Ki-61 II-Kai Versions

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

  1. Tomt

    Tomt New Member

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    Hey I have a Question.
    I knowed that around 3 dozen KI-61 II-Kai has been built.
    Some said the last Ki-61 II-Kai had a low-back like KI-100 "Otsu".
    Do you know any iformation about this?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    Don't know but 10 + 13 have nice profiles..
     
  3. Tomt

    Tomt New Member

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    The KI-61 II-Kai (9. in Pic) was used.
    The cut down Fuselage on 10. was tested on the Ki 61 II-Kai,
    but was it used in combat?
     
  4. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    #4 krieghund, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
    Apparently only 69 examples of the Ki-61-II made it to combat units

    One was modified with the cut down rear fuselage as it was tested for the planned Ki-61-III which was canceled

    No idea if the canopy prototype saw combat on the Ki-61-II but it did on the Ki-100
     
  5. windswords

    windswords Member

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    I have a book on the Ki-61 that says the -II Kai model with the cut down fuselage was sent to a fighter group - the 56th or 59th Sentai if I remember correctly. I will take a look at it when I get home this evening and post what I find.
     
  6. windswords

    windswords Member

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    Found the book I mentioned above. Here's what it says:
    According to Kawasaki Ki-61/Ki-100 in Japanese Army Airforce Service by Richard M. Bueschel (part of the Aircam aviation series) the bubble canopy version of the Ki-61 was to be called the Ki-61-III. The first ones built (prototypes?) were converted from Ki-61-II Kaib airframes and named Ki-61-II Kaic. Kawasaki built 4 of them and they were sent to the 56th Sentai (group) in the Osaka-Kobe area for "combat evaluation". I interpret this to mean that they flew them in combat. There is no further information as to how they performed with the Sentai or what the pilots thought about them.

    I've included a color plate of the bubble top Ki-61 in the colors of the 56th Sentai (I don't remember where I got this image from).
     

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  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 photo's of the 'Bubbletop' version neither show unit markings...
     
  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    According to the Bunrindo's book,

    31 prototype and 374 production type of Ki-61 II kai were to be manufactured from Sept.1944 but only 99 ha-140 engines were available for the production type.
    The rest 275 airframe were converted to Ki-100 I with mitsubishi ha-112 radial engines.

    How many late model or III with such bubbletop canopy is not described.
     
  9. windswords

    windswords Member

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    Wayne,

    Can you post those photos? I have never seen a pic of the Hien with a bubble canopy, only drawings.

    Shinpachi-san,

    I am not familiar with Bunrindo's book. Is it and the author reliable in your opinion?
     
  10. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hi, windswords.
    It's more reliable than wiki at least:)
     

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  11. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    I believe the picture above is the same as the first picture below,l However I found a fuzzy B&W and some color profiles
     

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  12. windswords

    windswords Member

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    #12 windswords, Oct 9, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
    krieghund,

    These are great thanks for posting! The color shot looks like it was taken after the war and the plane is a display at a base somewhere. The second B&W pic is the first I have ever seen of a bubble top Ki-61. The first color plate is used in my Bueschel Aircam book. The second color plate I also have. I got it from somewhere on the web and it supposedly is the the mount CO Capt Fudzitaro Ito of the 19th Sentai, 3rd Chutai, as it appeared in April 1945. According to Michael Reimer's website [ Imperial Japanese Army (1+ Sentais) ] the tail marking is his own. Addendum: There is Fujitaro Ito who flew a Ki-45 for the 5th Sentai. They are not the same man.

    So, did the 19th Sentai also get Ki-61-II Kai bubble tops? The normal tail marking for a 19th Sentai airplane looks like this:
     

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  13. verner

    verner Member

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    I'm sorry shinpachi but your pic is not a bubble-top. Look a little closer please. I almost got really excited as I don't believe I've ever seen one. Thanks though. Gettin red X's on Krieghunds' pics.
     
  14. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    OK, verner.
    This is of bubble top of army flight 56th sentai at Itami airfield, Osaka.
    Same photo as #11 by krieghund, though.
     

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  15. verner

    verner Member

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    Very nice. Thanks very much.
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That is a pretty aircraft. Great info fellas.
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome, verner.

    These are relics of a crashed Ki-61 II kai of the 56th sentai.
    Fuselage and wings are not found yet but I would like to believe it had the bubble-top canopy:)
     

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  18. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Shinpachi's image in post 14 is one of the pics I have...can't see those others...Red X's...the other shot is definately a different aircraft...will post tomorrow...unless of course it is one of the Red X's..?:D
     
  19. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Nice stuff.


    I also read recently that the problem with the Ha-140 engine was the crankshaft. I thought it would have been overheating of some sort. In any case, I never understood why they didn't upgrade their DB 601 copy to the 1350 hp 601E-version. :(

    Kris
     
  20. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    I heard, though it might be slightly wrong, that the crankshaft contained no chrome because of army's instruction to save the resources. The shaft is said broken after 100 hours running.

    Also, no time to update the engine because those necessary technical data and samples had to be delivered by submarine between Germany and Japan. It took months and almost sunk by the allies.
     
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