tactics. An Observer Corps with good communications and investigate central management of the battle to use the restricted forces to their optimum. The money will not buy strike aeroplanes as well as fighters so pure fighters. The Dutch have already investigated fitting a whole variety of engines to their Fokker DXXI but off the shelf may not be available so a licence and assistance to make Ruralian DXXIs which can take Mercury equivalents from the UK, Poland and Italy. A small possibility is effectively is buying the entire Czech inventory and production lines off the Germans post Munich? Assume a war will begin with attacks on your airfields so keep the aeroplanes dispersed and camouflaged with dummies to sacrifice. Ensure your airfields are weather proof and have local support for rapid repair. No need for hard surfaces though. Just well drained.

Essentially enhance what you can afford/find and make it work as a whole system and well practiced.
 
The J2M design actually dates to 1938, it was initially made secondary in favor of the Zero so the first prototype did not fly until about 3 months after Pearl Harbor. Initial engine problems did include reliable output at highest power (hence the earlier question about engineers) but what I've read seems to indicate that this was solved and the need for water-methanol injection made unnecessary before Pearl Harbor. I was unaware of a need for 92 octane gas in the engine though - thanks.
The need for water injection was made neccessary due to inability of Japan to get a good supply of 100 oct fuel, let alone the even better fuels, like the widely used 100/130 grade the WAllies were producing; German C3 was in the ballpark with Allied 100 oct and later 100/130 grade. Use of w.i. and 92 octane fuel enabled extra 300 HP for take off; no w.i. meant around 1550 HP was max. (Un)fortunately, the Japanese 91 and 92 oct fuel was barely better than Western 87 oct fuel, especially late in the war. Unlike the Westerners, Japanese were not hesitating to use w.i. for take off, and on bombers.
Service use of w.i. on Kaseis seem to start with 20 series, that includes both bombers and fighters.
The earilest use of Kasei in combat, per Wikipedia, is 13th September of 1940 aboard the G4M, version of engine was the Kasei 11. From what I've read, most of the problems with reliability were experienced with versions that have had extended prop shaft - basically engines on JM2.
 
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