In 1928, the Japanese Army put forth a proposal to develop a new fighter aircraft that would replace the French Nieuport-Delage NiD fighter. The criteria for this new aircraft were that it should be lightweight, capable of high-speed flight, possess a good climb rate, and provide the pilot with a clear field of vision. In order to meet these requirements, major Japanese manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Nakajima, and Kawasaki all adopted a high-wing layout. Through a bidding process, the fighter with the highest rating was selected. However, before it could be officially adopted, the Japanese military demanded that the aircraft be reinforced due to its thin structure. Consequently, it was designated as the Nakajima Type 91 fighter. Following test flights, numerous improvements were implemented, resulting in a total production of 320 aircraft between 1931 and 1934.
In September 1934, the Kwangsi Air Force received two Army Type 91 Fighter monoplanes, equipped with Nakajima Jupiter VII engines that had a power range of 450-520 horsepower. These aircraft were transported to Wuchow, where a Japanese pilot conducted a test flight before they were flown to Nanning. Unfortunately, one of the planes crash-landed during a demonstration.
In September 1935, a total of 16 Type 91-1 Fighters, along with other Japanese aircraft models, were purchased and delivered to Wuchow. Eight Japanese personnel were dispatched to assemble and test these aircraft, and the first two were flown to Liuchow in early December. Initially, reports mentioned 16 Type 91-1 fighters, but it appears that this count also included the Mitsubishi Type 92s that were delivered simultaneously. According to one source, these aircraft were originally part of an order placed by Fukien in November 1933. The Type 91 Fighter was initially utilized by the Ist Squadron of the Kwangsi Air Force and later by the 32nd and 34th squadrons of the CAF. From the night of January 8th to 9th, 1938, the aircraft engaged in an air battle with incoming Japanese planes near Nanning. In the air battle on the afternoon of the 8th, captain Shu Yiqing and squad leader Wayne each shot down a Japanese aircraft. After several battles, the men and aircraft had suffered many casualties. After that, the Guangxi Air Force went north to receive fighter aircraft provided by the Soviet Union and formed the new 3rd Air Force Group. The remaining few Type 91-1 fighters were retired in Liuzhou.
Length - 7.27 m
Wingspan - 11 m
Height - 2.8 m
Empty Weight - 1075 kg
Gross Weight - 1530 kg
Engine - 1 x Nakajima Jupiter VII (373 kW)
Max Speed - 300 pm/h
Service Ceiling - 9000m
Range - 500 km
2 x 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns
(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft Vol.1 - Page 22 & 23
(Book) A History of Chinese Aviation - Page 276