Not 20's 0r 30's but did not now were to put it. Kawasaki Ki-78 (KEN III) Leave a reply By William Pearce In the 1930s, Japanese aviation began to make strides toward closing the technological gap with the Western World. In 1938, the Aeronautical Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, led by Shoroku Wada, began a high-speed aircraft research program. Gathering data on high-speed flight was the primary objective, but it was felt that an attempt on the 3 km absolute world speed record was an obtainable goal. The nearly complete and unpainted high-speed research aircraft, the Kawasaki Ki-78. Note the radiator housing on the fuselage side. The aircraft project was known as KEN III (for Kensan III or Research III) and incorporated numerous advanced features new to Japanese aircraft. Approval was given for the aircraft’s development and a full-scale wooden mock-up was finished in May 1941. Because of the outbreak of World War II, the project was taken over by the Imperial Japanese Army and designated Ki-78. A production contract for two prototypes was awarded to Kawasaki, under the direction of Isamu Imashi. Construction of the first prototype began in September 1941 at Kawasaki’s plant at Gifu Air Field.