Ki-61 and He-100 related?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by krieghund, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #1 krieghund, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
    As promised in another thread I would move the Ki-61 and He-100 related issue here.

    There are many sources over the years citing that the Bf-109 was the inspiration for the creation of the Kawasaki Ki-60 and Ki-61 aircraft. I believe most of this association arises from the initial Intel reports from pilots encountering the Ki-61 reporting it as Japanese built (bought) Messerschmitts or Italian fighters hence the name “Tony” for its identifier code name. Also it uses a Japanese built DB-601 further enhancing the similarity. The Heinkel He-113 wasn’t probably in the minds of those pilots making those reports nor had access the Intel files of the He-113.

    Next the fact that the Japanese examined and tested the Bf-109E-4 against their own prototypes is well documented adding further weight to those assumptions.
    Before continuing on into some evidence that may prove the He-100 was idea into the Ki-61 creation we should look at the timeline of events of this period.

    May 1937 – Heinkel Projekt 1035 started
    Oct 1937 – RLM informed of Heinkel fighter construction and designation ‘He-100’ officially allocated.
    Jan 1938 – He100v1 first flight
    Dec 1938 – Japanese delegation to Marienehe given data/plans on “He-113” (Based A-0 section I aircraft). Five He-100 prototypes flown up to this time.
    May 1939 – Hitachi Kokuki K. K. establishes plant in Chiba to license-build the He-100 and He-119. Plans underway to possibly build He-177.
    Oct 1939 - Japanese engineering delegation to Marienehe to prepare shipment of He-100 and He-119 to Japan.
    Dec 1939 - Koku Hombu creates specification for aircraft built around DB-601
    Feb 1940 – Koku Hombu instructs Kawasaki to build two fighter types based on DB-601. Priority given to heavy intercepter (Ki60) and design work begins.
    Apr 1940 – DB601 blueprint plans and engines received in Japan.
    May 1940 – Three He-100 reach Japan at Kasumigaura, one to IJN and two the Army. (Type A-0 Section II aircraft)
    Dec 1940 – Designs started for Ki-61
    Mar 1941 – Ki-60 prototype flown with DB601
    Jul 1941 – Ha-40 (DB601) begins bench running --Three Bf-109E4 are delivered to Japan
    Sep 1941 – Ha-40 pre-series deliveries begin
    Nov 1941 – Ha-40 ordered into production
    Dec 1941 – Ki-61 prototype flown with Ha-40
    Apr 1942 – Lt Umekawa in Ki-61 tries to intercept a B-25 during the “Doolittle raid”
    Jun 1942 – Ki-61 Service Trials


    The timing of events support the he-100 influence to be more likely than the Bf109
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  3. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    It actually proves that the Ki-60 and Ki-61 were planned seperately from possible licence production of the He 100. The design order was given when the He 100 still had to be delivered. That shows that licence production of the He 100 nor Bf 109 was never seriously planned.

    There is no formal link between the He 100 and Ki-60/-61 except for the Kawasaki chief designer cooperation with Vogt.

    I suppose next up are the design plans of He 100 and Ki-61 as well as data on the jigs lost in transit?
    Kris
     
  4. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    Of course the next point to indicate a link to the He100 and not the Bf109 would be the obligatory 3 view drawings for comparison;
     

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  5. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    I think that the establishment of the factory at Chiba after the delegation returned with observations of European aero activities centered around inline engines and receiving plans for the DB601 and HE100 prototypes they examined I think speak volumes.

    I am searching my data for which ship was lost enroute with the jigs and tooling.
     
  6. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    I think this next sequence of pictures and drawings will further show a linkage of design features.

    The box beam engine mounting integral with fuselage cowling can be found on only two aircraft which used the DB601 engine......The He100 and the Ki-61. The Ki60 used the standard engine bearers used by all the other designs incorporating the DB601.

    It was reported that the same 115mm vertical offset of the front engine mounts of the Ki61 are identical to the He100 and the front mount adapters of the He100 are duplicated on the mounts for the Ki61.

    The wide large exhaust ejectors are of the same unusual configuration.
     

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  7. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I don't know that much about aircraft construction but that does seem to be a direct copy of a German construction method.

    But I think we should set straight what exactly we are talking about. Are we talking about design as an aerodynamical exterior thing or design as how the fuselage was constructed, were the bolts were and how the engine was attached? I did not think about these last things but it seems only natural that Japan had some things to learn from German construction methods. Or from allied construction methods.

    But one more thing, do you think that Japan was planning to build the Ki-60/61 and He 100 at the same time? And if they had the plans of the He 100 why not build a copy?
    And what about He 100 influence in Russian air industry?
    Kris
     
  8. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #8 krieghund, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
    To set this straight even the line drawings show a resemblance between the Ki-61 and He100.

    I think the Japanese designers were very much influenced by their pilot's demands for very maneuverable aircraft and as such the He100 would not fill their preference. I believe since the jigs and tooling did not make it they felt they could make their own design to suit their requirements yet incorporate the latest elements of the German design.

    It would be a major effort to reverse engineer a design so I feel they used their time and resources to create the Ki-61 utilizing key factors of the He100. One area they probably felt they couldn't duplicate successfully was the evaporator cooling system though they used some steam capture components in the engine bay.

    It will be noted that they did put this system into one Ki-61 as a test bed to perfect the evaporator cooling system for the Ki-64. 35 flights were made and without the ventral radiator and it could do 630 kph.

    The fact that the designers switched to the fuselage integral engine mounts from the engine bearers of the Ki-60 shows the influence of the He100 since it was available for testing and examination 7 months before the designs were laid down on the Ki-61.

    The DB601 used two mounting bolts per side in all aircraft using the DB601.

    In summary my point in this thread is to show the Ki-61 was directly influenced by the He-100 and the only resemblance to the Bf-109 is that it shares the same engine type.

    My book, "Heinkel He-100 Record Breaker" by E. Hood, the author makes reference to the He100 influence into the LaGG-3 design even though the Russians were already experienced with inline engines.
     
  9. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I think it is really nice how you took the effort to lay all this down :)

    I think you have proven that the designers were influenced by the He 100. But it seems this was more a technical issue, more for the engineers than for the designers.
    What they do have in common seems to be the tail section. The wings and fuselage are definitely different. But again maybe the inner structure of these have common elements between both designs.

    One last thing, are you positive that the Germans never gave the plans for the Bf 109 to the Japanese (prior to the war)?

    Kris
     
  10. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #10 krieghund, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
    i will research the Messerschmitt connection further, but if memory serves Heinkel had cornered the market with Japan or Messerschmitt wasn't that interested at the time however I will look further.

    As to the fuselage these are not the clearest pictures but the structure design of all three aircraft are similar the Ki-61 and He100 appear to be closer related.
     

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  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of the Me-109, I'm surprised KMT China didn't license build such an inexpensive German fighter aircraft. They copied a lot of German equipment and the Me-109 would have compared well with fighter aircraft flown by the Imperial Japanese Army.
     
  12. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    They copied guns and vehicles. But the Bf 109 was top technology and only cheap in a highly industrialized country. It's like saying to an African 3rd world country to copy the Northrop F-5.

    Kris
     
  13. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    Your right, It took Iran all these years to finally develop an F-5 knock-off
     
  14. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    True.

    About the fuselage. I actually think the Bf 109 is closer to the Ki-61. Just look how their round frames are pierced by the longitudinal beams. Not so in the He 100. When looking at the form of the cross-section I feel that the top part is more like the He 100 but the bottom part (rounder than on the He 100) is more like that of the Bf 109.

    Kris
     
  15. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The Hienkel He 118 and the Yokosuka D4Y certailny proves co-operation between Japanese and German engineers.

    But inline engines were not the Japanese cup of tea.
     
  16. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #16 krieghund, Oct 9, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
    However, historically the Army had two examples of the He100 seven months prior to the plans for the Ki61 being laid down and no example of Bf109 until seven months after that.

    Note that the He100 and Ki61 fuselage formers are the exact same shape and the skinning seam is at the top on both but the Bf109 is at the bottom.

    The Ki60 and Ki61 construction methods are different in many areas which still leads to the conclusion that once the He100 was examined many of its features were incorporated. I will post some pics shortly supporting this issue.

    Also I still haven't located any evidence of Messerschmitt technology transfer until 1941 but I am still looking...if it is out there I will find it.

    There is a mention in W. Green's book about some Bf109E-7s and a BF109G also being sent later on and we know about the well documented voyage of U-234 with the ME262 and ME163 and some other very curious stuff (but then that is for another thread)
     
  17. cherry blossom

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    The He 100 may also have influenced Japanese airfoils. According to an excellent post by Jim Long at B7A Grace: too heavy for most carriers? on the Navy's B7A “...the airfoil section which was an improvement over that of the German Heinkel He lOO fighter plane; ...”. I looked up the Hien in David Lednicer's “The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage” at The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage and found

    Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien, NACA 2R1 16, NACA 24009

    but no He 100. However, the wing root is the same as the Me 209V1 but different from the Bf 109.

    Messerschmitt Me 209V1, NACA 2R1 16, NACA 23010-64
    Messerschmitt Bf 109E Emil, NACA 2R1 14.2, NACA 2R1 11

    Does anyone know if the He 100 and Me 209 shared an airfoil?

    Interestingly the Ki 78, which looks like the He 100 at first glance may have a different airfoil.

    Kawasaki Ki-78, LB 510216, LB 510312
     
  18. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    I see no reason to believe either the Bf-109 or the He-100 played a major role in either (1) the JAAF's decision to develop and introduce a fighter based on the DB 600 series of engines, or (2) the detailed design of the Ki-60 or Ki-61, other than specific techniques associated with adapting the DBs to Japanese production techniques and mounting the engine. Yes, both German planes provided the Japanese with good information on modern European manufacturing and design techniques, but the Ki-61 was as much a Japanese plane as the Macchi MC-202, MC-205, and Fiat G-55 were Italian planes.
     
  19. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #19 krieghund, Oct 12, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
    The point was trying to make is that the he100 was that influence in the designers of the Ki-61. The are major changes between the Ki-60 (designed prior to the he100 arrival) and the Ki-61 (designed 7 months after). Many He100 features not found on any other DB601 fighter are found incorporated in the Ki-61.

    I am not saying that the Ki-61 is a cookie cutter production of the He100 but even I as an aircraft engineer also takes note not to reinvent the wheel.

    The Ki-61 is a Japanese design(period). When I was growing up and started my interest in aircraft one of my first comparisons was the Heinkel to the Hein physical characteristics. (Kind of a coincidence about the name though)

    And I think they did a great job.
     
  20. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #20 krieghund, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
    As i was going through my references I came across this drawing with the source referenced. it is very interesting as it includes a ducted ventral radiator semi-buried in the fuselage and gives a more Ki-61 look to the He-100 lines very similar to the P-51A.
     

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