1943: ideal fighter for IJA?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    How should looked like the ideal fighter for the IJA, in production from Jan-Feb 1943, if you were in charge? The fighter is to use the 'parts' that were historically available for the Japan from mid 1942 and on (engines, armament etc.), and to make use of state of the art that was available for Japanese designers factories in that time.
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Stick the Kinsei engine in the Zero.
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Army... so stick the kinsei in the Oscar?
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Ki-43 was probably the only IJA fighter aircraft that can be produced in large numbers. So I would concentrate on improvements.

    Engine.
    You want the 1,230hp Ha-115-II engine which increased aircraft max speed to 358mph. Historically 2,124 Ki-43s had this engine beginning April 1944. Either speed up engine development or else look for a different existing engine type that will fit the Ki-43 airframe.

    Weapons.
    Two .50cal MGs don't cut it even if they are both mounted on the centerline. IJN fighter aircraft had Type 99 series 20mm cannon. Not the best in the world but they will suffice and they were produced in large numbers. The Ki-43 needs a pair. I'll leave mounting location to the engineers.


    These changes can probably be introduced without interrupting production to any great extent.
     
  5. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    i think that type 2 army 20mm is a best choice
    put this in the nose like some soviet fighters would be possible?
     
  6. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    I think instead of 2 20mm's they should add either one or two more pairs of .50's to save weight, being lightweight is really all the Oscar had going for it and it should be kept as light as possible.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately the Ki-43 may be a bit too light,small to be upgraded easily.

    "The Ki-43-IIIa was the last Hayabusa variant. Ten prototypes were built starting in May of 1944. It was similar in airframe and armament to the Ki-43 KAI, but was powered by a Najajima Ha-115-II Sakae air-cooled radial rated at 1230 hp at 9185 feet. Production began in December of 1944, most of the aircraft being built by Tachikawa Hikoki K.K."

    From: http://www.warbirdforum.com/hayabusa.htm

    No need to leave it to the engineers, if they are mounted at all they go in the wing. The Type 99 cannon cannot be synchronized.
     
  8. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    SINCE we are speculating, I do not confine myself to assuming that the Ki-43 was the only one that could be mass-produced. Shake things up in the factories and MAKE them produce more of what you need. I also do not assume that the decision itself has to be made in January-Feb 1943, but the production itself. Therefore, the decision-making can happen months earlier. In this case, I would have them decide to concentrate on the Ki-61, improving its engine to make it faster in production and more reliable in service. The Ki-61 was quite adequate for combat in 1943, and had room for continual improvement. IMO. Of course, the Ki-44 was a worthwhile plane as well.
     
  9. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #9 krieghund, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
    Yes this could have been done at almost the time of the first production machines (Ki-43II) as the Mitsubishi Ha-112 radial engine (Kinsei 50 series) was available then upgrade to the 60 series when available. The biggest hurdle would probably be convincing Nakajima to put a Mitsubishi engine in their airframe.

    Also the Ki-43-II has armor and self sealing tanks (even though the tanks don't perform very well against .50 cal). There are some interesting facts in Richard Dunn's book "Exploding Fuel Tanks"
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The decision has to made 6-18 months in advance ( for a really different plane 2 years or more). A BIG wing Ki 44 would have been rather interesting, not literally a new wing on the Ki 44 fuselage but a plane roughly the size of the Ki-43 and Ki 84 using the Ki 44 engine and armament? Trade a bit of speed for a lighter wing loading?
    The Ki 43 was too light to take much upgrading without redoing the whole structure anyway. the last 2-3,000 built really should have been a different airplane.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That needs to happen during 1939. By 1942 it's too late to get the Ha-40 engine program on track.
     
  12. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    I'm with the Ki-61...OR, maybe the Ki-100. I believe the Ki-100 was an easier aeroplane to fly, so if it had been available in good numbers...it may have helped some inexperienced pilots to survive long enough to gain some knowledge .
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    So am I if we can start engine development earlier and with greater resources then what happened historically but 1942 is too late. Japan will need at least two years to sort out the water cooled V12 which means the mass production version won't be available prior to 1944.
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Another notch for the 'big wing Ki-44'. That should also mean it would carry a heavier battery more easily, along with a stronger/heavier engine as it becomes available.
     
  15. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    Ok. So the development all along the way of the Ki-61 should have been improved and concentrated on. If they had had a more numerous and more reliable Ki-61 in '43 it could have been a lot tougher for the Allies. Of course, a more effective pilot training program would have been a big help as well.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I'm under the impression Japan didn't have many problems with the Ki-61 airframe. Engine development held up the entire program.

    Japan might be further ahead to stick with what they already know how to build - air cooled radial engines.

    Nakajima Homare - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Nakajima Homare was one of the best radial engines produced by anyone during WWII. Historical development didn't begin until 1940. Perhaps the IJA could begin development during 1938 ILO attempting to copy the DB601 engine. This engine would power a variant of the Ki-61 airframe which would also begin development during 1938.

    By 1942 the IJA might have the Ki-61 in mass production powered by an early version of the Homare radial engine producing about 1,300 hp. A respectable performer vs the P-40 and F4F. Later versions with more powerful engines would remain competative.

    Since we are starting in 1938 we might as well acquire a superior 20mm cannon.
    Hispano-Suiza HS.404 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I think Japan could purchase a license to build the Swiss designed Hs.404 cannon. The historical American attempt to mass produce this cannon was a failure. Perhaps the IJA attempt will succeed allowing the Ki-61 to have one Hs.404 cannon in each wing.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #17 Shortround6, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
    The Nakajima Homare was NOT one of the best radial engines produced by anyone during WWII. At least not as produced. A lot of production engines failed to make the rated power and breakdowns were of epidemic proportions. While a lot of this can be put down to poor quality control and poor materials in late war engines the whole design may have been a bit too ambitious. The Displacement given is Wiki is wrong. It was actually a 2168-2190 Cu In engine which is definitely on the small side for an 1800-2000hp air cooled engine. Especially considering that the Japanese Gasoline was not as good as the Allied gas or the German C3. The three major things that govern a supercharged engine's power are displacement, boost level and RPM. The Homare was lacking in the first two.

    For comparison

    Hercules= 2360 cu in.
    BMW 801= 2560 cu in
    Ash-82= 2515 cu in
    and the American R-2600 and R-2800.

    Some sources give the Homare RPM as up to 3,000 which makes up some of the difference but brings it's own problems.

    Since we are starting in 1938 we might as well acquire a superior 20mm cannon.

    There was nothing really wrong with the Japanese 20mm cannon, especially considering the low powered engines.

    Hispano gun= 50 KG
    Type 99-1= 24KG
    Type 99-2=35KG
    Army HO-5=37KG

    The Hispano and the Type 99s cannot be synchronized. The rates of fire at 10rps, 8 rps, 8rps and 14 rps. The rate of fire for the HO-5 fell a bit in late war models as did the velocity. cartridges had to be down loaded because of problems (material shortages) of late war guns. Trying to stick a pair of Hispanos in a 1000-1100hp fighter was going to be a problem.
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    For 1943 the Japanese have 5 radial engines and the Licence built DB engines. The DB engines do not offer much scope as production was pretty well maxed out and and without playing games with how they were actually developed performance was what it was. Two the radials already powered the majority of the fighters, either the 28 liter Mitsubishi Zuisei or the 27.8 liter Nakajima Sakae. Both are obviously too small to offer much scope (R-1830 is 30 liters).

    The 32.2 liter Mitsubishi Kinsei offers some improvement. The question is when does the 1500hp version show up.

    The 37.5 liter Nakajima Ha-109 as used in the Ki 44 and Ki 49 bomber offers a more definite step in performance sooner. Weight and size may or may not be a problem.

    The 42 liter Mitsubishi Kasei is the most powerful engine available in large numbers in 1943, it is also fairly reliable. It is also going to be the largest and heaviest.

    The Nakajima Homare was 35.8 liters and had a commendably small diameter but had the higher weight. Availability in 1943 is subject to question as is the power level.

    The Mitsubishi Kinsei offers the best shot at upgrading an existing design with the least trouble but is not a 100% guarantee of fitting in the Ki 43.

    The Nakajima Ha-109 and Mitsubishi Kasei offer the best shot at coming up with a western style plane ( trading maneuverability for speed,climb and dive and incorporating protection) with the least amount of engine development.
     
  19. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Put the Mitsubishi Kinsei in the ki-61 frame...oh wait, they already did this in 1945. maybe if they had done this in 1943 they would have had a winner on their hands...lol
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    What I don't know is if the 1943 Kinsei is 1300hp for take-off ( a sure thing) or 1500hp+ (somewhat less likely in 1943?)
     
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