P-51D vs. Nakajima Ki-84 "Frank"

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by No_Nickname, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. No_Nickname

    No_Nickname New Member

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    Ok, I read somewhere that the Ki-84 "Frank" was comparable, or even better then the P-51D. I was wondering if this was true and what your guys opinion of this claim.

    P-51D

    [​IMG]


    Nakajima Ki-84

    [​IMG]
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    the Ki 84 was fast (but still significantly slower at altitude) than the 51 with the fuel Japan had avaialable, but it was slightly better armed, climbed slightly faster (than a D) and turned slightly better. the 51 dove and flew faster.

    Notably the 51 could get and maintain energy and pick the fight - but if it chose to give away that energy in the horizontal the 51 could be put at a disadvantage in a prolonged fight at low to medium altitudes.

    The Frank was one damn good airplane. If it had US mfr engines and fuel - this would have been one of the great fighters of WWII
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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  4. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Would agree with that completely. Both excellent planes, the Ki84 was the best armed and protected of the Japanese fighters. It only took the 4 years of fighting to learn that you had to have more than just manoeuvrability
     
  5. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

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    I often wonder how the performance figures of japanese fighters would've changed if they had higher grade fuel available.
     
  6. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Altitude performance wouldn't have changed. (unless the availability of higher octane fuels lead to the engines being manufactured with of increased supercharger gear ratios)
     
  7. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    It has been reported that Ki-84's manufactured late in the war were inferior to earlier examples.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That would not surprise me. Japan had a shortage of materials and the fuel they were using was not very good quality.
     
  9. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The engine was complicated to build and maintain (something with the supercharger or fuel injectors, I believe) and with the allies pounding Japan, led to difficulties building this, and many other war machines.
     
  10. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    AFAIK it's never been definitely settled how fast the Type 4 Fighter ('Frank') actually was. That's even aside from fuel. The results quoted in older books (Green, Francillon etc) said to be flyoff trials between the two apparently actually refer to speed of the Type 4 *calculated* by Allied intelligence, or else there's a great big coincidence because the same speed said to occur in a 1946 trial (427mph, Francillon "Japanese A/c" p. 236) appears in a 1944 intel manual printed before any live Allied test of a Type 4. A well manufactured production Type 4 Model 1 Otsu (Ki-84-Ia) speed at Japanese equivalent of WEP was apparently greater than the 392mph official given in Francillon but unknown. And as mentioned many later ones were poorly manufactured.

    The two types first met in mid 1944 in China. In fact Type 4's were rushed there in part because of the appearance of P-51's in that theater (ie. P-51B's and C's, Allison P-51A's had operated in CBI theater since 1943 without impressing the Japanese a great deal). The Type 4 units claimed a successful kill ratio but the actual results were generally in the P-51's favor. In fact, as covered on a thread here not so long ago, even US and Chinese P-40N equipped units held their own v Type 4's in the same period, when each side's air combat losses are compared and claims of both sides ignored.

    As usual, of course, there were many other factors to those outcomes than just the capability of the planes under ideal conditions in equal numbers with equal pilots. But still there are few actual examples of Type 4's winning big victories against any Allied fighters, and despite all the other factors, that's something at least worth noting, I think.

    Joe
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    For what its worth, from Wiki...

    "Initial Hayate testing at Tachikawa in early summer 1943 saw test pilot Lt. Funabashi reach a maximum level speed of 634 km/h (394 mph) in the second prototype, but after the war a captured example was tested by the U.S. Army using high-octane fuel and achieved a speed of 690 km/h (430 mph)."
     
  12. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The Ki-84's advantages was it superior climb rate and far superior maneuverability, it turned a lot better than the P-51, the P-51 was a pig by comparison in this area. Additionally the low alt speed of the Ki-84 was similar to that of the P-51.

    The ki-84 certainly was a great fighter.
     
  13. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    The P-51 was the better warplane hands down. Being faster at all altitudes and having better dive speed means that it could enter and disengage from fight at will. Also it had better offensive weapon load and more range.

    The Ki-84 climbed and turned better, but turning was not important in air war (as it turned out :))
     
  14. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Turning was not 'the most important', but a good fighter still had to have good turning ability. Speed was proven to be more important, and climb ability seems to be the one that gets most overlooked. A steep climbing turn could be the death knell for any inferior climbing plane in a dogfight.

    The question that arises from this thread, is how much advantage/disadvantage did these two planes have? Slightly better? Or far superior? :D
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I think one has to look at the time and place the Ki 84 was built. As we know there were some quality problems that might of placed inferior aircraft into service. Additionally you have the skill level of the pilots.
     
  16. KAKI3152

    KAKI3152 New Member

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    I can think of two specific examples where Ki84 Type 4 fighters gained the advantage over P-51 Mustangs

    (1) October 4,1944. Four P51s of the 23rd FG where shot down with th eloss of two pilots. The 85th Sentai with 4 Ki-44 and four KI-84s claimed five P-51s including two by Wakamatsu.

    (2) November 11.1944-Three P-51s of the 23rd FG were shot down in combat.
     
  17. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    In an earlier thread ('P-40 v late war Japanese fighters', we identified one of those cases, October 4.
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/p-40-vs-late-war-japanese-fighters-10144.html

    Are there more details of the second case? (Japanese units; the brief summary in Hata/Izawa English language version implies they suffered losses also that day).

    See earlier thread for general context, for example the first Type 4 deployment by 22nd Fighter Regiment apparently resulted in at least 10 Type 4 losses (6 pilots), v 40 claims of 'destroyed and damaged' but actual US and Chinese fighter (mainly P-40N) air combat losses in the period (some surely to non-Type 4's) were less than 10. See also more examples of P-51 combats on that thread (Nov 11 is missing, though).

    Of course Type 4's had their moments, OTOH two-side documented cases of older types like Zero's winning combats with US fighters also happened right to the end of the war, just not a great number of such cases. For example Aug 3 '45 302nd Air Group Zeroes jumped 506th FG P-51's which were covering a US sub picking up a pilot inside Tokyo Bay, downed a Mustang and broke off without loss.

    Joe
     
  18. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  19. gianpaolo

    gianpaolo New Member

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    Hi


    Hata/Izawa report 4 ki-43 ( 48 SENTAI? shot down at Hengyang +6


    burned on ground on around 10/11/1944 , losses that may have actually


    taken place on 11/11 , when 16 p-51 ( 75fs ) claimed 8 air + 1 ground for

    3 p-51 shot down ( 1 pil k - 1 pow ) + 1 lost a/a . On same day 10 p-40 ( cacw 5 fg ) claimed 17 on ground for 2 p-40 dam and c/l

    Hope this helps

    Best

    gianpaolo
     
  20. Eurofighter

    Eurofighter New Member

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    You only mentione the Frank's advantages over the Mustang; you forgot that in speed and at high altitude the Frank was pig against the Mustang.
     
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