View Poll Results: Wich is your favorite ?

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  • Ki-45 Dragon slayer.

    7 16.28%
  • Ki-61 hien

    15 34.88%
  • Ki-43

    3 6.98%
  • Ki-27

    0 0%
  • Ki-84

    18 41.86%
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Thread: Imperial Japanese Army - Fighter Aircraft

  1. #1
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    Default Imperial Japanese Army - Fighter Aircraft

    Even lesser know and many times misidentified for the exited allied pilots which "Zeros" the army fighters played a very important role in the more terrestrial campains of WW2 pacific teatre, as New Guinea and China-Burma- India.

    Nakajima 'Nate' (Army Type 97 Fighter) Ki.27

    The Ki.27 was the first monoplane of the Japanese Army. It was a rather exceptional aircraft, because maneuvrability had become a fetish for the Japanese air forces. The Ki.27 was certainly the most agile fighter monoplane ever built. It was a clean, very light, elegant monoplane with fixed, spatted landing gear and good performance; it marked the new ability of the Japanese industry to design and build advanced aircraft.




    Nevertheless combat experience against Soviet fighters in the 'Nomonhan Incident' was not entirely favourable, because of the type's insufficient speed, armour ( the pair of 7,7mm was particular poor agaist the armor equped I-16) and armament. Only the extreme maneubrability saver it and allowed many jap pilots destroy several russian aircraft to become aces. It was still the most numerous Army fighter in December 1941 and it was keep in service well entered 1942.




    Function: fighter
    Year: 1938
    Crew: 1 Engines:
    1 * 780hp Nakajima Ha-1-Otsu
    Wing Span: 11.31m
    Length: 7.53m
    Height: 3.28m
    Wing Area: 18.56m2
    Empty Weight: 1110kg
    Max.Weight: 1790kg
    Speed: 465km/h
    Ceiling: 9000m
    Range: 1710km
    Armament: 2*mg7.7mm 4*b25kg
    3387 built.

    A close-up, the telescopic sight potrudes from the canopy


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    KI-61 HIEN

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    Yeap, probably the KI-61 was the best , but the japanese "Mercedes" engine also had his troubles.

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    Axis Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1996, p 144
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    Axis Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1996, p 145
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    Axis Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1996, p 146
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    Axis Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1996, p 147
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    Axis Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey, Chancellor Press, 1996, p 148
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    Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, Eric M. Bergerud, Westview Press, 2000, p 221
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    Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, Eric M. Bergerud, Westview Press, 2000, p 222
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    Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, Eric M. Bergerud, Westview Press, 2000, p 223
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    Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, Eric M. Bergerud, Westview Press, 2000, p 224
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    WWII Pacific War Eagles: China/Pacific Aerial Conflict in Original Color, Jeffrey L. Ethell and Warren M. Bodie, Widewing Publications, 1997, p 179
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    WWII Pacific War Eagles: China/Pacific Aerial Conflict in Original Color, Jeffrey L. Ethell and Warren M. Bodie, Widewing Publications, 1997, p 1
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    SEE ALSO:

    Japanese Fighter Aircraft
    http://members.tripod.com/chip2500/id58.htm

    Kawasaki Ki 61 Hein "Tony"
    http://members.tripod.com/chip2500/id313.htm

    The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("Tony") & Ki-100
    http://www.vectorsite.net/avhien.html

    WWII Japanese Aircraft Photos
    http://www.ijaafpics.com/index.html

    Ki-61 Type 3 Hien Swallow (Tony) - Page 1
    http://www.ijaafpics.com/jbwki611.htm

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  5. #5
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    Very good pics George, the Ki-61 was the less japanese of all the army fighters.

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    An amazing history from Anabuki Satoru-





    Anabuki's greatest deed happened on October 8 1943, when at 12:10 hs four Hayabusas (one of them flown by Sgt Anabuki) taxied in Mingaladon airstrip to take off and intercepte several B-24s which were raiding against a Japanese convoy in Rangoon harbour. However, a fouled spark plug caused that Anabuki should delay his take off during 5 minutes. When he finally could scramble, was unable to find his three buddies and a second flight of four Ki-43s (which were also tasked to intercepte the bombers) because of the haze. Suddenly, when he got out of the hazy area, saw his target: 11 B-24s together with two escorting P-38s, which apparently did not notice him. Anabuki realized that -due to the hazy weather- none of his comrades had found the enemy and that he was completely alone. But Anabuki also noticed that he was in a perfect attack position against both the enemy fighters and bombers, and the surprise factor was at his side. Being a hunter by nature, Anabuki decided to take that chance despite the odds were against him.

    So, Anabuki choose one of the unaware Lightnings, put it in the gunsight of his Ki-43 Hayabusa and badly shot it up (Anabuki saw the incendaries exploding around the P-38's cockpit), breaking his attack and diving only when he almost collide the American plane. As he turned to repeat his attack, saw the P-38 trying a loop while leaving a trail of black smoke. Suddenly the P-38 stalled and went downwards, crashing near Yangon river. Then Anabuki jumped the P-38 leader, but his adversary was an experienced pilot because it immediatelly rolled and steeply dove. Knowing that his Ki-43 Hayabusa was excellent in dogfighting and could out-turn the P-38, but could not compete with the Lightning in dive and climb rates, Anabuki did not even try to follow the American plane, instead he concentrated in the bombers.

    Sgt Anabuki closed to 1200 mts to the right of the bombers and 500 meters above them (he was flying at 5500 mts and the Liberators at 5000) and then rolled and dove. Anabuki knew that to shot down one heavily defended and huge four-engine bomber like the B-24 with the relatively weak weaponry of his Ki-43 (12,7 mm machineguns, with no cannons) was a very hard task, but he had the experience and the determination to do so, as himself accounted:

    "All I could see was the enemy. I'm diving straight down towards the dark jungle. Life or death didn't matter then. If the gods still need me they wouldn't let me die. I see an image of my mother's face. I think I heard her yelling `Go, Satoru,go!`. I think of what a strong woman my mother is. I think to myself I must be as strong. Distance closes further. 300, 200, I see my bullets get sucked into the gigantic B-24. Getting closer. 150, 100. I start firing my final burst.

    The enemy's defensive fire is fierce. Their formation is trailing a lot of gun smoke, raining bullets in successive bursts, but I know as long as I'm at this angle, they can't hit me. My target starts smoking from the wing root. Even as I'm firing, the white smoke is getting bigger and bigger. I'm near collision and I break off to the left and to the rear of the enemy, diving vertically. Fifty some enemy machine guns are firing at me, but not a single bullet hit me as I speeded away out of their range. "

    When Anabuki prepared himself for a second pass against the badly hit B-24, saw that it slipped at one side, the crew bailed out and the bomber began to spin. So, in few minutes he added one P-38 and one B-24 to his killboard.

    But when he was ready to attack the bombers for the second time, suddenly saw tracers passing very close to his port wing. Anabuki sharply broke to starboard, avoiding the burst, but a second one struck his plane, being the Japanese pilot badly wounded in his left hand. Anabuki realised that the P-38 leader which had previously escaped was back, and it was willing to take him out. Despite the intense pain, Anabuki performed a series of the sharp turns, exploiting the superior turn capability of the Ki-43 Hayabusa and forcing the American pilot to gave up. When the P-38 pilot did so, Anabuki rolled his plane and reversed towards the Lightning. At point-blank range (about 30 mts) the Japanese ace fired and black smoke emerged from the P-38, together with oil which splattered over the windshield of the Ki-43 and temporarily blinded Anabuki. When he recover the sight, the P-38 was diving away again, this time definitively.

    Despite he was wounded and his plane damaged (Anabuki noticed that at full throttle the engine airlocked), Anabuki made an provisional bandage with his muffler to stop the bleeding of his left hand, and performed his second pass against the B-24s. setting on fire one of them. When Anabuki climbed to began another pass saw that the crew of this Liberators could bail out (actually only 2 crewmembers). Then Anabuki began his third pass:

    "At this point, the overwhelming thought in my mind was that today's combat was over. I was about to turn back to base, and threw a final glance at the B-24s, which I presumed were by now too far away to follow. But alas! The bombers had apparently slowed down to cover their damaged comrade during my attack and was still within my attack range!

    Looking back, it was a foolish thing to do, but I started to position myself for another attack despite my injury and the plane's damages. The pain and the gas kept me hardly conscious, and my sight had deteriorated badly. My arm was hurting badly as the tightly wound muffler blocked blood circulation. But there was a thought that dominated my fading consciousness; if the enemy is within range, it was a fighter pilot's duty to attack. To do otherwise would disgrace my family blood. My mother's face flashes back. To go into combat now may mean my demise. Mother forgive me! But then I thought I heard her say 'Charge, Satoru, and the way will open.'. I had no regrets. The enemy was there. I will just charge.

    I was slowly gaining altitude to attack position for the third time. I was hardly conscious. All I could think about was 'Charge, charge!' Call me a foolish rustic warrior, I couldn't have cared less. I was fighting to keep my consciousness and charging at the enemy at full throttle. The pain of my left hand was getting unbearable. I untied the muffler from my arm. As the blood started flowing, the pain went way, but the hand started bleeding like a dam burst open. "

    So, Anabuki choose a third B-24 as his mark, and began his run against it. But as he was attacking it, suddenly ran out of ammo. In a normal situation, he would disengaged and headed home, but Anabuki took a very different decision: he would ramm the bomber:

    "If I was my normal self, I would have banked my wings at the enemy and wished them luck and break away, but my mind was just obsessed with getting the enemy. My consciousness was nearly fading from the gasoline and the injury, my hand kept on bleeding, and I was out of ammunition. All these negative factors were piling up on me, but all I had in my mind was the existence of the powerful enemy in front of me. I was completely taken over by one of the fighter pilots' instincts; the fighting spirit.

    At that moment I was, by chance, right above the enemy. Although I was out of ammo, reflexes got the better of me and I instinctively put my plane in a dive. However, to start your dive from directly above the enemy means that by the time you are actually shooting, your attack will be at a shallow angle, presenting an ideal target for the enemy's rear gunner. Just as the enemy started firing away, I maneuvered my plane to present the smallest possible target for the enemy, and charged on. Just as I expected, I found myself facing a wall of fire, and my plane shook as their bullets hit her. To makes matters worse, my engine output went down, and my angle was now so shallow that I was in their propeller wake and being thrown around wildly.

    I was totally obsessed with getting the enemy. I decided to ram the bomber. 'Take this! Yankee!' I pulled up, but perhaps my action was too acute, and the next moment, my plane careened into the middle of the fuselage of the third plane of the left formation.

    Although I had intended to ram her, I instinctively yanked my stick to evade the crash. The next moment a tremendous shock hit me with a thunderous roar and I just sat there dumbfounded watching my propeller eating away at the enemy's starboard rudder at full 1130HP. There was nothing I could do now. It was as if the plane was being controlled by some gigantic force from outside. And all the while, I just sat there with the throttle pinned open.

    The next thing I knew, the port wing of the "Kimikaze" hit the enemy's elevator. With a great shock, the enemy's elevator broke upwards, and my plane was thrown around about 45 degrees to the left, bouncing on the stabilizer and crash -landed on the enemy's fuselage.

    I would guess that the enemy was surprised, but so was I. In spite of my surprise, my plane proceeded to eat away at the fuselage of the B-24 and stopped at around the US insignia. I think it was just for a moment, but it felt like a long time, sitting on top of the enemy like that. While I was on top of the enemy, they didn't shoot at me. I saw them staring at this rude intruder from their turrets and windows. They were probably not firing because I was too close, but I also had a strange worry in myself. I was seriously worrying about being carried to their base like this!"

    Fortunatelly for him, "Kimikaze" slid off bomber's back, and despite initially fell, later it began a controlled glide, and Anabuki was able to restart the engine, crash-landing in a beach shore near Rangoon, where he was rescued and cured, rejoining to active duty only 5 days later.

    http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/anabuki/anabuki.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker
    Very good pics George, the Ki-61 was the less japanese of all the army fighters.
    Thank you Panzerknacker.

    Interesting that the Ki-61 performed even better after it was converted to radial engined Ki-100.
    "When the first of these was flown, on 1 February 1945, Kawasaki discovered that it had a first class fighter, one that some commentators have described as Japan's premier fighter aircraft of the Pacific war."
    However, the Ki-100 was better at low altitudes -
    at altitudes above 26,000 feet, the maneuverability of the Ki-100 began to fall off rather severely and the fighter was at a relative disadvantage in intercepting the high-flying B-29.


    Kawasaki Ki-100
    Radial-engined Hien
    http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevo...her/ki100.html

    When we last left the story of the Ki-61, the Japanese Army was faced with the unhappy prospect of all those Ki-61-II airframes sitting around waiting for installation of their Ha-140 liquid-cooled engines. The Ha-140 engine had proven to be totally unreliable, and, to make matters worse, the factory manufacturing the Ha-140 had been destroyed in a B-29 raid. Since Japan desperately needed aircraft capable of intercepting the B-29, in November of 1944 the Ministry of Munitions instructed Kawasaki to install a different powerplant in the Ki-61-II in an attempt to get as many aircraft in the air as possible.

    After some sniffing around, Kawasaki finally settled on the 1500 hp Mitsubishi Ha-112-II fourteen-cylinder double-row radial engine. This engine had established a standard of easy maintenance and reliable service, which contrasted markedly with the notoriously unreliable and temperamental Ha-140. However, the Ha-112 was a radial engine, and, with a diameter of four feet, the installation of this engine in a fuselage only 33 inches wide provided a major challenge. However, the Kawasaki concern was guided in its work by being able to study the engine mount in an imported Focke-Wulf Fw 190A, an example in which a wide radial engine had been successfully installed in an airframe with a narrow width. In addition, the same Mitsubishi Ha-112 radial engine had been successfully installed in the Aichi-built D4Y3 (Allied code name JUDY) dive bomber, earlier versions of which had been powered by a liquid-cooled engine.

    The new project was sufficiently different from the Ki-61 Hien that it was assigned a new Kitai number: Ki-100. Three Ki-61-II airframes were experimentally modified as Ki-100s by the installation of the Ha-112 radial. The first Ki-100 prototype aircraft made its first flight on February 1, 1945. The results of the flight testing exceeded everyone's expectations. The Ki-100 was about 600 pounds lighter than its Ki-61-II predecessor. Maneuverability and handling were markedly improved due to the lower wing and power loading. Although the maximum speed of the Ki-100 was slightly lower than that of the Ki-61-II because of the higher drag exerted by the radial engine, this performance could be reliably attained because of the better reliability of the Ha-112 engine. The design was ordered into immediate production as the Army Type 5 Fighter Model 1A (Ki-100-Ia).

    The first Type 5 fighters (Ki-100-Ia) were direct conversions of existing Ki-61-II airframes. 271 airframes were converted between March and June 1945, and were immediately delivered to operational units.

    The Ki-100 was simple to fly and maintain. Even the most inexperienced pilots were able to get the hang of the Ki-100 relatively quickly. The Ha-112 engine proved to be quite reliable and simple to maintain. In combat, the Ki-100-Ia proved to be an excellent fighter, especially at low altitudes. It possessed a definite ascendancy over the Grumman F6F Hellcat. In one encounter over Okinawa, a Ki-100-equipped unit destroyed 14 F6F Hellcat fighters without loss to themselves. When the Ki-100 encountered the P-51D Mustang at low or medium altitudes over Japan, it was able to meet the American fighter on more or less equal terms. The outcome of P- 51D vs Ki-100 battles was usually determined by piloting skill or by numerical advantage rather than by the relative merits of the two fighter types. However, at altitudes above 26,000 feet, the maneuverability of the Ki-100 began to fall off rather severely and the fighter was at a relative disadvantage in intercepting the high-flying B-29.

    So far as I am aware, the Ki-100 never had a separate Allied code name assigned to it. It may, for all I know, have been known under the code name of its predecessor --- TONY.

    By June, 1945, all of the Ki-61-II airframes had been used up, and further Ki-100s were built from the outset as radial-powered machines. This version was designated Ki-100-Ib. The Ki-100-Ib differed from the Ki-100-Ia in having an all-round vision hood similar to that fitted to the experimental Ki-61-III. The first Ki-100-Ib fighters were built at the Kagamigahara and Ichinomiya Kawasaki factories in May of 1945, but production was severely hampered by the continual Allied bombing. Plans had been made to produce 200 fighters per month, but the Ichinomiya plant was forced to shut down in July 1945 after having built only 12 aircraft, and the Kagamigahara plant had its production severely curtailed by aerial attacks. By the time of the Japanese surrender, only 118 Ki-100-Ib aircraft had been delivered.

    In an attempt to improve the high-altitude performance, the Ki-100-II version was evolved. It was powered by a 1500 hp Mitsubishi Ha-112-II Ru with a turbosupercharger and water-methanol injection to boost power for short intervals. Because of a lack of space, the turbosupercharger had to be mounted underneath the engine without provision for an intercooler and its associated ducting, with air being ducted directly from the compressor to the carburetor. It first flew in May 1945. The lack of an intercooler limited the high-altitude performance of the Ki-100-II, and the turbosupercharger added 600 pounds to the weight, which reduced maximum speed by 15 mph at 10,000 feet. However, the boosted high-altitude power enabled a maximum speed of 367 mph to be be reached at 32,800 feet (the cruising altitude of the B-29 during daylight operations). It had been planned to begin production of the Ki-100-II in September of 1945, but only three prototypes of this high-altitude interceptor had been produced by the time of the Japanese surrender.

    A total of 396 Ki-100s were built, including 275 Ki-61-II conversions, 118 Ki-100-Ib production aircraft built from scratch, and three Ki-100-II prototypes. Most of them were assigned to the defense of the home islands, operating from Chofu and Yokkaichi from the spring of 1945. At the end of the war, two Ki-100-Ibs were shipped to the USA for evaluation. I don't know what happened to these planes. Presumably, they were scrapped in the late 1940s, along with a lot of other captured Axis aircraft.

    Specification of Kawasaki Ki-100-Ia Army Type 5 Fighter Model 1a:

    One Army Type 4 fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial (Mitsubishi [Ha-33] 62 or Ha-112-II) rated at 1500 hp for takeoff 1350 hp at 6560 feet and 1250 hp at 19,030 feet.

    Performance: Maximum speed 360 mph at 19,685 feet and 332 mph at 32,810 feet. An altitude of 16,405 feet could be attained in 6 minutes. Service ceiling 36,090 feet. Maximum range 1367 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 34 4 7/16 inches, length 28 feet 11 1/4 inches, height 12 feet 3 5/8 inches, wing area 215.3 square feet.

    Weights: 5567 pounds empty, 7705 pounds loaded.

    Armament: Two fuselage-mounted 20-mm Ho 5 cannon and two wing- mounted 12.7 mm machine guns.
    Sources:

    * Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1979.
    * Famous Fighters of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1967.
    * War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, Volume 3, William Green, Doubleday, 1964.

    Joe Baugher
    Email: jfb@uscbu.ih.att.com

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    The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("Tony") & Ki-100
    http://www.vectorsite.net/avhien.html

    374 Ki-61-II KAI airframes were built and 99 of them fitted with engines. Then, on 19 January 1945, US Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortresses turned the plant at Akashi that was producing the Ha-140 engine into cinders and rubble. That abruptly ended concerns over the reliability of the Ha-140 engine, but left 275 airframes sitting around without powerplants.

    * However, in November 1944 concerns over the availability (or lack thereof) of the Ha-140 engine had led the Munitions Ministry to request that Kawasaki redesign the Ki-61-II KAI to use another engine. Company engineers performed a lightning design effort to mate the fighter to the 1,120 kW (1,500 HP) Mitsubishi Ha-112-II 14-cylinder double-row air-cooled radial engine. The engineers inspected the radial engine installation of a sample Focke-Wulf FW-190 fighter obtained from Germany and, in an example of interservice cooperation that was far more the exception than the rule between the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, took advantage of Navy efforts to use the Ha-112-II.

    The first prototype conversion of three took to the air on 1 February 1945. Sometimes improvisations work poorly, sometimes they work surprisingly well, and the new variant demonstrated excellent performance. The rest of the engineless Ki-61-II KAI airframes were then converted to the new fighter type, which was designated the "Ki-100-Ia". They retained the armament of the Ki-61-II KAIb, consisting of 12.7 millimeter guns in the wings and 20 millimeter guns in the fuselage.

    Performance was roughly the same but engine reliability was vastly improved. The Ki-100 was in fact an excellent fighter, a nasty customer for Allied aircraft to deal with while being surprisingly comfortable and easy to fly, an important consideration when experienced Japanese pilots were in increasingly short supply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker
    An amazing history from Anabuki Satoru-http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/anabuki/anabuki.htm
    That was quite an amazing story from Anabuki Satoru. However, I wonder if the action was ever confirmed against American records, as Satoru was alone when these events happened. An amazing combination of skill and luck if true.

    Ki-43 Hayabusa flown by Anabuki Satoru (3 Chutai, 50 Sentai)

    Ki-43 IIko, on October 8 1943, when he shot down one P-38 and three B-24s. That plane was named "Kimikaze" after Anabuki's wife, Kimiko.

    Nakayima Ki-43 Ihei Hayabusa of Sgt. Anabuki Satoru (3rd Chutai, 50th Sentai), Burma, 1942.

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    When the Ki-100 encountered the P-51D Mustang at low or medium altitudes over Japan, it was able to meet the American fighter on more or less equal terms. The outcome of P- 51D vs Ki-100 battles was usually determined by piloting skill or by numerical advantage rather than by the relative merits of the two fighter types. However, at altitudes above 26,000 feet, the maneuverability of the Ki-100 began to fall off rather severely and the fighter was at a relative disadvantage in intercepting the high-flying B-29.
    The KI-100 was unable to reach the same speed as the KI-61-II (610 km/H) I guess that again the japs wanted maneouverability in disregard of speed, in the other hand there was no much choice because the Ha-140 factory was completely wiped out by the U.S B-29s.

    That was quite an amazing story from Anabuki Satoru. However, I wonder if the action was ever confirmed against American records, as Satoru was alone when these events happened. An amazing combination of skill and luck if true
    .


    Off course, I was checking the USAAF losses in that period to compare, I think that is at list suspicious due the poor gun layout in the Ki-43-II , merely a pair of sincro .50 calibers.

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    [quote="Panzerknacker"]


    That was quite an amazing story from Anabuki Satoru. However, I wonder if the action was ever confirmed against American records, as Satoru was alone when these events happened. An amazing combination of skill and luck if true
    .


    Off course, I was checking the USAAF losses in that period to compare, I think that is at list suspicious due the poor gun layout in the Ki-43-II , merely a pair of sincro .50 calibers.
    -

    - And don't forget the lack of armor and self-sealing fuel tanks.

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    Ki-43-II

    In pursuit of better performance, five Ki-43-I airframes were modified in February of 1942 to be powered by the 1150-hp Type 1 engine (which was the Nakajima Ha-115, a development of the earlier Ha-25). This engine had a two-speed supercharger and drove a three-bladed constant-speed metal propeller. The supercharger air intake was moved from underneath the cowling to its upper lip, with the carburetor intake remaining underneath the cowling. The wingspan was decreased by two feet and the wing area by 6.46 square feet to improve speed at low and medium altitudes. The windshield and cockpit canopy were raised slightly and a new reflector gunsight was fitted.


    The wing attachment points were strengthened to carry 551-pound bombs. In response to complaints from the field that the Hayabusa was too vulnerable to superficial combat damage, some rudimentary armor protection was provided for the pilot and self-sealing tanks were installed in the wings.


    The improved Hayabusa model entered production as the Army Type 1 Fighter Model 2A (Ki-43-IIa). As the Model 2A entered production, the earlier Model 1 was progressively phased out, until the 716th and last Model 1 left the line in February 1943.

    The carburetor air intake was deepened early in the production life of the Ki-43-IIa. The major production version of the Hayabusa was the Ki-43-IIb, which differed from the IIa only in minor equipment changes. The oil cooler, which had been mounted in a ring inside the cowling ahead of the engine and around the propeller shaft, was replaced by a honeycomb unit mounted inside a still deeper carburetor intake. Late production IIbs had their underwing bomb attachment points moved outboard of the main undercarriage legs to prevent bombs from hitting the propeller during dive bombing attacks at steep angles. Later production IIb aircraft had the oil cooler moved backward from the carburetor air intake and relocated underneath the central fuselage.



    The modifications progressively introduced during the Ki-43-IIb production run were standardized on the Ki-43-KAI. This aircraft was also fitted with individual exhaust stacks that replaced the exhaust collector ring of earlier versions, and provided some amount of residual thrust augmentation. This variant also saw the underwing attachment points moved outboard of the landing gear. Three prototypes were built between June and August of 1942, and the Ki-43-KAI entered service in the summer of 1943. Some sources refer to this variant as the Ki-43-IIc, although this may be a "retrospective" designation introduced after the fact by Western sources for clarity.

    The Ki-43-II-KAI was capable of out-maneuvering every Allied fighter it encountered, but the P-38, P-47, and P-51 could all out-dive and out-zoom the Japanese fighter.

    Two additional production facilities, the Tachikawa Dai-Ichi Rikugun Kokusho (First Army Air Arsenal) and the Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. (Tachikawa Aeroplane Company, Ltd), were given contracts to manufacture the Ki-43 under license. The Tachikawa Dai-Ichi Rikugun Kokusho began production of the Hayabusa from Nakajima-supplied components in October of 1942. Unfortunately, the Army Air Arsenal did not have the experience needed for the manufacture of modern fighter aircraft, and was ordered to cease production in November 1943 after the delivery of only 49 Ki-43-IIa fighters. The Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. contractor was more successful, and built 2629 Ki-43-II and Ki-43-III Hayabusas beginning in May of 1943, and ceasing only with the end of the Pacific War in August 1945.

    A total of 2500 Ki-43-IIs were built by the Nakajima parent plant at Ota.

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    Great bunch of images! I'll go for the Ki 84 as favorite simply in that it was well balanced- amply armed, had enough power and kept decent maneuverability.

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    And the powerful weapons also made the Ki-84 favaourable.

    Nice pic of Ki-45 in action against B-29.


  13. #13
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    The Ki-44



    The Ki-44 was a complete departure from the standard manueverability emphasis placed on Japanese aircraft design. Though disliked by pilots, and deadly to less experienced pilots, the Demon was moderately successful in the interception role. A notable mission occured when a small force of Ki-44-(unknown model) intercepted 120 B-29's on February 19, 1945 and destroyed ten of them.


    Engine:
    Ki-44 Ia:
    Model: Nakajima Ha-41
    Type: 14-Cylinder Twin-Row Radial
    Number: One Horsepower: 1,260 hp

    Ki-44 Ib (& Later):
    Model: Nakajima Ha-109
    Type: 14-Cylinder Twin-Row Radial
    Number: One Horsepower: 1,520 hp


    Ki-44 IIIa:
    Model: Nakajima Ha-145
    Type: 14-Cylinder Twin-Row Radial
    Number: One Horsepower: 2,000 hp

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dimensions:
    Wing span: 31 ft. (9.448m)
    Length: 28 ft. 8½ in. (8.75m)
    Height: 10 ft. 8 in. (3.248m)
    Wing Surface Area: 161.46 sq. ft. (15m²)

    Weights:
    Empty (Ki-44-Ia): 3,968 lbs. (1800 kg)
    Empty (Ki-44-II): 4,643 lbs. (2106 kg)
    Maximum (Ki-44-Ia): 5,662 lbs. (2550 kg)
    Maximum (Ki-44-IIc): 6,107 lbs. (2770 kg)
    Maximum (Ki-44-III): 5,357 lbs. (2430 kg) Performance:
    Maximum Speed (Ki-44-Ia): 360 mph (579 km/h)
    Maximum Speed (Ki-44-IIc): 376 mph (605 km/h)
    Initial climb (Ki-44-IIc): 3,940 ft./min (1200 m/min)
    Service Ceiling (Ki-44-IIc): 11,200m (36,745 ft.)
    Range (Internal Fuel): 560 Miles (900 km)
    Endurance: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Armament:
    Ki-44-Ia:
    Two 12.7mm Type I machine guns in wings
    Two 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns in fuselage

    Ki-44-Ib, IIa, IIb:
    Two 12.7mm Type I machine guns in wings
    Two 12.7mm Type I machine guns in fuselage

    Ki-44-IIc:
    Two 12.7mm Type I machine guns in fuselage
    Two 40mm Ho-301 low velocity cannon in wings
    Note: Fires caseless ammunition at 400 rpm
    Or
    Four 20mm Cannon.

    Ki-44-III:
    Two 12.7mm Type I machine guns in fuselage
    Two 20mm Ho-5 low velocity cannon in wings

    Ki-44-IIIa:
    Four 20mm cannon.

    Ki-44-IIIb:
    Two 37mm Cannon
    Two 20mm Cannon

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bomb Load:
    Ki-44-II series:
    Wing racks for two 220 lb (100 kg) bombs




    Nakajima Ki-44-II Otsu - flown by Major Yoshio Hirose. Mito AB, Ibaraki Prefecture, November 1944


  14. #14
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    Kawasaki Ki-60.




    The early months of World War II in Europe showed the Japanese that there would be a possible need for a heavier fighter. Going against the Japanese trend of manoeuverability over all other attributes, the Ki 60 design focused on speed and rate of climb with a heavy armament.

    A development contract was placed with Kawasaki in February 1940 for a cannon armed fighter with a liquid cooled engine. Kawasaki had recieved a license to build the Daimler-Benz line of engines and it was decided that the new aircraft should be designed around the DB 601A. The aircraft layout and shape was heavily influenced by the Bf-109, He-112 and the He-100 planes wich the japanese Navy and Army had been purchased in small numbers from germany.



    The first prototype suffered from high wing loading which resulted in excessive take-off and landing speeds. The second and third prototypes had revised wings but this did little to improve the aircrafts shortcomings. The pilots of the Japanese Army Air Force were less than impressed with the performance of the aircraft and demanded changes. Over-all this aircraft performed dismally and combined with a lack of firm support for a heavy fighter concept the design was abandoned in late 1941


    Caracteristics:


    Type: Single seat heavy fighter
    Origin: Kawasaki Kokuki Kogyo K.K.
    Allied Code Name: N/A
    First Flight: March 1941
    Number Produced: 3 Prototypes
    Powerplant:
    Model: Daimler-Benz DB 601A*
    Type: 12-Cylinder inverted Vee liquid cooled.
    Number: One Horsepower: 1,100 hp
    *Licensed built by Kawasaki.
    Performance:
    Maximum Speed at 16,400 ft.: 348 mph
    Time to 16,400 ft.: 8 min.
    Service Ceiling: 32,810 ft.
    Range: N/A
    Armament:
    Two 20mm Mauser MG 151 cannon.
    Two or Four 12.7mm Type 1 machine guns

  15. #15
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    More about the Ki-43, is weird that this relatively obsolete in 1941 and definately obsolete aircraft in late war was manufactured until 1945.









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