Info: Early Japanese Army Air Force Aircraft

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Info: Early Japanese Army Air Force Aircraft

Post by Robert Hurst » 27 May 2003 15:27

Hi

Mitsubishi (2MB1) Army Type 87 Light Bomber

After the failure of the Mitsubishi Experimental Washi-type Light Bomber, Mitsubishi submitted to the Army what was termed its 2MB1 aircraft, which was simply a modified version of the Navy's Mitsubishi Navy Type 13 Carrier Attack Aircraft, the first of which had been completed two years before. Although this design was obsolete by that time, it was a practical aircraft and was accepted by the Army as the Type 87 Light Bomber.

To meet the Army specification, Mitsubishi modified one of its Navy Type 13 Carrier Attack Aircraft. For this parallel project to the Washi-type, Hajime Matsuharu was assigned as chief designer.

Changes made to the Type 13 included the replacement of its 450 hp Napier Lion engine with a 450 hp Hispano-Suiza engine, with a honeycomb type radiator in front of the engine rather than at the sides of the fuselage. The dihedral on the upper wing was eliminated as well as the wing folding capability formerly used for stowage. The three-seat configuration was changed to two, with dual controls.

While neither the Nakajima, Kawasaki nor Mitsubishi Washi-type entrants were acceptable, the 2MB1 obtained Army approval because of its practicality and good flying control characteristics. Consequently, this was accepted as the Army Type 87 Light Bomber, Initial deliveries equipped two chutais* (nine light bombers per Chutai) at Hamamatsu.

The Mitsubishi 2MB1 Army Type 87 Light Bomber, was a large single-engined two-seat biplane with a wide-track divided landing gear. The fuselage was a wooden structure with fabric covering.

When hostilities developed in Manchuria, these Type 87 Light Bombers participated in early ground support operations, but its obsolescence was soon apparent and it was soon withdrawn for training duties. A total of 48 aircraft were built during the period 1928-29. However, production was suspended when the Kawasaki Type 88 Light Bomber and Reconnaissance Aircraft were adopted by the Army. In a remarkable long-range experimental flight, one of these Type 87 Light Bombers flew non-stop from Kagoshima on southern Kyushu, to Taihoku (Taipei) in Formosa (Taiwan) a distance of 1.418 km (881 miles) with the aid of an 800 litre (176 Imp gal) belly tank and a 110 litre (24 Imp gal) fuselage tank. These aircraft were obsolete in 1941.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Kokuki KK (Mitsubishi Aircraft Co Ltd).
Type Single-engine Light Bomber
Crew (2): Pilot and observer/gunner
Powerplant: One 450-600 hp Hispano-Suiza twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two-blade Reed-type fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Armament: two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns, one flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun in dorsal position, and one flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun in ventral position. 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb load.
Dimensions: Span 14.80 m (48 ft 6 1/2 in); length 10 m (32 ft 9 1/2 in); height 3.63 m (11 ft 11 in); wing area 60 sq m (645.855 sq ft).
Weight: Empty 1,800 kg (3,968 lb); loaded 3,300 kg (7,275 lb); wing loading 55 kg/sq m (11.265 lb/sq ft),; power loading 5.5 kg/hp (12.1 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed 185 km/hr (115 mph) at sea level; cruising speed 140 km/hr (87 mph); climb to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) in 9 mins 10 secs; service ceiling 4,275 m (14,025 ft); endurance 3 hr.
Production: A total of 48 Type 87s were built by Mitsubishi as follows: 13 -March 1926-March 1927; 10 - April 1927-March 1928 and 25 - April 1928-March 1929.

The photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941 by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Sources.

Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe
Japanes Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon
The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, by David Donald
The Complete Book of Fighters, by Wiliam Green & Gordon Swanborough

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 29 May 2003 12:41

Hi

Kawasaki-Dornier (Do N) Army Type 87 heavy Bomber

In early 1924, the Army placed an order with Kawasaki for a new all-metal monoplane heavy night bomber to replace the Type Tei 1 (Framan F.50) and Type Tei 2 (Farman F.60 Goliath) Heavy Bombers. Kawasaki asked for Dornier's assistance to design and build the prototype. Tomokichi Takezaki, Manager of the Aeroplane Department, went to Dornier and BMW in March 1924, taking with him engineer Hisashi Tojo and four other engineers. Once the licence agreements were concluded, Kawaskai then obtained the assistance of seven Dornier engineers led by Dr Richard Vogt, and was later visited by Dr Claude Dornier to co-ordinate matters between the two companies.

By Army order, the new bomber, known originally as the Do N Heavy Bomber, was regarded as a top secret project both by Kawasaki and by Dornier at its factory in Switzerland where it was designed. Two prototypes were built by Kawasaki, the first of which was completed in January 1926 and the second by the spring of the same year. Because of the delay in Kawasaki's production of BMW VI engines, the prototypes were powered by 450 hp Napier Lion engines imported from Great Britain.

The bomber looked like a land-based version of the all-metal Wal (Whale) flying-boat which Dornier had recently launched, and which was to prove such an outstanding success. Tests continued for nearly a year until the type was officially adopted by the Army in the spring of 1927 as the Army Type 87 Heavy Bomber. Production continued until 1932, with twenty-eight aircraft (including two prototypes) delivered to the Army. This was the first Japanese bomber to be able to carry a 1,016 kg (one-ton) bomb load.

The Kawasaki-Dornier Do N (Army Type 87) Heavy Bomber, was a twin-engined parasol-winged monoplane of all-metal stressed-skin construction.

In the early period of its operational service, problems became evident with its power, structural strength and stability. Despite short-comings however, it was the main equipment for the heavy bomber force and served without any significant changes being made. These were the first bombers to be part of regiment strength assigned to Hamamatsu, beginning in 1927, at which time this became the Japanese Army's main bomber base and remained so until the end of the Pacific War. These bombers initially consisted of one chutai (four aircraft) of Army Type 87 heavy Bombers and one chutai (nine aircraft) of Army Type 87 Light Bombers. A small number of these heavy bombers were based at Kagamigahara and Tachikawa. During the Manchurian Incident, one chutai of these heavy bombers participated experimentally in the campaign for a short period. Although a technical breakthrough as a large all-metal aircraft for the Army, it was excessively slow, and not greatly appreciated by its crews. These aircraft were obsolete in 1941.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuki K K (Kawasaki Aircraft Co Ltd).
Type: Twin-engine Heavy Bomber
Crew (6): Pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/nose gunner, navigator, radio operator, and engineer/rear gunner.
Powerplant: Two 450-600 hp Kawasaki-BMW VI twelve-cylinder vee water -cooled engines mounted in tandem and driving two-bladed wooden propellers.
Armament: Twin flexibly mounted 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns in nose, twin flexibly mounted 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns in dorsal position, and one flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun in rear ventral position. Bomb load: 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).
Dimensions: Span 26.80 m (87 ft 11 in); length 18 m (59 ft 0 1/2 in); height 5.85 m ( 19 ft 2 1/2 in); wing area 121 sq m (1,302.475 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 4,400-5.100 kg (9,700-11,243 lb); loaded 7,650-7,700 kg (16,865-16,975 lb); wing loading 64.1 kg /sq m (13.1 lb /sq ft); power loading 8.55 kg/hp (18.8 lb/hp).
Performance: Max speed 181 km/hr (112.5 mph) at sea level ; cruising speed 170.1 km/h (106 mph); climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 44 min; service ceiling 5,000 m (16,404 ft).
Production: A total of 28 Type 87s were built by Kawasaki Kokuki KK plus 6-9 by the Army Artillery Arsenal in Atsuta, Nagoya as follows: 2 prototypes - 1926; 32-35 production aircraft 1928-1932.

The photo was taken from "Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941", by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 03 Jun 2003 10:37

Hi

Kawasaki (KDA-2) Army Type 88 Reconnaissance Aircraft

In the spring of 1926, the Army placed orders with Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, Ishikawajima, and later with Nakajima, to compete in designing a new reconnaissance aircraft. Nakajima chose to design for long-range missions, rather than close air support, but the remaining three were to be for a replacement for the Type Otsu 1 (licence-built Salmson 2-A.2). Since this was a new venture for the three companies, each invited designers from Germany. Dr Richard Vogt was obtained for the Kawasaki project, to be assisted by Hisashi Tojo. Initially, the project went under the company designation KDA-2 Reconnaissance Aircraft, the letters standing for Kawasaki Dockyard Army-type.

The Army's specification called for a maximum speed of more than 200 km/h (124.3 mph). range of more than 1,000 km (621.4 miles), and armament consisting of one 7.7 mm (0.303 in) fixed forward-firing machine gun mounted above the fuselage in front of the cockpit and one single or twin 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns flexibly mounted on a ring mounting in the rear cockpit. Extra equipment was to be a large aerial camera and radio. Design work was begun in April 1926.

The first aircraft was completed as a company aircraft at Kawasaki's Kobe Factory in February 1927. Flight tests of the first prototype, designated A-2 showed that the Army specifications were exceeded and that the maximum speed was 240 km/h (149.2 mph). The second and third prototypes for delivery to the Army were completed in July of that year. Although heavier, with a weight increase of approximately 250 kg (551.2 lb) because of added Army equipement, flight specifications were still met. After ferrying of the two Army prototypes to Tokorozawa for testing, they were accepted as the Army Type 88 Reconnaissance Aircraft on Kigensetsu (National Foundation) day, 11 February, 1928, with Kawasaki declared the winner with the prize of 200,000 yen. Factors in this success were the excellent basic airframe design and the very powerful BMW VI engine.

The Type 88 had a 500 hp Kawasaki-BMW VI water-cooled V-12 engine, and the fuselage was of all-metal construction with stressed metal skin on the forward part of the fuselage. The remainder of the fuselage was fabric covered. The upper wing had long bracing struts linking the the outer section to the bottom of the fuselage, and a single I-type interplane strut was used on each side.

The prototypes went through a number of modifications during the test phase, some of which included successful air-to-air refuelling trials, incorporation of a Sperry autopilot, seaplane conversion, the Army's first testing of a three-bladed propeller, and special equipment for long-range flights. Leading-edge wing slats on the upper wing were tried but not retained.

After introduction of some of these refinements, later models became the Type-88-2, the earlier models becoming Type 88-1. The later model had a more streamlined nose, with a faired radiator below the nose rather than a flat frontal radiator. It had a propeller spinner and a taller and tapered fin and rudder. Ailerons were added to the lower wing as well, and connected with an external push rod. Other changes during production were mainly in the propeller and radiator.

Two specially modified Type 88-1 aircraft having a total fuel capacity of 1,600 litres ( 352 Imp gal) made a remarkable flight from Tachiarai, Kyushu to Pingtung, Formosa (Taiwan), on 21 October, 1929, covering the 1,207 km (750 m) overwater flight in just over 8 hrs. This not only dem onstrated the tactical capability of these aircraft, but confirmed the reliability of the Kawasaki-BMW VI engine.

As the successor to the Type Otsu-1, many TYpe 88s were used in first-line service from 1929 to 1940 for reconnaissance and as a multi-purpose aircraft. During their operational careers with the Japanese Army Air Force they saw action against the Chinese in Manchuria, as well as participating in the both the Shanghai and Tsinan Incidents, and in the early stages of the Sino-Japanese Conflict.

The Type 88 Reconnaissance Aircraft was the first aircraft of all-metal construction in Japan, and the large number produced confirmed Kawasaki's position as an Army aircraft manufacturer until the end of the Pacific War. These aircraft were obsolete in 1941.

Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuki KK (Kawasaki Aircraft Co Ltd)
Type: Single-engine Reconnaissance biplane.
Crew (2): Pilot & observer/gunner
Powerplant: One 450-600hp Kawasaki-BMW VI twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two bladed wooden propeller.
Armament: One fixed 7.7 mm (0.303 in) forward-firing machine-gun, one manually-operated twin 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns in rear cockpit.
Dimensions: Span 15 m (49 ft 2 3/4 in); length 12.8 m (42 ft); height 3.40 m (11 ft 2 in); wing area 48 sq m (516.684 sq ft).
Weights: Empty: Type 88-1 1,750 kg (3,858 lb), Type 88-2 1,800 kg (3,968 lb); loaded: Type 88-1 2,800 kg (6,172 lb), Type 88-2 2,850 kg (6,283 lb); Wing loading Type 88-1 58.5 kg/sq m (11.9 lb sq ft), Type 88-2 58.6 kg/sq m (12 lb /sq ft); power loading Type 88-1 6.22 kg/hp (13.7 lb/hp, Type 88-2 6.33 kg/hp (13.9 lb/hp).
Performance: Max speed Type 88-1 201.168 km/h (125 mph), Type 88-2 220.5 km/h (137 mph); climb to Type 88-2 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 16 mins; service ceiling Type 88-1 6.500 m (21,325 ft), Type 88-2 6,200 m (20,341 ft); endurance Type 88-2 6 hrs.
Production: A total of 710 Type 88s were built by Kawasaki Kokuki KK and Tachikawa as follows: 4 prototypes February-July 1927; 520 Type 88-1 and 88-2 production aircraft February 1928-December 1931; and 187 Type 88-2 production aircraft by Tachikawa February 1928-December 1931.

The photos were taken from "Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941", by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 04 Jun 2003 11:37

Hi

Kawasaki (KDA-2) Army Type 88 Light Bomber

By the late 1920s, only a small number of Mitsubishi Type 87 light bombers were in use, the Army still focusing most of its attention on reconnaissance aircraft. However, the need for a light bomber was evident, as these wood and fabric bombers had reached their limit of development. It was expected that they would be replaced by the all-metal sesquiplane light bomber built by the Army's Department of Supply at Tokorozawa but these did not perform as expected. Thus, the Army planned to use the newly-adopted Type 88-2 Reconnaissance Aircraft as an interim light bomber. Equipped with bomb racks beneath the fuselage and the strengthened lower wing, and with a bombsight, this aircraft served very well in its new role and was adopted by the Army as the Type 88 Light Bomber.

The Type 88 light bomber was a single-engined biplane of all-metal construction with stressed metal skin on the forward fuselage. The rest of the fuselage being fabric covered.

In addition to production by Kawasaki, Tachikawa produced thirty-seven. The external differences in appearance between the Type 88 Reconnaissance and Light Bomber aircraft were the two additional centre-section struts which formed a W when viewed from the front. The underwing bomb racks were removable and therefore could not be sued to identify the model.

These light bombers served the Army well from 1930 to around 1938. Along with the Type 88 Reconnaissance Aircraft, they were very active in tactical bombing/reconnaissance liaison roles in the Chinan, Manchurian and Shanghia Incidents, as well as in the early stage of the Sino-Japanese Conflict. A few Type 88s were fitted with weather-observation equipment as well as chemical spray equipment. Recognised as being very slow, they were still regarded as excellent operational aircraft, retaining this reputation even while being augmented by the newer Kawasaki Ki-3 Single-engined Light Bomber (Type 93). These aircraft were obsolete in 1941.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuki KK (Kawasaki Aircraft Co Ltd
Type: Single-engine Light bomber.
Crew (2): Pilot and observer/gunner & bombardier
Powerplant: 450-600 hp Kawasaki-BMW VI twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two-blade wooden propeller.
Armament: One fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun, twin fleible mounted 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns in rear cockpit. Bomb load 200 kg (440 lb) underwing.
Dimensions: Same as Type 88-2.
Weights: Empty 1,850 kg (4,078 lb); loaded 3,100 kg (6,834 lb); wing loading 64.5 kg/sq m (13.2 lb/sq ft); power loading 6.99 kg/hp (15.1 lb/hp).
Performance: 212.5 km/h (132 mph) at sea level; climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 18 min; service ceiling 5,500 m (18,044 ft); endurance 6 hr.
Production: A total of 370 built by Kawasaki June 1929-December 1933; and 37 by Tachikawa.

The photo was taken from "Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941", by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Marcus » 04 Jun 2003 11:59

Interesting, thanks.

/Marcus

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Post by Robert Hurst » 05 Jun 2003 11:29

Hi

Nakajima (NC) Army Type 91 Fighter

To replace the Type Ko 4 (licence-built Nieuport-Delage 29C-1) Fighter, in 1927 the Army asked Nakajima, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi, to submit design proposals for a new fighter. This was became the Army's first open competition for a Japanese-designed fighter.

Nakajima appointed Shigejiro Owada and Yashushi Koyama as chief designers for this project, under the supervision of two engineers seconded from the French Dewoitine concern (Andre Marie and Maxime Robin). While Mitsubishi and Kawasaki followed the more conservative German design trends and used water-cooled engines, Nakajima departed from this tradition and drew from the design of the more graceful French Nieuport-Delage fighter by using a parasol-wing and an air-cooled engine.

The first prototype was completed in May 1928, followed by the second prototype a month later. Its smooth contoured lines gave the impression of nimble performance. Featuring an all-metal monocoque fuselage and fabric-covered metal wings, the NC was powered by a 450 hp Nakajima-built Jupiter VI nine-cylinder air-cooled radial and carried an armament of two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns.

All three companies' entries were ambitious designs when compared to world standards; but when the Mitsubishi Hayabusa-type Fighter disintegrated at Tokorozawa in a test dive, the evaluation of all the competitors was ended, and the remaining aircraft were used for static structural tests. All these aircraft were found to have insufficient strength to meet the rigours of fighter aircraft, and eventually led to rejection.

Although, the contest was, in the event cancelled, the Army was not ready to dismiss these fighter designs entirely. Nakajima was asked to refine its design in order to explore the advantages of the parasol-wing layout. With structural modifications, Nakajima built five additional prototypes between 1929-1931. These parasol-wing fighters were found to have stability problems because the centre of gravity was too far aft. After modifications the prototypes resumed flight testing. The final two prototypes were, in fact, of an essentially new design, retaining no more than the rear fuselage of the preceding prototypes. These were to serve as the basis for the series production Type 91 fighters.

Retaining the company NC designation, the sixth prototype was of a fundamentally different design and was powered by a supercharged Nakajima-built Bristol Jupiter VII radial. New wings of smaller area incorporated an internal (jettisonable) fuel tank to port, replacing the padded tank of preceding prototypes; the engine was enclosed by a Townend ring: the diameter of the forward fuselage was increased; both fore and aft main bracing struts were were attached to the fuselage and the tail surfaces were redesigned. In addition, the cross-axle undercarriage gave place to one of split axle type and the guns were repositioned. After the two prototypes and five pre-production aircraft, it was put into production at the outbreak of the Manchurian Incident, and declared the Army's standard fighter, replacing the Ko.4. By the autumn of 1931, the aircraft was accepted by the Army as the Type 91 Fighter, and was made known officially to the Japanese public in February 1932. A total of 320 Army Type 91 (later Type 91-1) fighters were built by the parent company during 1931-34 (and 100 more by Ishikawajima).

Pilots assigned to operational units liked these fighters, especially their ease of handling in the air. With the outbreak of the Shanghai Incident, production was accelerated and the Type 91 fighters were hurried to the front, but in this early stage of operations, an aircraft disintegrated near Shanghai raising the question once again about structural integrity. However, it was found that unless the aicraft was flown about in violent manoeuvres, it was found to be safe, and few later accidents were attributed to structural failure.

There were two distinguishable models of this fighter. These were the Army Type 91-1 and 91-2. The Army Type 91-1 Fighter was powered by the 520 hp Nakajima-built Jupiter VII air-cooled radial engine which proving to be much more trouble-free than the water-cooled engines of its competitors.

The Army Type 91-2 Fighter resulted from the replacment of the 520 hp Nakajima-built Jupiter VII with the more powerful and more reliable 580 hp Nakajima Kotobuki 2. This engine change altered the shape of the nose significantly with the replacement of the individual cylinder head fairings by a Townend ring cowling. The first prototype of this series was completed in July 1934, this being followed by 22 series production aircraft, production terminating in September 1934. One experimental example was fitted with a Kotobuki 5 engine.

This aircraft was regarded as one of the more successful Japanes-designed fighters up to that time and had a relatively long service life. Being ultimately replaced by the Kawasaki Ki-10, Army Type 95 Fighter, code-named Perry by the Allies. These aircraft were obsolete in 1941.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki KK (Nakajima Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engined parasol-wing monoplane fighter.
Crew (1): Pilot in open cockpit.
Powerplant: [Type 91-1] One 450-520 hp Nakajima-built Jupiter VII nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a two-blade wooden propeller; [Type 91-2] One 460-580 hp Nakajima Kotobuki 2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a two-bladed controllable-pitch metal propeller.
Armament: Two fixed-forward firing 7.7 mm machine-guns mounted in the upper decking of the engine cowling.
Dimension: Span [Type 91-1] 11 m (36 ft 1 in); [Type 91-2] same as Type 91-1; length [Type 91-1] 7.27 m (23 ft 2 in); [Type 91-2] 7.30 m (23 ft 11 1/4 in); height [Type 91-1] 2.79 m (9 ft 2 in); [Type 91-2] 3 m (9 ft 10 in); wing area [Type 91-1] 20 sq m (215.285 sq ft); [Type 91-2] same as Type 91-1.
Weight: Empty [Type 91-1] 1,075 kg (2,370 lb); loaded [Type 91-1] 1,530 kg (3,373 lb); [Type 91-2] 1,500 kg (3,307 lb); wing loading [Type 91-1] 76.5 kg/sq m (15.6 lb/sq ft); [Type 91-2] 75 kg/sq m (15.3 lb/sq ft); power loading [Type 91-1] 3.4 kg/hp (7.5 lb/hp); [Type 91-2] 3.26 kg/hp (7.1 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed [Type 91-1] 301 km/h (187 mph); [Type 91-2] same as Type 91-1; Climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 4 mins; service ceiling 9,000 m (29, 527 ft); endurance 2 hr.
Production: A total of 450 Type 91s built by Nakajima as follows: 2 Nakajima NC prototypes - May-June 1928; 5 pre-production aircraft - 1929-1931; 320 Type 91-1 production aircraft - 1931-March 1934; 1 experimental aircraft April 1933; 22 Type 91-2 - July-September 1934. Plus 100 * Type 91-1 built by Ishikawajima September 1932 to March 1934.

* US Strategic Bombng Survey states 115 aircraft.

The photos were taken from the following sources. Top: The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, by David Donald. Middle: Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe. Bottom: The Complete Book of Fighters, by William Green & Gordon Swanborough.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 06 Jun 2003 15:29

Hi

Mitsubishi (2MR8) Army Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft

In 1930, Mitsubishi submitted two proposals to meet the Army's requirement for a short-range reconnaissance aircraft. These were the 2MR7 biplane design, and a high-wing parasol monoplane. Only the latter achieved Army acceptance. For this project, Mitsubishi used the services of French engineer and technical advisor Henri Vernisse as design leader, assisted by Mitsubishi engineers Fumihiko Kawano, Minojiro Takahashi and Masakichi Mizuno. For its time the configuration chosen was of advanced design, and its performance confirmed this. Unlike the Kawasaki Type 88 Reconnaissance Aircraft which was a large and heavy biplane for long-range duties, the 2MR8 had a comparatively short range, light weight and was manoeuvrable. This was the Army's first light reconnaissance aircraft and it introduced the class of 'direct co-operation reconnaissance aircraft'.

The first prototype was powered by a 320 hp Mitsubishi A-2 engine but more powerful engines were used as development continued. Its wing had a modified Clark Y aerofoil and the original area of 32 sq m (344.45 sq ft) was eventually reduced to 26 sq m (279.87 sq ft).

The first prototype made its first flight on 28 March, 1931, at the Kagamigahara Airfield piloted by Mitsubishi pilot, Sumitoshi Nakao. The second prototype, which was also flown was subject to severe structural testing as was the first prototype, the results of which led to the reduction in wing area and a shorter fuselage on the third prototype. This version also had the improved 345 hp Mitsubishi A-2 kai 3 engine. Total weight was reduced by more 100 kg (220 lb). In this configuration it became the first prototype to have the appearance of what was developing into the Type 92 Reconnaisance Aircraft. Although handling qualities met Army expectations, its maximum speed was only 194 km/h (120.6 mph) whereas 215 km/h (133.6 mph) had been specified. To improve upon this, the fourth prototype was powered by the experimental Mitsubishi A-5 engine which was completed in June 1931. It produced 475 hp and later became the 475 hp Army Type 92 Engine. With this engine, the fourth prototype attained a speed of 220 km/h (137 mph) at 1,000 m (3,281) during tests and the Army's acceptance as the Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft.

The Type 92 was a single-engined parasol-wing monoplane. The fuselage was of metal construction throughout, mainly fabric-covered but with a metal-covered forward fuselage. It was also fitted with a fixed wide-track divided-type undercarriage. The Type 92 was normally armed with a fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun mounted above the wing centre-section, with single or twin guns of the same calibre on a ring mounting over the observer's cockpit.

In 1934, one of these aircraft was tested as a 'High Performance Reconnaissance Aircraft' powered by a 760 hp Mitsubishi A-4 engine, but the project was unsuccessful because of problems with the new engine. Other tests were made, including the use of a larger diameter wooden propeller driven by a 400 hp Type 92 (A-5) Engine with reduction gear. An undercarriage with a caterpiller-type tread was also tried.

Nothing further was gained through these tests, and although the Army was disappointed with with overall performance, production models of the Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft were used from 1932 as the Army's standard short-range reconnaissance aircraft, mainly for close support of ground troops. The Type 92 saw active service with air battalions (later air wings) of the army's Kanto Command Air Corps between 1933 and 1936, mainly in Manchuria and northern China. Many were donated to the Army as Aikoku-go (patriotic gifts) purchased with donated funds from private and commercial groups as part of the re-armament programme. These aircraft became the first military aircraft to be powered by an engine designed and manufactured in Japan.

A civil version of the Type 92 was used as a survey aircraft by Japanese National Railways. Powered by a 400 hp Mitsubishi A-5 engine, it was registered J-AARA and differed externally from the military aircraft in having a glazed canopy over the crew cockpits and spat-type main wheel fairings. These aircraft were obsolete in 1941.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Kokuki KK (Mitsubishi Aircraft Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engine Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Crew (2): Pilot and observer/gunner in open cockpits.
Powerplant: One 400-475 hp Mitsubishi Type 92 (A-5) nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a two-bladed Red-type fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Armament: One or two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns and single or twin 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns in rear cockpit.
Dimensions: Span 12.75 m (41 ft 10 in); length 8.51 m (27 ft 11 1/4 in); height 3.48 m (11 ft 5 in); wing area 26 sq m (279.87 sq ft).
Weight: Empty 1,060 kg (2,336 lb); loaded 1,770 kg (3,902 lb); wing loading 68.1 kg/sq m (13.948 lb/sq ft); power loading 4.2 kg/hp (9.2 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed 220 km/h (137 mph); climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 10 min 30 sec; service ceiling 5,700 m (18,700 ft); endurance 4 to 5 hr.
Production: A total of 130 Type 92s were built by Mitsubishi as follows: 4 prototypes and 126 production aircraft from April 1930 - March 1934, plus 100 built by Army Arsenal.

Photo sources are as follows: Top & centre: Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941. Bottom: The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 09 Jun 2003 11:01

Hi

Kawasaki (KDA-5) Army Type 92 Fighter

In June 1929, Kawasaki initiated development of a new single-seat fighter as a company-funded programme. The design for this fighter was completed in April 1930 by Dr Richard Vogt, assisted by Takeo Doi, and was given the designation KDA-5. The new fighter embodied the latest western structural techniques and was an equi-span biplane with fabric-covered metal wings, a metal-skinned metal fuselage and a 500 hp BMW VI engine.

Numerous structural tests were made to ensure that this light-weight fighter would have sufficient strength. Unique structural features introduced by Dr Vogt were Kawasaki's use of the M-12 aerofoil for the first time, a simplified interplane strut configuration and a different type of metal and fabric skin combination. In appearance, there was a marked difference between this apparently rugged fighter biplane and the previous year's competition winner, the Nakajima Army Type 91 Fighter with parasol-wing and clean lines.

The first of three prototypes was tested by Kawasaki's chief test pilot Kambei Tanaka at kagamigahara beginning in July 1930. During the tests, the aircraft attained a speed of 321.9 km/h (200 mph). On 4 November, the aircraft attained an altitude of 10,000 m (32,810 ft) under test, both figures representing new records in Japan. However, during one of the test flights, the aircraft caught fire and Tanaka had to bail out.

The second and third prototypes were completed in January and March, with modifications found necessary from the first aircraft. In the quest for greater speeds, the second prototype recorded 334.8 km/h (208 mph) on 22 January 1931. The Army concentrated on testing the third prototype between April and June 1931, discovering in the process that the front interplane strut would bend during a high-speed dive and this had to be corrected. Extensive testing was curtailed by with the outbreak of the conflict in Manchuria, and the Army decided to accept the KDA-5 as the Army Type 92 Fighter, series production was ordered in January 1932, with immediate effect.

Two more prototypes were already underway, each differing in engine, radiator type and contour, control surfaces and undercarriage details. These being tested until the definitive production arrangement was reached. With the designation Type 92-1, a total of 180 fighters was completed between January and December 1932.

Beginning in January 1933, production switched to the Type 92-2, of which 200 were built. The Type 92-2 had the new Kawasaki-built BMW VII delivering 600 hp. This engine differed in detail to the German-built BMW VII, but dimensions and weight were nearly the same. Both the -1 and -2 models carried an armament of two synchronised fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm machine-guns.

Although the Type 92 proved to have superior climb and speed, making it a better interceptor than the Nakajima Type 91, Army pilots disliked its unstable take-off and landing characteristics. It proved difficult to maintain, particularly in northern bases during cold weather. The Type 92 was deployed primarily in the interceptor role in Manchuria and northern China from 1932 to 1935, making them even more unpopular with crews.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuki KK (Kawasaki Aircraft Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engine fighter biplane.
Crew (1): Pilot in open cockpit.
Powerplant: (KDA-5 & Type 92-1) One 500 hp Kawasaki-BMW VI twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller; (Type 92-2) One 600-750 hp Kawasaki-BMW VII twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Armament: Two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) fuselage mounted machine-guns.
Dimensions: Span 9.55 m (31 ft 4 in); length (KDA-5) 7.20 m (23 ft 7 1/2 in); (Type 92) 7.05 m (23 ft 1 1/2 in); height 3.10 m (10 ft 2 in); wing area 24 sq m (258.342 sq ft).
Weights: Empty (KDA-5) 1,220 kg (2,689 lb); (Type 92) 1,280 kg (2,822 lb); loaded (KDA-5) 1,640 kg (3,615 lb); (Type 92) 1,700 kg (3,747 lb); wing loading (KDA-5) 68.3 kg/sq m (13.9 lb/sq ft); (Type 92) 70.8 kg/sq m (14.5 lb/sq ft); power loading (KDA-5) 3.28 kg/hp (7.2 lb/hp); (Type 92) 3.4 kg/hp (7.5 lb/hp).
Performance: Max speed 321.9 km/h (200 mph); climb to 5,000 m (16,404 ft) 8 min 10 sec; service ceiling 9,500 m (31,168 ft).
Production: A total of 385 Type 92s were built by Kawasaki as follows: 5 prototypes 1930-1931, 180 Type 92-1 production aircraft January - December 1932 and 200 Type 92-2 production aircraft 1933.

Top photo was taken from The Complete Book of Fighters by William Green & Gordon Swanborough. The bottom photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 10 Jun 2003 14:15

Hi

Mitsubishi Ki-1 - Pt 1

In April 1932 the Army issued a specification exclusively to Mitsubishi for the design of a new heavy bomber to replace the ageing Kawasaki (Do N) Army Type 87 heavy Bomber. The new aircraft, later to be designated Ki-1 Type 93 Heavy Bomber, was to be a twin-engined monoplane with 800 hp engines, and able to have single-engined flight capability. Bomb load was to be 1,000 kg or 1,500 kg (2,205 lb or 3,307 lb) with reduced fuel load, and gross weight to be less than 7,500 kg (16,535 lb). Operational altitude was to be between 2,000 and 4,000 m (6,561.7ft and 13,123.4 ft)with a maximum speed in level flight of more than 240 km/h (149.2 mph) at 3,000 m (9,842.6 ft). Armament was to consist of three 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns, flexibly mounted, and each with 1,000 rounds. Two prototypes were to be built, with completion by the end of March 1931.

After considering these factors, Mitsubishi engineers and advisors felt that the requirements could be met by designing an enlarged version of the Junkers K 37, an example of this aircraft having been imported into Japan in February 1931. This aircraft was donated to the Army by patriots as Aikoku (Patriotic gift) No.1. It was pressed into Army service, and flown in combat in Manchuria where it showed a remarkable performance. The new aircraft would provide close proximity for the crew so that they could be in visual and voice contact. For further convenience, a Gosport tube could be used between the bombardier and pilot. A special feature for this design would be the dispersal of fuel tanks throughout the airframe so that no one enemy bullet would effect the entire fuel system. Also to be incorporated was simplicity of disassembly so that the aircraft could be easily transported by trail. To facilitate this Junkers-type ball joint connectors were to be fitted.

Mitsubishi assigned Nobushiro Nakata as chief designer for this project. Assisting him were Kiro Honjo, Hisanojo Ozawa and Jiro Tanaka. Capt. Komamura was the Army representitive assigned to Mitsubishi to oversee the design, manufacture, delivery and acceptance of the new bomber.

The mock-up was evaluated in August 1932 and the first prototype was completed in record time by the following March. But all was not as planned, however, for the aircraft had to be powered by two imported 800 hp Rolls-Royce Buzzard engines because the intended 700 hp Mitsubishi Type 93 water-cooled engine was delayed in its development. Even with this added horsepower, flight tests with the first two prototypes showed that the maximum speed fell short of the intended mark by 20 km/h (12.5 mph). However, the Army decided to adopt the aircraft as the Type 93 (later Type 93-1) Heavy Bomber (Ki-1-1) and production began immediately. These replacing the Type 87 Heavy Bomber in the operational units.

The two photos were taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 11 Jun 2003 15:42

Hi

Mitsubishi Ki-1 - Pt 2

The Ki-1 was a twin-engined low-wing cantilever monoplane with a fixed non-retractable landing gear, a twin fin and rudder tail assembly, and was powered by two 750 hp Mitsubishi Type 93-2 radial engines giving a maximum speed of 220 km/h (137 mph), these were changed to two 970 hp Mitsubishi Type 93-2 (Ha 2-3) engines in the Ki-1-11. The fuselage was a typical Junkers all-metal structure covered with corrugated stressed skin. Pilot and co-pilot were seated in tandem under an enclosed canopy, while there were semi-enclosed nose and dorsal turrets and a retractable ventral 'dustbin', each armed with a single 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun; offensive load was up to 1,500 kg (3.307 lb of bombs.

However, problems with the engines continued, the most severe being that the aircraft would not maintain level flight with one engine out. Control was very difficult to maintain under these conditions. In the hope of rectifying the problems, the 71st aircraft was assigned for extensive modification which resulted in later aircraft being designated Type 93-2 Heavy Bomber (Ki-1-II). Major changes included placing the engines lower on the wing and as a result the undercarriage had to be extended and streamlined with a trouser-type fairing. The cockpit canopy was extended to include the rear gunner's position. The corrugated panels on the outer wings were replaced with smooth skin, the fuselage was cleaned-up, and a landing light was installed in a fairing which added streamlining for the externally-mounted bombs.

These modifications improved the aircraft to some extent; however, it retained its reputation of being heavy and slow and was not well liked by its crews, operating in Manchuria and northern China. They preferred the Mitsubishi Type 93 Twin-engine Light Bomber, even though that aircraft had shortcomings of its own.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Kokuki KK (Mitsubishi Aiorcraft Co Ltd.
Type: Twin-engine Heavy Bomber.
Crew (4): Pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/gunner & dorsal gunner.
Powerplant: Two 750-940 hp Mitsubishi Type 93-2 (Ha 2-2) twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engines, driving two-bladed wooden propellers.
Armament: three flexibly-mounted 7.7 mm machine-guns in open nose, dorsal & ventral positions. Bomb load: 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) normal, 1,500 kg (3,307 lb) maximum.
Dimensions: Span 26.50 m (86 ft 11 1/2 in); length 14.80 m (46 ft 6 1/2 in); height 4.923 m (16 ft 2 in); wing area 90.74 sq m (976.725 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 4,880 kg (10,758 lb); loaded 8,100 kg (17,857 lb); wing loading 89.2 kg/sq m (18.2 lb/sq ft); power loading 4.35 kg/hp (9.5 lb/hp).
Performance: Max speed 220.5 km/h (137 mph); climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 14 min; service ceiling 5,000 m (16,404 ft).
Production: A total of 118 Ki-1s were built by Mitsubishi as follows: 2 prototypes - March 1933, 17 production aircraft - March 1933-March 1934, 37 production aircraft - April 1934-March 1935, 37 production aircraft - April 1935-March 1936, and 27 production aircraft from April 1936.

Please note after the 71st aircraft the designation was changed to Ki-1-11.

The top photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon. The bottom photo was taken from The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, by David Donald.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 13 Jun 2003 10:55

Hi

Mitsubishi Ki-2 - Pt 1

In February 1931, a Swedish-built Junkers K 37 aircraft had been purchased by private funds and donated to the Army in early 1932 as Aikuko (patriotic gift) No.1, this being the first of many such privately donated Aikuko machines. This machine subsequently seeing combat service in Manchuria.

In close association with the Army Type 93 Heavy Bomber, the Army was interested in devloping a twin-engined light bomber that was also based upon the qualities observed in the imported Swedish-built Junkers K 37. During the K 37's participation in combat in Manchuria in support of ground troops, its performance proved superior to that of the Mitsubishi Type 87 and the Kawasaki Type 88 Light Bombers. To replace these older aircraft, in September 1932 the Army asked Mitsubishi to redesign the K 37 to meet specific requirements for a new three-seat bomber that would become the Ki-2 in the new Kitai numbering system.

The design team remained that of the Ki-1 project, Nobushiro Nakata as chief designer, assisted by Kiro Honjo, HIsanojo Ozawa, and Jiro Tanaka. Capt. Komabayishi continued his liaison role for the Army. This new light bomber was to have a crew of three or four and be very manoeuvrable, especially in making tight turns. With one engine inoperative, it was to be able to maintain straight and level flight. Ease of handling in night landings and take-offs as well as daylight operations would be a strong consideration. Maximum speed should be 260 km/h (161 mph) at 3,000 m (9,842 ft). Fuel capacity should allow for a 4 1/2 hr flight at 240 km/h (149 mph) at 3,000 m (9,842 ft) with a 300 to 500 kg (661 to 1,102 lb) bomb load, or 6 hr at the same speed without a bomb load. Normal operating altitude would be from 2,000 m to 3,000 m (6,561 ft to 9,842 ft), with a service ceiling of 7,000 (22,965 ft). The engines were to be 450 hp Nakajima-built Jupiters. Two prototypes of the new bomber were asked for , the first to be completed by July 1933.

After reviewing the specifications, Mitsubishi responded with its proposals to meet them. The K 37 fuselage would be completely redesigned, leaving the wing basically the same except for a redesign of the ailerons. If the Mitsubishi A-4 engine would be acceptable, a speed of 270 km/h (167.8 mph) could be expected. In any case, the engines would have the newly developed Townend ring cowlings. Armament would include a fully-enclosed nose turret and a better downward firing angle for the lower gun position. The bungee-cord shock absorbers on the undercarriage would be replaced with newly introduced oleo shock struts.

The Army reviewed this proposal, and in November 1932 Mitsubishi received a commitment from the Army for the new aircraft with the following exceptions to the Mitsubishi proposal. The so-called nose ball turret was not approved, instead it was to be an open position with some wind protection, and a wider angle of fire for the upper gun position was necessary. The open cockpit for the pilot should have a means whereby a covering could be attached, and the engines should be equipped with shutter-covers for cold weather operations. The proposal for a retractable undercarriage was considered but would be deferred to a later time.

Both photos were taken from Japanes Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 13 Jun 2003 14:35

Hi

Mitsubishi Ki-2 - Pt 2

The design was changed accordingly. A mock-up was built, and the first prototype was completed in May 1933, two months ahead of schedule. The aircraft when tested at Kagamigahara achieved 255 km/h (158.5 mph) at 3,000 m (9,842.6 ft), a mere 5 km/h (3.2 mph) short of the specification. It received good marks in handling qualities. However, during the tests when making a landing, the aircraft stalled, breaking the fuselage aft of the wing and killing the the crew. Modifications to the fuselage altered the taper and gave it greater strength. The aircraft then entered production as the Army Type 93-1 Twin-engine Light Bomber (Ki-2-I), and 113 were built before production ended in 1936, and the type went into service against the Chinese with great success.

The Mitsubishi Ki-2-I was a three-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane, powered by two 450 hp Nakajima-built Jupiter radials. The fuselage was of a typical Junkers type all-metal structure with corrugated metal alloy skinning, with a twin fin and rudder tail assembly. The undercarriage was of the fixed divided type, with spat-type main wheel fairings, these were often discarded on service aircraft. Maximum speed was 255.6 km/h (159 mph), normal range 900 km (559 miles) and maximum take-off weight 4,550 kg (10,031 lb). Single 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns were mounted in a semi-enclosed nose cockpit and a dorsal position, and maximum bomb load was 500 kg (1,102 lb).

A revised version designated the Type 93-2 (Ki-2-II) began coming off the production line in 1936, replacing the earlier model. These had the superior 550 hp Type 94 (Ha-8) radial engines, these giving much improved overall performance with maximum speed increased to 283 km/h (176 mph). The undercarriage was now made retractable, folding forward into the engine nacelles. The pilot's cockpit was fitted with a rearward sliding canopy, and some had a ball-turret-like cover over the nose gunner's position for aircraft assigned to cold weather areas. Some of the corrugated panels on the wing were replaced with smooth skin, and a landing light was fitted in a fairing under the fuselage. Twenty 15 kg (33 lb) bombs could be carried internally installed vertically in the bomb bay. With these modifications, the maximum speed of the aircraft was increased by about 30 km/h (18.7 mph). A total of 61 Ki-2-IIs were built.

During the Sino-Japanese conflict, the bomber was used mainly in northern China and Manchurian Campaigns. Performance of this new type was considered far superior to that of the Ki-1 and Ki-3. In time, many were relegated to the training role and remained in service for a long time. This became the last Japanese aircraft to have corrugated metal skinning.

A civilianised version of the Ki-2-II named Otori (Phoenix) was bought by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and made a number of long-range record-breaking and 'goodwill' flights from 1936 to 1939. Registered J-BAAE, it covered the 4,930 km (3,063 miles) from Tachikawa militarty air base to Bangkok in 21 hours 36 minutes flying-time in December 1936, and in early 1939 achieved a round-China flight of some 9,300 km (5,780 miles).

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Kokuki KK (Mitsubishi Aircraft Co Ltd).
Type Twin-engine Light Bomber.
Crew (3): Pilot, bombardier/nose gunner, and dorsal gunner.
Powerplant: (ki-2-I) Two 450-570 hp Nakajima-built Jupiter nine-cylinder Air-cooled radial engines, driving two-bladed wooden propellers; (Ki-2-II) Two 500-750 hp Nakajima Type 94 (Ha-8) Kotobuki nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, driving two-bladed fixed-pitch metal propellers.
Armament: One flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun in open nose position and one flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun in open dorsal position. Bomb load: 300 kg (661 lb) normal, 500 kg (1,102 lb) maximum.
Dimensions: Span 19.962 m (65 ft 6 in); length (Ki-2-I) 12.60 m (41 ft 4 in); (Ki-2-II) 12.70 m (41 ft 8 in); height 4.635 m (15 ft 2 1/2 in); wing area 56.20 sq m (604.951 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 2,800 kg (6,172 lb); loaded (Ki-2-I) 4,550 kg (10,031 lb); (Ki-2-II) 4,700 kg (10,361 lb); maximum 4,645 kg (10,240 lb); wing loading (Ki-2-I) 80.9 kg/sq m (16.5 lb/sq ft); (Ki-2-II) 83.6 kg/sq m (17.1 lb/sq ft); power loading (Ki-2-I) 3.99 kg/hp (8.8 lb/hp); (Ki-2-II) 3.13 kg/hp (6.9 lb/hp).
Performance: (Ki-2-1) Maximum speed 255 km/h (158 mph); (Ki-2-II) 283 km/h (175 mph); climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) 10 min; service ceiling 7,000 m (22,965 ft); range 1,667.3 km (1,036 miles).
Production: A total of 174 Ki-2s were built by Mitsubishi as follows: 113 Ki-2-1 production aircraft - May 1933-1936, 61 Ki-2-II production aircraft - April 1937-1938. Kawasaki built an additional 13 Ki-2-1 production aircraft - November 1934-August 1935.

The top photo was taken from The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, by David Donald. The bottom photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon.

Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 14 Jun 2003 10:29

Hi

Kawasaki Ki-3

Under the new ruling by which the Army all but eliminated competition in designs between aircraft manufacturers, Kawasaki was awarded a contract to developa single-engine light bomber in September 1932. This was to have good performance. This was to have good manoeurability as a tactical bomber in support of ground troops.

Dr Richard Vogt and Takao Doi began design work immediately, using their experience gained with the experimental KDA-6 reconnaissance aircraft.

The first prototype was completed in April 1933. This aircraft was powered had a BMW VI in-line engine with nose radiator and annular cowling. Later, this aircraft was fitted with the new supercharged 880 hp BMW IX (Ha-2) which was later put into licenced production by Kawasaki (joined later by Mitsubishi) in September 1933. An elliptical radiator with controllable shutters was positioned forward of the engine, but this funtioned poorly and was soon moved to the more conventional position below the engine.

Two additional prototypes were built, and after evaluation the Army adopted this design as the Type 93 Single-engine Light Bomber (Ki-3) in August 1933. Production began in January 1934 and entered Army service shortly afterwards. However, production was terminated in March 1935 because the aircraft lacked operational suitability due to continued supercharger problems. These engine problems were never solved.

The all-metal light alloy structured, fabric-covered Ki-3 had impressive lines, with a pointed spinner for its two-bladed propeller, vcarefully contoured single I-type wing struts, and spatted main undercarriage wheel. It was also fitted with a tail wheel instead of the normal tail skid arrangement of its contemporaries. The Ki-3 carried up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) of bombs on ten underwing racks. Defensive armament comprised one synchronised fixed forward-firng 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun in the cowling and another on a scarff-type mounting over the observer's cockpit.


Ki-3s were assigned mainly to operational units in mid- and northern China and Manchuria, beginning in 1935 as replacements for the Kawasaki Type 88 Light Bomber. The Ki-3s were serving with the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th Army Hiko-Datai (air battalions) when hostilities between Japan and China were renewed in 1937. The new bombers were heavily engaged in various tactical roles in support of ground troops, these roles included tactical bombing and reconnaissance missions until replaced by monoplanes in 1939, they were subsequently used for dropping supplies to isolated troop positions.

A number were still in service at the time of the heavy air fighting between the Soviet Union and Japan at Nomonhan in the summer of 1939 but they were used only in supporting roles.

The photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuki KK (Kawasaki Aircraft Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engine Light Bomber.
Crew (2): Pilot and observer/gunner.
Powerplant: One 755-800 HP Kawasaki-built BMW IX twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Armament: One fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun, One single or twin flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun(s) in dorsal cockpit. Bomb load 500 kg (1,102 lb).
Dimensions: Span 13 m (42 ft 8 in); length 10 m (32 ft 9 1/2 in); height 3 m (9 ft 10 in); wing area 38 sq m (409.041 sq ft).
Weights: empty 1,650 kg (3,637 lb); loaded 3,100 kg (6,834 lb); wing loading 81.6 kg/ sq m (16.7 lb/sq ft); power loading 4.1 kg/hp (9 lb/hp).
Performance: 260.8 km/h (162 mph); climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 12 min; service ceiling 7,000 m (22,965 ft).
Production: A total of 203 Ki-3s were built by Kawasaki as follows: 3 prototypes - April 1933, 200 Ki-3 production aircraft - January 1934-March 1935, plus Tachikawa built 40 Ki-3s under licence.

The photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.
Regards

Bob
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Post by Robert Hurst » 17 Jun 2003 14:32

Hi

Nakajima Ki-4

To replace the Standard Mitsubishi Army Type 92 Reconnaissance Aircraft, in 1933 the Army contracted with Nakajima for a light-weight scout aircraft that would have manoeuvrability equal to that of a fighter in order to effectively fulfil the air-to-ground support role. To ensure that the design met its needs, the Army, for the first time, participated in the development with a civil aircraft company. Taking part in the planning and supervision of the project was Nario Ando, an Army engineer, with Nakajima's Shigejiro Ohwada as the chief designer. The original plans for this aircraft was envisaged it as a sequiplane with elliptical planform wings for optimum manoeuvrability and with a Nakajima Kotobuki engine. The fuselage was to be an all-metal monocoque structure based on the succesful use of this form in the Type 91 Fighter.

The development of the design was a long process involving many changes. The first three prototypes were completed in March, April and May 1934. The Army remained closely involved with the project and flight evaluations were made by Capts. Saburo Amakasu and Yozo Fujita, along with Nakajima test pilot Kiyosho Shinomiya. After flight tests it was determined that the fuselage should be lengthened, and so modified the aircraft had good manoeuvrability and stability. It was accepted by the Army in July 1934 as the Army Type 94 Reconnaissance Aircraft, Ki-4, and put into production.

The Ki-4 was a single-engined sesquiplane with an all-metal monocoque fuselage and fabic-covered wood and metal wings. The powerplant was a 600 hp Nakajima Type 94-1 Hikari radial. The main undercarriage units were of the divided landing gear type, and a tail skid was also fitted. The pilot and observer were in tandem open cockpits, the pilot being just below a cut-out in the trailing edge of the upper wing. Armament comprised twin fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns in front of the pilot and single or twin guns on a ring mounting in the rear cockpit. It could carry a 50 kg (110 lb) bomb load and be used for ground attack or dive bombing.

Throughout its production and service life, a number of changes were made to the Type 94 Reconnaissance Aircraft. As the early Type 94-1 production model, it could be fitted with wheel spats, depending on the anticipated landing field conditions to be encountered, and under-wing bomb racks were a later addition.

The Type 94-2 had an engine exhaust collector ring instead of individual stacks, and bomb racks beneath the wing became standard equipment. During production, low-pressure tyres wer adopted, but without spats. This model was manufactured primarily by Tachikawa Hikoki and Manshu Hikoki.

To meet a possible requirement for operations from rivers and lakes in mainland China, The 6th prototype was fitted with one main float and two wingtip floats. It was tested at the Kasumigaura Naval Kokutai by the Army Air Technical Research Institute. One of the Type 94-II models was fitted with twin floats but these two models were not accepted for service because of doubts about such a requirement.

Recognising the need for flotation gear in the event of emergencies over water, a Type 94-II Reconnaissance Aircraft was fitted witha pair of compressed-air inflatable flotation bags attached to the sides of the fuselage. This was the same equipment that was installed on the Nakajima Type 90-2-2 Reconnaissance Seaplane and Type 90-2-3 Carrier Reconnaissance Aircraft, and the first this type of flotation equipment to be tried on an Army aircraft, but it did not become standard Army equipment.

There was also a Type 94-T Multi-purpose Aircraft, which was a civil conversion with two seats in the rear position. This aircraft was to be used for general observation and geographical survey.

The Type 94-I and II were assigned to operational units from 1935 to 1937 respectively and were replacements for the Mitsubishi Type 92 Reconnaisance Aircraft. They were used in the close air support role at various locations on mainland China from the beginning o fthe Sino-Japanese Conflict. In addition to general aerial observation, they undertook various missions ranging from light bombing in support of ground operations to message dropping and pick-up using message containers for contact with thr troops in the field. Because of trhis hazardous duty, many were lost and, therefore, the service life for this type was relatively short. Because of this wide combat capability, they were one of the most popular aircraft to be seen at Army airfields in the ealy part of the Sino-Japanese Conflict. They had a reputation for being one of the best types for easy maintenance.

The Ki-4 was the last biplane reconnaissance aircraft to be used by the Japanes Army. Although obsolete by 1941 a number were still in service in the supply and liaison role.

Technical Data:

Manufacturre: Nakajima Hikoki KK (Nakajima Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engine reconnaissance & ground attack aircraft.
Crew (2): Pilot & observer/gunner.
Powerplant: One 600-640 hp Nakajima Type 94-1 (Ha-8) Hikari nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a two-blade controllable-pitch metal propeller.
Armament: Two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns and one or two flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns in open dorsal mount. Bomb load: 50 kg (110 lb) of light bombs on underwing racks.
Dimensions: Span 12 m (39 ft 4 1/2 in); length 7.73 m (25 ft 4 1/4 in); height 3.50 m (11 ft 5 3/4 in); wing area 29.7 sq m (319.698 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 1,664 kg (3,668 lb); loaded 2,474 kg (5,454 lb); wing loading 82.5 kg/sq m (16.9 lb/sq ft); power loading 4.12 kg/hp (9 lb/hp).
Performance: maximum speed 283.3 km/h (176 mph) at 2,400 m (7,874 ft); climb to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 9 min; service ceiling 8,000 m (26,246 ft).
Production: A total of 516 Ki-4s were built between March 1934-February 1939; 333 by Nakajima, 57 by Tachikawa and 126 by Manshu.

The top photo was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe. The bottom photo was taken fromThe Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, by David Donald.
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Robert Hurst
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Post by Robert Hurst » 18 Jun 2003 15:14

Hi

Kawasaki Ki-5

In June 1933 the Army instructed Kawsaki to begin work on a new aircraft, as a replacement for the Kawasaki Army Type 92 Fighter biplane. This was to be a radical change in design and was to be a low-wing cantilever monoplane fighter which the Army designated Ki-5.

Designed by Takeo Doi under the overall supervision of Dr Richard Vogt, the Ki-5 was a single-engined low-wing monoplane fighter of all-metal construction with light alloy and fabric covering. It was powered by an Kawasaki Ha-9-I water-cooled engine, a development of the Kawasaki-built BMW IX, with a three-blade metal propeller. The Ki-5 had an inverted gull-wing to provide better downward visibility for the pilot and make possible a shorter undercarriage. Armament comprised two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns.

In all, four prototypes were built, each having differences in centre-section anhedral, outer wing dihedral, fuselage shape, pilot seat positioning, undercarriage configuration, radiator design, and other refinements. These failed to produce a good aircraft with the desired visibility for the pilot, or good stability at low speeds. Progressive designs reduced and finally eliminated the inverted gull-wing concept.

Efforts continued for more than six months to improve the Ki-5's performance, but poor low-speed stability, inadequate manoeuvrability, and engine-cooling and vibration problems resulted in the Army discontinuing evaluation of the Ki-5. Therefore in September 1934 the Army cancelled the whole project. By then Kawasaki had an alternative biplane design on their drawing-board, and the Army then turned its attention to developing this design becoming the Ki-10 (Perry).

The drawing was taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh & Shorzoe Abe.

Technical Data

Manufacturer:
Type. Single-engine Low-wing monoplane Fighter.
Crew (1): Pilot in open cockpit.
Powerplant: One 750-800 hp Kawasaki Ha-9-I twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine, driving a three-blade fixed-pitch metal propeller, or two-blade wooden propeller.
Armament: Two fuselage-mounted fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns.
Dimensions: Span 10.60 m (34 ft (9 1/4 in); length 7.78 m (25 ft 6 1/4 in); height 2.60 m (8 ft 6 1/2 in); wing area 18 sq m (193.756 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 1,500 kg (3,306 lb); loaded 1,870 kg (4,122 lb); wing loading 103.9 kg/sq m (21.3 lb/sq ft); power loading 2.33 kg/hp (5.1 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed (224 mph); climb to 5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 8 min; service ceiling 9,000 m (29,527 ft); range (622 miles).
Production: A total of 4 Ki-5s were built by Kawasaki in 1934.

Regards

Bob
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