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Hangar Manager

After a l-o-n-g hiatus, Paul Thompson rekindled his interest in certain aspects of Japanese aviation after coming from the UK to live in Japan late in 1999.

The photo above sees him in a Fuji T-1B trainer—at the Saitama Subaru Sakitama Garden in Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture—and joking with his personal tour guide that the instructor’s seat is a comparative sofa compared to the student pilot accommodation in the front. As a boy, he had received a copy of The Dumpy Book of Air Forces of the World (Sampson Low, 1957!) and thought that this very type of aircraft from faraway Japan looked really exotic and not one he would ever be likely to see!

When his full-time work permitted, he contributed articles to magazines back home (including Aeroplane, Air International, Air Pictorial, Aviation News) and in Germany (Flugzeug Classic, Jet&Prop). In Japan, he combined editing and translating tasks while writing extensively on Japanese aviation history subjects for niche Arawasi publications from 2005 to 2011. An active member of the Japan Aviation Journalists’ Association (JAJA), he has a track record of all of eight Japanese-language articles:
Koku Fan (Oct. 2012 issue)
After the flood reports from the Royal Thai Air Force Museum and the Tango Collection hangar in Bangkok, Thailand 
Maru (Apr. 2014)
A six-page feature article on the highly recommended Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum in the UK
Puten News (JAJA magazine, Feb. 2015)
A two-page feature, including some amateurish photography, on Danish military aircraft seen at UK air shows in the 70s.
Puten News (May 2016)
A Photo That Brings Back Memories: a Japanese version of the Where It All Began story that appears below.
Puten News (Aug. 2016)
A look back at the air show that marked the Royal Swedish Air Force’s 50th anniversary in 1976.
Aireview (Aug. 2017)
A two-page report from the rain-soaked Aero150 airshow that marked the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.
Puten News (Nov. 2017)
On the impressive Vintage Wings of Canada collection housed at Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport.
Aireview (Jan. 2018)
A short article on the Nakajima Kate torpedo bomber with a final resting place in southern England

While I Was Away in 2015

Every year, work enforces periods of absence from the hangar. During that time in 2015, I was happy to once again assist Japanese aviation historian Kōji Yanagisawa in telling the story of two intrepid aviators who flew a Japanese-designed biplane from Tokyo to Rome in 1931. Aptly enough, the article appears in Issue 14 of The Aviation Historian. A superbly designed and executed quarterly magazine for the discerning reader of more offbeat topics, TAH more than lives up to the wording trumpeted on the cover: The modern journal of classic aeroplanes and the history of flying. (A banner link to the TAH website appears in the right-hand Notices column.)

To these can be added involvement in to date two translation projects for aviation museums:
Inage Civil Aviation Commemoration Center, Chiba Prefecture (2015)
Gifu-Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum, Gifu Prefecture (2017–18) and

the supplying of translations (primarily of the captions) for two books:
Soredemo Watashi Wa Tobu (They Flew Regardless: Pictorial Mementos of Aviation in Japan 1909–1940) (2013)
Sora no Tabi (Welcome Aboard: Memorabilia from the Early Years of Japanese Air Journeys) (2019) 

Having worked from home as a freelance editor/translator since 2011, he is expanding and maintaining this website when “time bandits” permit.

Where It All Began

Bristol Belveder(Photo: Alexander ‘Alec’ Thompson [1908-1995])

The above photo of a Bristol Belvedere HC.1 of 72 Sqn Royal Air Force was taken by my father, Alexander “Alec” Thompson, at Biggin Hill airfield in Kent on September 14, 1963, when I was nearly eight years old. My first ever air show, this must have been where the seed of my interest in aviation was sown.

Surprisingly, as I apparently turned as white as a sheet after the pilot of what I now know to have been a 56 Sqn Lightning F.1A had approached from down in the valley to sneak up behind the crowd. Making his presence very much felt, the culprit was clearly visible as he banked low overhead.

Interestingly, some World War II aircraft—six German, one Italian and one Japanese—from the then Air Historical Branch collection were among the aircraft on ground display that day. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, all stealthily eluded Dad’s camera. It was to be 1998—all of 35 years later—that my then film camera caught up with that day’s Japanese representative, the Mitsubishi Ki-46-III (Dinah, coincidentally one of my mother’s many nicknames!) at RAF Museum Cosford (below).


That very same Belvedere (XG462) safely made a forced landing in the Libyan desert after suffering an engine fire on October 5, 1963, a mere three weeks after this photo was taken. Its restored nose section is today on display at The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset (link). I must go and photograph it myself one day, just for old times’ sake.

(With thanks to one John Chapman for posting a list of aircraft from that fateful day at Biggin Hill on the Scramble website [link].)


While I have your attention, I would just like to take a moment to point out that the content of this site is protected by worldwide copyright laws.

Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this website are copyright J-HangarSpace/Paul Thompson, who takes all reasonable steps to avoid infringing any copyright.

J-HangarSpace/Paul Thompson owns and operates this site for the benefit of anyone with an interest in its content. Grateful thanks are extended to those listed below, who have kindly contributed photographs directly to this website, and to those who have made their images widely available. Of those mentioned below, special mention must be made of Takao Kadokami, whose collection dates back to 1955, and Akira Watanabe’s images from the 70s and 80s; examples of their photos are gradually being incorporated. 

Japan Takao Kadokami
Chikara Matsuno
Akio Misawa
Masato Motoya
Kenji Murakoshi
Kenju Ohmoto
Jun Oizumi
Tetsuya Oyabe
Margaret Stalker
Kenichi Sunohara
    (Aireview magazine)    
Akira Watanabe
Keiichi Yamada
Hiroyuki Yamauchi
Yuichi Yokokawa

Canada    Rene Vallee
India        Arjun Sarup
Italy         Sebastian Sui
Thailand  Jean Marc Braun, Tom Milliken, Alec Wilson
UK          Andy Binks, David Cook, David Draycott, Alastair T. Gardiner
                Warren Hardcastle, Mike Jefferies, Tom McGhee, Tom Meikle
USA        David D. Jackson (link), William T. ‘Bill’ Larkins, Bill Word

If information displayed on this site is used as source material, please credit
J-HangarSpace (www.j-hangarspace.jp).

Japanese names

Please note that Japanese personal names on this site are reversed to appear in the Western style with the surname last.




Air Shows in 2024
Jan. 20  Iruma
Mar. 3  Komaki
Mar. 24  Kumagaya
May 19  Shizuhama
May 26  Miho
June 2  Hofu-Kita
Aug. 25 Matsushima
Sept. 8  Misawa
Sept. 15  Chitose
Sept. 23  Komatsu
Oct. 6  Ashiya
Oct. 27  Hamamatsu
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. 17  Gifu
Dec. 8  Hyakuri
Dec.*  Naha
* To be confirmed

Air Shows in 2023
Mar. 5  Komaki
Apr. 2  Kumagaya

May 28  Miho
May 28  Shizuhama
June 3  Nara
               (Open Day)
June 4  Hofu
July 30  Chitose
Aug. 27  Matsushima
Sept. 10  Misawa
Sept. 24  Akita
Oct. 7  Komatsu
Oct. 15  Ashiya
Oct. 29  Hamamatsu
Nov. 12  Gifu
Nov. 26  Tsuiki
Dec. 3  Nyutabaru
Dec. 10  Naha
Dec. 17  Hyakuri

Air Shows in 2024
Jan. 7  Narashino
 (paratroop display)
Apr. 6  Kasuminome
Apr. 6  Utsunomiya
Apr. 13  Somagahara
June 16  Obihiro
June 30  Okadama
June*  Kasumigaura
Oct.*  Tachikawa
* To be confirmed 

Air Shows in 2023

Apr. 8 Somagahara
May 27  Kita-
June 3  Kasumigaura
June 11  Obihiro
July 2  Okadama

Aug. 5  Kasuminome
Oct. 1   Kisarazu
Oct. 29  Tachikawa

Nov. 4  Akeno

Air Shows in 2024
Apr. 20  Atsugi
  (US Navy/JMSDF)
Apr. 28  Kanoya
May 5  Iwakuni
(Joint Friendship Day)
July 21  Tateyama
July 28  Hachinohe
* To be confirmed 

Air Shows in 2023
Apr. 15  Iwakuni
(Joint Friendship Day)
Apr. 22  Atsugi

Apr. 30  Kanoya
May 28 Omura
July 23  Tateyama
Sept. 2  Maizuru
Sept. 17  Hachinohe
Oct. 1  Ozuki
Oct. 21  Shimofusa
Nov. 18  Tokushima


JASDF 2022









JASDF 2019

Komaki 2019 poster



JGSDF 2022


Narashino 2019
 (paratroop display)


JMSDF 2022







Ozuki 2019



(Please note that air show dates are subject to change/cancellation.)


Asian Air Arms

The Aviation Historian

Nabe3’s Aviation Pages


Japan Association of Aviation Photo-

(Site dedicated to displayed aircraft in Asia)

(from May 17, 2022)

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