How does the nose gunner escape from a belly-landed Ki-48?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Johnny .45, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Johnny .45

    Johnny .45 Member

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    Here's a question: how does the nose gunner escape from this cage if the aircraft has to belly land? Note that the hatch is right under his knees (and is very small; hard to believe even a lithe Japanese man could fit through it to begin with!). From the other photos and models I've seen, it doesn't look as if there was a roof hatch (hard to be sure). All I can think is that there might be just enough space for the nose gunner to squeeze past the rudder pedals into the cockpit, and escape that way...not exactly rapid evacuation with the fuel tanks starting to smolder! (I also hate the idea of trying to escape out of that tiny hatch at all...but I guess escape was not first priority for most Japanese).

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    Bonus image: Twin Type 3 machine gun mount in the rear of a Ki-48-II. I'd never even heard of this gun before; note the German MG 15-style saddle mag, converted to feed both guns from left and right sides, respectively.

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    The page I found them on is here: Japanese Army | The American Warrior, article called "The Toy Salesman", a ways down the page. Very interesting story about a Japanese toy salesman drafted into the IJAAS as a crewman on a Ki-48, and all the ordeals the Japanese crew and groundcrew had to face...disease, starvation, US air attacks, along with a bit of tactical and technical info. It's interesting that they specifically mention a "7.92mm" machine gun in the nose, which means an MG 15, which were imported from Germany and used later in the war to supplement the Type 89 (I thought at first the twin guns above WERE twinned MG 15's which would have been interesting!). But I don't understand the "7.7mm waist guns"...where would you PUT waist guns on a Ki-48? Just hack a hole in the fuselage and let the ventral gunner operate them? Anyone ever seen a photo of a Ki-48 with waist guns I have to wonder if they aren't mixing up with the Ki-21, which often served alongside the Ki-48 at some Japanese bomber airfields.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    They must have been mistaken, as I have never seen a "waist" position on a KI-48.

    There was, of course, the nose gunner, the rear gun position in the cockpit and the ventral trap-door position for the radio operator.
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    In the first photo posted, it appears that there is an open hatch immediately above the 'gunner's' head.
     
  5. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I only have one book on the bird and that's the only photo that shows a hatch open. There are many photos while the aircraft is on the ground but they just show the cockpit hatches and rear station open. It doesn't appear to swing open so I wonder if its a one piece affair that is put in position once the gunner is in place.


    Geo
     
  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    A nose gunner "May I help you sir ?"
    Ki-48_bomber.JPG

    The arrow shows the side gun position as a variant.
    Ki-48_sidegun.JPG
     
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