Best Japanese fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by bob44, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Beyond the Zeke, what was the better Japanese fighter?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    IMO Ki-61 was the best IJA fighter aircraft. However Japanese difficulty copying DB601 V12 engine crippled the program.
     
  3. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    J2M3 or N1K2-Ja for the Navy.
    Ki-100 for the Army and perhaps the Ki-84 if it was working right.

    Just my opinion.
    - Ivan.
     
  4. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Without any doubt ... the Ki-84! It was the fastest. Easiest to produce. Great firepower, easy to fly, great climb rate. Maybe the best in vertical manoeuvres.


    However, the Japanese believed the Ki-100 was vastly superior to the Ki-84. According to their tests, the Ki-100 could take on 4 Ki-84s.


    Kris
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the Ki-84. Also the Ki-100 deserves a nod
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    #6 fastmongrel, Jun 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
    Kawanishi N1K2 I must admit to not knowing a great deal about Japanese aircraft so I have simply gone by what looks the best aircraft to me. Its got a real pugnacious look to it.
     
  7. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    The Ki-84 Frank, N1K2 George and Ki-100 where all potentially the equal of the best allied opposition, but all suffered from reliability problems that could not be ironed out under the pressures of war. The Ki-100 was perhaps the best developed of the three, in that it's airframe came from the Ki-61 Tony, which had been in service for several years before being re-engined. The Ki-100 was never allocated a use-name by the allies, I think because they never really figured out that it existed as a distinct fighter.
     
  8. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    #8 CORSNING, Jun 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
    The BEST is a term that must first be described. The requirements must be set before a goal can be reached. None of the other A/C listed so far were better shipboard fighters than the A6M5 simply because they were not equipped to fly off a carrier. If by the BEST we mean the A/C with the best overall performance, then a comparison of there performances over a range of altitudes must be determined. At speeds under 275 mph the A6M5 could out turn the Ki-61, Ki.84, N1K, J2M and the Ki.100. At higher speeds most of them could out turn the ZEKE. There were only two U.S. A/C that reached wide spread service that I know of that could out turn the Ki.61 at all speeds. The FM-2 and the P-40N. I believe the Ki.100 was a better turner than the Ki.61. The more reliable engine probably had some to do with that. I also believe the main reason the Japanese believed the Ki.100 was superior to the Ki.84 was because of its maneuverability and engine reliability, not its overall performance capabilities. I really wonder how the Ki.100 would have fared against the N1K2-J. From what I have read it had maneuverability approaching the A6M. While the J2M was said to have given up maneuverability for speed and climb, U.S. pilots praised its handling qualities as excellent up to 325 mph. With all that being said it has come time to compare figures. The best way I know to do that is by using the TAIC reports. While not a completely accurate example of what these A/C displayed in the field all the time the reports still give us a basis for comparison of equally prepare A/C performance.

    Altitude is in meters, speed is in mph and climb is in fpm.

    ALTITUDE..Ki.61-II.....Ki.84-1a.....J2M3........N1K1-J......Ki-44-II......Ki-61-I
    S.L..........335/3425...362/4275...359/4835...355/4400...335/4140...302/2440
    .1,000......348/3500...379/4350...374/4940...369/4410...347/4200...315/2480
    .2,000......362/3540...389/3890...380/4950...369/3950...361/3950...328/2510
    .3,000......363/3175...389/3570...382/4270...374/3680...361/3500...338/2500
    .4,000......375/3050...388/3590...403/4320...392/3700...368/3490...352/2480
    .5,000......390/3030...414/3610...415/4350...408/3760...380/3300...358/2170
    .6,000......402/2960...426/3350...410/3760...408/3340...380/2800...353/1780
    .7,000......409/2800...426/2870...404/3160...402/2850...373/2210...346/1250
    .8,000......417/2590...416/2280...394/2440...393/2260...360/1690...335/1080
    .9,000......417/2280...403/1720...383/1850...387/1700...345/1180...320/680
    10,000......406/1750...387/1175...368/1150...366/1210...322/640
    11,000......390/1225...N.G./575....347/600.....N.G./130...260/150

    Weights....7,232 lbs....7,940 lbs...7,320 lbs....7,717 lbs...6,100 lbs....6,982 lbs.
    Power.......1,440 hp....2,040 hp...1,940 hp.....2,050 hp...1,500 hp.....1,100 hp.

    What this shows is that A/C that were considered the fastest climbing (J2M) and fastest level speed Ki.84 were so only at certain altitudes.
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hello, Jeff,
    What would be the source for the Ki-61-II making 417mph?
     
  10. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    The Japanese A/C I really wish I had information on is the Ki.44-III. It was lighter than the Ki-44-II with a 2,000 hp. engine. Tail and wing area were increased for better handling. This model was not produced because of the "more favorable" Ki-84. Once again I guessing because of the Franks handling more than overall performance ability. I could easily be wrong though.

    Jeff
     
  11. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    tomo,

    I am not an aviation engineer. So on a personal level I do not have the knowledge of exactly how the TAIC report based its findings. In the GENERAL DATA section it states. " Performance figures are based on fragmentary documentary evidence and resultant extrapolation of engine ratings" The engine power for the Ha-140 is given as 1,380 hp/T.O., 1,330 hp./5,550ft (military) and1,440 hp./5,700 ft (war emergency). Test weight being 7,232 lbs.

    Jeff
     
  12. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #12 GregP, Jun 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
    Thanks for the nice compilation, Corsning. Are the speeds TAS?

    I tend to discount the Ki.61 due to engine issues but, when it was running well, it was a good aircraft. I would replace the Ki.61 with the Ki.100 and add the Ki.44 Type II (with the Army Type III Nakajima Ha.109 engine of 1,520 HP) to the list of good ones. It was decently fast, had a decent climb rate, and was a pretty good piece of hardware, if not quite as good as some of the others in the list.

    Too bad we don't have more Japanese WWII types flying today. They are interesting and, if decently piloted, were dangerous opponents to the end of the war.
     
  13. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    Hi Greg,
    Good to here from you and tomo. You Guys always have some good input. Cobber had some good input on post #7. Just in case youall didn't catch it, I added the Ki.44-II to the list in post #8. Now imagine the Ki.44 over 700 lbs. lighter with 500 more ponies: Ki.44-III.
     
  14. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Best meaning, which Japanese fighters could and did face Allied fighters successfully.
    Thank you for that list Jeff.
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #15 GregP, Jun 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
    Interestingly, the Planes of Fame Museum used to have a flyable Ki-84 but, back in the 1970's nobody wanted to see it at an airshow, so there was absolutey NO airshow need for the type and they sold it to a Japanese museum. Lots of people wish we still had it today.

    I'll see if I can dig up some first-hand recollections for some people there who flew it.

    Our opinion in general is that the Japanese fighters were of good quality and were of good perfromance. We have the only J2M Raiden left in thew world and, though it COULD be restored, we doubt the engine could be. Since it has a LONG prop shaft extension, there is no American radial that could be substituted, so ... probably not in the cards.
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Being that I know Jack Sh*t about these, I'd with the Frank and the George, of those that were built in any numbers.
    Good thing that they didn't have the same reliability on their aircraft back then, as with most of their cars today, it would have caused problems....
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hi, Jeff,

    Not an aviation engineer myself (I have a bachelor degree on the IT field though) :)
    The Japanese aviation books give, for the Ha-140 engine, only 1250-1280 HP at 5700m at 2650 rpm. Guess TAIC document messed the ft for meters (it also states the 140 as two-stage engine)? Again, Japanese books ('Bunrin do' book on the Ki-61, actually) give only 610 km/h on 6000m for the Ki-61-II. Noting that Ha-140 was the descendant of the DB-610Aa, those 1250HP at greater altitude seem like a limit for the design, without going to 2 stage, ADI + much better fuel?
    The TAIC manual did not have but fragmentary data, both about the Ha-140 and Ki-61-II (as they noted), so maybe we could stick at 610 km/h - 30 km/h faster than 'plain' Ki-61?
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Ki-84 and Ki-100 are 1945 aircraft. Fine aircraft but we are talking about last few months of the war.

    Ki-61 entered service during 1943 and potentially could have entered service at least a year earlier if Japan had invested more resources into copying the DB601 engine. At the time it entered service Ki-61 was potentially the best land based fighter aircraft in the Pacific. That's why it gets my vote for #1.
     
  19. jim

    jim Banned

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    It appears that the late war japanese fighters ,could not compete with the late war allaeid fighters . Despite their powerful engines and their small and light airframes, they were 40-50 mph slower than P51D with the super duper fuel , and over 80mph slower than the P51H
    Even at the rate of climb , despite their better power and wing loadings , they were not even close to the american designs eg
    Ki 84 with 1,8 kgr/hp and 172 kgr/m2 had a roc of 3790 ft/min
    F8F1 with 2,07 kgr/hp and 192 kgr /m2 had a roc of 4570 ft/m ! And with water injection would reach 7000ft/min !!! Double that of ki84!
    I know , americans had better propellers, wings of very very low drag and very very high lift, two stage superchargers and gyroscopic gunsights .
    It appears that despite their best efforts , japanese were at least 2 years behind in fighters performance.( Or even 5 years behind if the alleid claims ,from the china front, that P40s were superior to the ki 84, are true)
    Generally, my personnal experience from studying WW2 aviation books. is that alleid aircrafts needed much less power to achieve superior performance in comparison with the axis aircrafts, and less stuctural weight to achive similar or superior structural strength.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Say what? Most WWII era U.S. fighter aircraft were very heavy compared to everyone else.
     
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