Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon)

Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon)

Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon)

The Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon) was the Japanese Army's attempt to produce a jet fighter, and like the Navy's Kikka closely resembled the Messerschmitt Me 262.

Work on the Ki-201 began on 12 January 1945, five months after the navy began work on the Kikka. Although the two designs were both loosely based on the German Messerschmitt Me 262 and were both produced by Nakajima there doesn't appear to have been much cooperation between the two design teams.

The Ki-201 was to be an attack fighter, capable of attacking enemy ships off the Japanese coast and to act as an interceptor. It was to be armed with two 20mm and two 30mm cannon and carry a 16,00lb bomb.

The evidence suggests that Japan never received the full technical plans for the Me 262. One set were sent from Germany in the spring of 1945, but the U-boat involved surrendered in May 1945. Both the Kikka and the Ki-201 were thus new designs based on the overall layout of the Me 262.

The design of the Ki-201 was about half-complete by the time of the Japanese surrender. The army plan called for the design to be completed by December 1945 and the first eighteen aircraft to be ready by March 1946. The prototype was to be built at the Mitaka Plant in western Tokyo, while production was to be at the Kurosawajiri Research Works in north-central Honshu.

Stats (estimated)
Engine: Two Ne-130 turbojets or Ne-230 turbojets
Power: 2,002lb thrust or 1,951lb thrust each
Crew: 1
Span: 44ft 11 3/8in
Length: 37ft 8 3/4in
Maximum take-off weight:
Max speed: 529mph at 32,810ft
Climb Rate: 13min 15 sec to 32,810ft
Armament: Two 20mm and two 30mm cannon
Bomb load: 1,600lb


The International Resin Modellers Association has been created to help those new to resin model building find helpful information, procedures and methods for getting involved in this fascinating hobby. Members will be able to locate those rare and hard-to-find models and later to be able to purchase them through this web site or directly from the manufacturers. There will also be a forum and blog to exchange ideas, techniques and get answers from more experienced resin modellers.

Model by Zane R Nobbs

Antonella C Nobbs

Like the majority of you out there I was a plastic modeller also. A few years ago I discovered the wonderful world or resin models. For me it was about finding those rare, early jets in 1/72 scale. My first kit in resin was the Sukhoi Su-9k by Victoria Products of Canada. Since then I have built about 200 in resin of the world's first jet aircraft in 1/72 scale. This is why I want to promote this very challenging aspect of a wonderful hobby. My lovely wife also enjoys building and photographing our models. We hope you will enjoy this web site as we expand it in the coming weeks and months. -Zane R. Nobbs, Founder.

An RS Models Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu 火龍 "Fire Dragon" in 1/72. This was a late-war jet project for the Japanese Imperial Army. Although it resembles the Messerschmitt Me-262 and was a rough copy, it was much larger. It was started a bit after the Nakajima J9N1 Kikka ( Orange Blossom) Navy jet and in the process of being built when the war ended. The kit is very clean, well cut and moulded and includes metal details. Parts fit cleanly and snug to one another. This is currently (2009) the only kit for this aviation pioneer.

For you veterans of the early resin kits, this is the ancient Czech Master Resin Kits ( CMK ) Mikoyan-Gureyvich MiG-9 Babuchka Бабочка "Butterfly" that was available from the now defunct Aviation Usk company. These kits were very hard to find and took several months of waiting from Czechslovakia as they were individually done by a private group. They required hours and hours of sanding, filing, filling and creation of details from scratch. Decals were aftermarket as not part of the plain bagged kit. Worst of all, no instructions were included!

Photos of models taken by Al Maciejewski

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Nakadžima Ki 201 Karyú

Historie:
Továrna Nakajima Hikoki Kabushiki Kaisha měla v době kapitulace rozestavěný proudový stíhací bombardér, který by měl být použitelný pro obě složky letectva. Sériová výroba byla plánována na březen 1946. Základem tohoto letadla byl Me-262A-1 a byly využity i poznatky s více méně samostatného vývoje prototypu útočného letounu Nakajima Kikka. Všechny motory, které měly Karyu pohánět vycházely z německého motoru BMW 003. Tyto motory byly horečně vyvíjeny v Japonsku, píši vyvíjeny, protože se do Japonska, díky blokádě, dostala jen neúplnná dokumentace a bez vzorových kusů. Vývoj probíhal ve třech továrnách, motor Ne-130 byl postaven v továrně Ishikawajima, tento motor se neosvědčil a další vývoj nebyl preferován, společnost Hitachi stavěla typ Ne-230, v době kapitulace byl pravděpodobně dokončen pouze jediný prototyp, který byl poměrně úspěšný při testech a konečně společnost Mitsubishi stavěla motor typu Ne-330. Ten nebyl v době kapitulace zcela dokončen, jeho výkom měl být nejvyšší. Při použití motorů Ne-230 byla pro Ki-201 vypočtena max. rychlost 851 km/hod. Při startu měly pomoci raketové motory To Ko-15.
Karayu znamená Ohnivý drak.


Ki-201 Fire Dragon

The Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu/Karyū 中島 キ-201 火龍 ( "Fire Dragon" ) was a Japanese jet fighter project designed during the final stages of World War II but which was never completed.

The Karyu began as an in-house project by Nakajima in early 1945 to apply what was being learned about jet aircraft from the Nakajima Kikka attack aircraft to a fighter design. The Kikka had been inspired by the successful German Messerschmitt Me 262, but the similarities to that aircraft were limited to general configuration. [1] On the other hand, the design team led by Iwao Shibuya based the Karyu far more closely on the German aircraft, which had already proven itself quite formidable.

Nakajima attempted to interest the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in the aircraft, and seems to have succeeded at least far enough to have had an official designation ("Ki-201") applied to it, [1] but at that point, the Army had already decided to pursue derivatives of the liquid-fueled rocket powered Mitsubishi J8M, designated Mitsubishi Ki-200 and Mitsubishi Ki-202, as their way of fending off the B-29 Superfortress raids. [2] It seems that the Navy was also approached, but displayed no interest.

Undaunted, Nakajima continued development, anticipating test flights by December 1945. Most sources agree that work on the prototype had not yet begun by the time of the Japanese surrender.


Post by Robert Hurst » 08 Oct 2003, 10:52

Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi (Sabre)

Anticipating that the varied collection of obsolescent combat aircraft and trainers set aside for taiatari suicide attacks in the event of an invasion of the homeland would be insufficient to rout the Allied forces, on 20 January, 1945, the Japanese Army instructed Nakajima to build a specially designed suicide attack aeropane. The aircraft was to be easy to build, maintain and fly, and provision had to be made in its design for carrying a single bomb. Power was to be supplied by any air-cooled radial engne with a rating of 800 - 1,300 hp. Maximum speed was specified at 340 km/h (211 mph) with the undercarriage in position and 515 km/h (320 mph) after jettisoning.

Assisted by personnel of the Mitaka Kenkyujo (Mitaka Research Institute) and Ota Seishakusho KK (Ota Manufacturing Co Ltd), Engineer Aori Kunihiro designed the Ki-115a Suicide Attacker Tsurugi (Sabre). Planned to be built by semi-skilled labour, and structural and aerodynamic detailing was of secondary importance. The aircraft was the essence of simplicity. The all-metal wings had stressed-skin outer surfaces, the fuselage had a steel structure with tin engine cowling and steel panels on the front- and centre-sections, and the fabric-covered tail surfaces had a wooden structure. Welded steel-tube was used for the non-retractable main undercarriage, which was jettisoned after take-off. A variety of surplus engines could be used and were to be attached to the fuselage by four bolts, but all aircraft built were fitted with a 1,150 hp Nakajima [Ha-35] 23 (Ha-25) fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial, rated at 1,130 hp for take-off and 980 hp at 6,000 m (19,685 ft). The pilot sat in an open cockpit above the wing trailing edges and provision was made for a single bomb of up to 800 kg (1,764 lb) attached to a recessed crutch under the fuselage centre-section.

The first prototype was completed in March 1945 and flight tests began immediately. As could be expected from such a crash programme, the results were disappointing and the aircraft suffered from extremely poor handling characteristics on the ground. The crudity of the undercarriage, built of welded steel piping and lacking shock absorbers, combined with poor forward vision from the cockpit, rendered the aircraft difficult to handle, and modifications were required before handing the aircraft over to pilots with limited experience. By the time basic flight tests were completed in June 1945, a redesigned undercarriage with shock absorbers was fitted and auxiliary flaps attached to the inboard wing trailing edges were added. Provision was made on the 104 production aircraft for two solid-fuel rockets under each wing to boost the aircraft's speed in its final dive. None of these aircraft became operational, but two were delivered to Showa Hikoki KK (Showa Aeroplane Co Ltd) which had been selected as the prime contractor for the proposed Toka (Wisteria) Suicide Atacker, the JNAF version of the Ki-115 which was to be powered by various reconditioned surplus engines.

The Ki-115b was a projected version with wooden wings of increased area fitted with flaps and in which the pilot's seat was moved forward. None had been completed when Japan surrendered, and the Ki-230, a development of the basic design, remained on the drawing board.

Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki KK (Nakajima Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engined suicide attack aircraft.
Crew (1): Pilot in open cockpit.
Powerplant: One 1,150 hp Nakajima [Ha-35] 23 (Ha-25) fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a three-blade fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Armament: One 250 kg (551 lb), 500 kg (1,102 lb) or 800 kg (1,764 lb) bomb semi-recessed under the fuselage.
Dimensions: Span (Ki-115a) 8.6 m (28 ft 2 9/16 in), (Ki-115b) 9.72 m (31 ft 10 11/16 in) length 8.55 m (28 ft 0 5/8 in) height 3.3 m (10 ft 9 15/16 in) wing area (Ki-115a) 12.4 sq m (133.472 sq ft), (Ki-115b) 14.5 sq m (156.076 sq ft).
Weights: Empty (Ki-115a) 1,640 kg (3,616 lb) (Ki-115b) 1,690 kg (3,726 lb) loaded (Ki-115a) 2,580 kg (5,688 lb), (Ki-115b) 2,630 kg (5,798 lb) Maximum (Ki-115a) 2,880 kg (6,349 lb) wing loading (Ki-115a) 208 kg/sq m (42.6 lb/sq ft), (Ki-115b) 181 kg/sq m (37.1 lb/sq ft) power loading 2.3 kg/hp (5.1 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed (Ki-115a) 550 km/h (342 mph) at 2,800 m (9,185 ft), (Ki-115b) 620 km/h (385 mph) at 5,800 m (19,030 ft) cruising speed (Ki-115a) 300 km/h 186 mph) dervice ceiling (Ki-115b) 6,500 m (21,325 ft) range 1,200 km (745 miles).
Production: A total of 105 Ki-115as were built between March and August 1945 as follows:

1 Ki-115a prototype by Mitaka Kenkyujo at Mitaka
22 Ki-115a production aircraft by Nakajima Hikoki KK at Iwate
82 Ki-115a production aircraft by Nakajima Hikoki KK at Ota

The top two photos were taken from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon. The bottom photo was taken from The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II, by David Mondey.

Post by Robert Hurst » 08 Oct 2003, 11:49

Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon)

The Karyu (Fire Dragon) twin-jet attack fighter was designed by Nakajima late in 1944 and bore a striking resemblance to the smaller Messerschmitt Me 262 fighter. The Ki-201, under construction at the end of the war, was scheduled to fly in December 1945, but quantity production of the aircraft was in doubt, as the Army had selected the Rikugun Ki-202 for priority development. Two 885 kg (1,951 lb ) thrust Ne-230 turbojets or two 908 kg (2,002 lb) thrust Ne-130 turbojets. Armament: two 20 mm (0.79 in) and two 30 mm (1.18 in) cannon. Span 13.7 m (44 ft 11 3/8 in) length 11.5 m (37 ft 8 3/4 in). Maximum speed 852 km/h (529 mph) at 10,000 m (32,810 ft) climb to 10,000 m (32,810 ft) in 13 min 15 sec.

the drawing was taken from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon.

Post by Robert Hurst » 08 Oct 2003, 12:16

The Ki-93 was the last heavy fighter and ground attack aircraft built in Japan during the war and was the only design of the Rikugun Kokugijutsu Kenkyujo (Army Aerotechnical Research Institute) to be flown. Powered by two Mitsubishi Ha-214 einghteen-cylinder air-cooled radials, rated at 2,400 hp for take-off, 1,970 hp at 1,500 m (4,920 ft) and 1,730 hp at 8,300 m (27,730 ft), and driving six-blade propellers, the Ki-93 was designed specially to carry large calibre cannon in its under-fuselage gondola. From its inception the aircraft was designed to perform as a high-altitude heavy bomber destroyer as well as a low-altitude anti-shipping aircraft. In its bomber destroyer form (Ki-93-Ia) the aircraft carried offensive armament comprising one 57 mm (2.24 in) Ho-401 cannon and two 20 mm (0.79 in) Ho-5 cannon, while for the anti-shipping missions (Ki-93-Ib) its offensive armament comprised one 75 mm (2.95 in) Type 88 cannon and two 250 kg (551 lb) bombs. The 75 mm (2.95 in) cannon had been fitted experimentally in a Kawasaki Ki-45-KAId, but this proved to be unsuccessful as the tail assembly of the aircraft blew off when the cannon was fired. In both instances defensive armament consisted of a single hand-held 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Type 1 machine-gun. The all-metal sressed-skin fuselage was basically of circular section, the two-man crew of pilot and gunner were seated back to back under a curved hood with separate sliding sections. The cockpit and engine nacelles were heavily armoured, and all fuel tanks were self-sealing and had an automatic fire-extinguishing system. Crew being protected by 12 mm (1.47 in) armour. The windscreen was of 70 mm (2.75 in) armoured glass.

Production of the Ki-93 was entrusted to the Dai-Ichi Rikugun Kokusho (First Army Air Arsenal) at Tachikawa, and the first prototype, fitted with the armament intended for the Ki-93-Ia, was completed and flown in April 1945. The chaotic conditions prevailing in Japan at this late stage of the war delayed the flight trial programme and the tests were not completed prior to the Japanese surrender. A second prototype, in Ki-93-Ib ground attack configuration, was completed but not flown before the final collapse.

Manufacturer: Dai-chi Rikugun Kokusho (First Army Air Arsenal).
Type: Twin-engined heavy fighter and ground attack aircraft.
Crew (2): Pilot and gunner in enclosed cockpit.
Powerplant: Two Mitsubishi Ha-214 eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, driving six-blade metal propellers.
Armament: (Ki-93-Ia) One 57 mm (2.24 in) Ho-401 cannon and two 20 mm (0.79 in) Ho-5 cannon in a ventral gondola and one flexible 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Type1 machine-gun, (Ki-93-Ib) One forward-firing 75 mm (2.95 in) Type 88 cannon and one flexible rear-firing 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Type 1. External stores: (Ki-93-Ib) two 250 kg (551 lb) bombs.
Dimensions: Span 19 m (62 ft 4 in) length 14.215 m (46 ft 7 21/32 in) height 4.85 m (15 ft 10 15/16 in) wing area 54.75 sq m (589.322 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 7,686 kg (16,945 lb) loaded 10,660 kg (23,501 lb) wing loading 194.7 kg/sq m (39.9 lb/sq ft) power loading 2.2 kg/hp (4.9 lb/hp).
Performance: maximum speed 624 km/h (388 mph) at 8,300 m (27,230 mph) cruising speed 350 km/h (217 mph) climb to 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in 9 min 3 sec service ceiling 12,050 m (39,530 ft) maximum range 3,000 km (1,864 miles).
Production: Two Ki-93 prototypes were built by the Dai-Ichi Rikugun Kokusho at tachikawa in 1945.

The photo was taken from Warplanes of the Second World War Vol 3: Fighters, by William Green.

Post by Robert Hurst » 09 Oct 2003, 11:47

In August 1932, the Japanese Army had a requirement for a small, light-weight ambulance aircraft, and placed an order for such an aircraft with KK Ishikawajima Hikoki Seisakusho (Ishikawajima Aeroplane Manufacturing Co Ltd). Based on the company's experience with the R-5 trainer, and design concepts found in the imported de Havilland DH 83 Fox Moth* light transport, Ryockichi Endo, with the support of Moriyuki Nakagawa, undertook the project.

The company designated the aircraft KKY, which stood for Kogata Kei Kanja Yusoki or Small Type Light Patient Transport. This 'small type' ambulance was to supplement the 'standard type' which at that time was the Nakajima-Fokker Universal converted for ambulance use. The KKY carried a pilot, stretchers for two patients, a seat for one medical attendant, and medical supplies and equipment stipulated by the Army's Senior Surgeon, Dr Yoshinobu Teraji. The KKY type was designed to operate from small airstrips for emergency evacuations. Low-pressure tyres, having a wider foor-print, were fitted when these aircraft were to be operated from unprepared strips.

Althought the first prototype was completed in December 1933, it took a long time to complete flying and serviceability trials and make the necessary modifications, and it was not until February 1935 that this first KKY was considered acceptable. After still further, but minor modifications, to the first aircraft, a small number of additional aircraft were manufactured from 1936 to 1940.

The KKY was a single-engined biplane. It had a welded steel tube fuselage, wooden unequal-span wings, and an aluminium empennage, which was fabric-covered. The aircraft was designed for, and first built with, the 120 hp Cirrus Hermes Mk.IV inverted air-cooled inline engine, driving a two-blade fixed-pitch metal propeller. Problems continued with the Cirrus engine, and later models from October 1938 were powered by the 150 hp Gasuden Jimpu seven-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a two-blade fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The wings, with Clark Y aerofoil section, had the area increased to improve short-field performance. This later version was designated the KKY-2 Kogata Kei Kanja Yusoki Kaizogata, the last word meaninf modified version. By this time the company name had changed to Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).

The KKYs were put into service as Aikoku-go aircraft (purchased through private donations) and were widely used in air-evacuation duties during the Sino-Japanese conflict up to the early stages of the Pacific War.

Technical Data (Relates to first prototype)

Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engined airborne ambulance aircraft.
Crew (2): Pilot and medical attendant plus two patients.
powerplant: One 120-135 hp Cirrus Hermes Mk.IV four-cylinder inverted air-cooled inline engine, driving a two-blade fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Dimensions: Span 10 m (32 ft 9 1/2 in) length 7.90 m (25 ft 11 in) height 2.38 m (7 ft 9 1/4 in) wing area 22 sq m (236.813 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 560 kg (1,234 lb) loaded 977 kg (2,154 lb) wing loading 44.4 kg/sq m (9.1 lb/sq ft) power loading 7.24 kkg/hp (15.9 lb/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed 181.6 km/h (112.8 mph) cruising speed 155 km/h (96.7 mph) landing speed 79.7 km/h (49.5 mph) taake-off/landing distance aprroximately 250 m (820 ft) climb to 2,000 m (6,562 ft) in 14 min service ceiling 4,500 m (14,763 ft) range 620 km (385 miles).
Production: A total of twenty-three KKY-1 and -2s were built by Tachikawa Hikoki KK between 1933 and 1940.

* Three DH 83 Fox Moths had been imported into Japan, of which two had been modified into ambulance aircraft for the Japanese Army.

The two photos were taken from Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941, by Robert C Mikesh and Shorzoe Abe.

Post by Robert Hurst » 09 Oct 2003, 12:54

Designed as a replacement for the Mitsubishi Ki-46, the Tachikawa Ki-70 (code-named 'Clara') by the Allies, never entered production as its performance fell below that of advanced versions of its predecessor. In March 1939, two years after issuing the specification to which the Ki-46 was designed and eight months before the first flight of that aircraft, the Koku Hombu instructed Tachikawa Hikoki KK to design a still faster and longer-ranged reconnaissance aircraft which received the designation Ki-70. The aircraft proposed by Tachikawa was a twin-engined mid-wing cantilever monoplane with laminar flow aerofoil sections. The crew of three included an observer manning a flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-gun in the glazed nose, the pilot seated just forward of the wing leading edge and the radio-operator manning a flexible 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine-gun in the rear fuselage. To improve the field of fire of the rear-firing machine-gun, twin fins and rudders were adopted. With two Mitsubishi Ha-104M eighteen-cylinder radials, rated at 1,900 hp for take-off, 1,810 hp at 2,200 m (7,220 ft) and 1,610 hp at 6,100 m (20,015 ft), a top speed of 647 km/h (402 mph) at 5,400 m (17,715 ft) was anticipated.

Consruction of two pototypes progressed slowly, and the first Ki-70 was not completed until February 1943. When flight tests began, the results were immediately disappointing as the Ki-70's weight exceeded calculated values by a considerable amount. Consequently, wing loading was excessive and the aircraft was hard to handle durng take-off and landing. Inflight handling characteristics could hardly be considered satisfactory and the maximum speed reached during the trials was 580 km/h (360 mph), which compared poorly with the top speed of 604 and 630 km/h (375 and 391 mph) respectively rreached by the Ki-46-II and -III. In an effort to improve performance a third prototype was built with two turbosupercharged Mitsubish Ha-211-I Ru radials, rated at 2,200 hp for take-off, 2,070 hp at 1,000 m (3,280 ft) and 1,720 hp at 9,500 m (31,170 ft). However, the Ha-211-I Ru was unreliable and the Ki-70 was still overweight, forcing the Koku Hombu to abandon its support for the programme.

Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Twin-engined reconnaissance aircraft
Crew (3): Pilot, observer and radio-operator/gunner in enclosed cockpits.
Powerplant: Two Mitsubishi Ha-221-I Ru eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, driving four-blade metal propellers.
Armament: One fleible forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 89 machine-gun and one flexible rear-firng 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Type 1 (Ho-103) machine-gun.
Dimensions: Span 17.8 m (58 ft 4 25/32 in) length 14.5 m (47 ft 6 7/8 in) height 3.46 m (11 ft 4 7/32 in) wing area 43 sq m ( 462.846 sq ft).
Weights: (with Ha-104) Empty 5,895 kg (12,996 lb), loaded 9,855 kg (21,727 lb) maximum 10,700 kg (23,598 lb) wing loading 229.2 kg/sq m (46.9 lb/sq ft) power loading 2.6 kg/hp (5.7 lb/hp).
Performance: (with Ha-104) maximum speed 647 km/h (402 mph) at 5,400 m (17,715 ft) cruising speed 490 km/h (304 mph) at 5,400 m (17,715 ft) climb to 5,000 m (16,405 ft) in 5 min service ceiling 11,000 m (36,090 ft) range 2,480 km (1,541 miles).
Production: A total of three Ki-70s were built by Tachikawa Hikoki KK in 1943.

The photo was taken form Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon.

Post by Robert Hurst » 10 Oct 2003, 11:25

Although first conceived as early as 1939, the Tachikawa Ki-74 had not been placed in full production when the Pacific war ended. During those six years its intended role had been changed from that of long-range reconnaissance to that of long-range stratospheric bombing.

Under the guidance of Dr Kimura, the Ki-74 was originally designed in the spring of 1939 to meet the requirements of a specification issued by the Koku Hombu and calling for a long-range reconnaissance aircraft capable of operating west of Lake Baikal from Manchurian bases. The aircraft was to have a range of 5,000 km (3,107 miles) at a cruising speed of at least 450 km/h (280 mph). To meet these performance requirements, Dr Kimura proposed using a pair of 2,400 hp Mitsubishi Ha-214M radials driving six-blade propellers. and fitting a pressure cabin. However, pending development of the pressure cabin system tested on the Tachikawa SS-1 and A-26/Ki-77, the project was temporarily suspended.

Late in 1941 the project was revived as a long-range high-altitude bomber-reconnaissance aircraft capable of bombing the United States mainland. To fit the aircraft for its new role, Tachikawa added bombing equipment, self-sealing fuel tanks and armour to the original design and decided to replace the Ha-214M engines with a pair of Mitsubishi Ha-211-I radials, rated at 2,200 hp for take-off, 2,070 hp at 1,000 m (3,280 ft) and 1,720 hp at 9,500 m (31,170 ft). The design of the aircraft was approved by the Koku Hombu in September 1942 and construction of three prototypes was authorised. The first prototype, completed in March 1944, was followed by two externally identical aircraft which were powered by a pair of turbosupercharged Ha-211-I Ru radials, rated at 2,200 hp for take-off, 2,070 hp at 1,000 m (3,280 ft) and 1,720 hp at 9,500 m (31,170 ft). However, during the flight trial programme both versions of the Mitsubishi Ha-211 suffered from teething troubles and it was decided to replace them on the pre-producion aircraft with the lower-powered but more reliable turbosupercharged Mitsubishi Ha-104 Ru radials, rated at 2,000 hp for take-off, 1,900 hp at 2,000 m (6,560 ft) and 1,750 hp at 6,000 m (19,685 ft).

Thirteen Ha-104 Ru powered pre-production aircraft were built and were still undergoing tests when the war ended. All five crew members were seated in a pressure cabin in the forward fuselage, and the aircraft was armed with a single remotely-controlled 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine-gun in the tail and carried a bomb-load of 1,000 kg (2,205 lb). Plans were made to use the Ki-74s in bombing attacks against B-29 bases at Saipan as soon as sufficient aircraft were available, but the Japanese surrender terminated the project. Although the Ki-74 was never encountered during the war, the Allies were aware of its development, but thinking at first that it was a 'super-range, high-speed fighter' intended for long-range escort duty they accordingly assigned to it a male name: 'Pat' when the true role of the aircraft was discovered the code-name was changed to 'Patsy'.

The fourth pre-production aircraft (Ki-74 c/n 7) was modified in 1944 to undertake non-stop flights between Japan and Germany, but the Third Reich capitulated before the first of these flights could be made. Other developments included a pure bomber version, the Ki-74-II with the bomb-load increased to 2,000 kg (4,410 lb), and a transport version, but both these projects were abandoned before completion.

The top photo was taken from the Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, by David Donald. The middle and bottom photos were taken from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, by Rene J Francillon.

Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Twin-engined high-altitude long-range reconnaissance-bomber.
Crew (5): Enclosed in pressure cabin.
Powerplant: (1st prototype) Two Mitsubishi Ha-211-I eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving four-blade metal propellers, (2nd and 3rd prototypes) two Mitsubishi Ha-221-I Ru eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, driving four-blade metal propellers, (4th-16th aircraft) two Mitsubishi Ha-104 eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, driving four-blade metal propellers.
Armament: One remotely-controlled 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Type 1 (Ho-103) machine-gun. Bomb-load: 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).
Dimensions: Span 27 m (88 ft 7 in) length 17.65 m (57 ft 10 7/8 in) height 5.1 m (16 ft 8 25/32 in) wing area 80 sq m (861.11 sq ft).
weights: Empty 10,200 kg (22,487 lb) loaded 19,400 kg (42,770 lb) wing loading 242.5 kg/sq m ( 49.7 lb/sq ft) power loading 4.4 kg/hp (9.7 lb/hp).
Performance: maximum speed 570 km/h (354 mph) at 8,500 m (27,890 ft) cruising speed 400 km/h (249 mph) at 8,000 m (26,245 ft) climb to 8,000 m (26,245 ft) in 17 min service ceiling 12,000 m (39,370 ft) range 8,000 km (4,971 miles).
Production: A total of 16 Ki-74s were built by Tachikawa Hikoki KK between march 1944 and August 1945.

Post by Robert Hurst » 10 Oct 2003, 14:31

During the thirties the strong rivalry existing between the largest newspapers in Japan had resulted in several famous record flights and, in late 1939, the Asahi Shimbun (Asahi Press) were studying the possibility of bettering the recent round-the-world flight by J-BACI, a modified Mitsubishi G3M2, which had been sponsored by their rivals the Mainichi Shimbun. The management of Asahi Shimbun agreed that the most promising way to recapture the interest of the Japanese populace was to sponsor a non-stop flight between Tokyo and New York. As no aircraft then available had sufficient range for this flight, Asahi Shimbun approached the Aeronautical Research Institute of the University of Tokyo in January 1940 with a request that they design a new aircraft with a range exceeding 15,000 km (9,321 miles) at a mimimum cruising speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). The aircraft was to fly in the sub-stratosphere and, besides its primary use as a long-distance record-breaking machine, was to serve in the development of a future stratospheric transport.

With the approval of the Japanese Army work began in earnest in March 1940, the project receiving the designation A-26 - the 'A' referring to the sponsoring Asahi Shimbun and the '26' standing for the first two digits of the current Japanese year, 2600 (AD 1940). Members of the Aeronautical Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, led by Dr H Kimura, were responsible for the basic design while Tachikawa Hikoki KK, which appointed Ryokichi Endo as their chief project engineer, were responsible for detailed engineering drawings and the manufacture of the aircraft. Dr Kimura decided to power the A-26 with two 1,000 hp Nakajima Ha-105 fourteen-cylinder double-row radials enclosed in close-fitting cowlings inspired by those of the Curtiss-Wright CW-20, but eventully the aircraft was powered by two Nakajima Ha-115 fourteen-cylinder radials, rated at 1,170 hp for take-off and 1,000 hp at 4,300 m (4,110 ft), a development of the earlier Ha-105 with a lower reduction ratio. Initially it was hoped that the 'sealed oxygen cabin', unpressurised but sealed to prevent loss of oxygen, would necessitate only mimimum use of oxygen masks by the crew, but in event the crew members were to suffer the discomfort of wearing their masks continuously. A wing of laminar flow section, designed by Professor Fukazu of the University of Tokyo, with six-degrees dihedral and an aspect ratio of 11 was adopted as it offered the best compromise between the conflicting requirements imposed by long-range operation and ease of production. In the wing were located the fuel tanks with a total capacity of 11,155 litres (2,542 Imp gal). Having resolved the basic configuration of the aircraft, detailed engineering drawing began in the autumn of 1940, the first flight being tentatively scheduled for November 1941. Minor design problems forced a first postponement until February 1942, but the beginning of hostilities in the Pacific compromised the future of the aircraft as tachikawa were instructed to concentrate on military programmes.

In the summer of 1942 the project was revived again as a long-range communication aeroplane for the Japanese Army which wished to maintain a line of communication with the other Axis powers. Now bearing the military designation Ki-77, the aircraft was completed in September 1942 and, after delays caused by engine cooling difficulties, made its first flight from Tachikawa Airfield on 18 November, 1942, with pilots Kamada and Nagatomo at the controls. Flying characteristics were found fully satisfactory during flight trials, but the engine cowlings had to be modified several times due to overheating on the ground. Finally the problem was solved and the Ki-77 gave a first demonstration of its capability on 20-21 April, 1943, when it flew non-stop from Fussa, Tokyo Prefecture, to Singapore covering 5,330 km (3,312 miles) in 19 hr 13 min. A second prototype began flight trials the following month to readied for the Seiko (Success) flight between Japan and Germany. This flight was actually attempted on 7 July,1 943, but the aircraft was lost over the Indian Ocean, possibly due to an encounter with British fighters, on its way from Singapore to Berlin.

Despite their preoccupation with the ever gloomier war situation, the Japanese decided to attack unoficially, the world closed-circuit distance record. An 865 km (537.5 miles) circuit between Sinking, Peichengtu and Harbin, Manchuria, was selected and, starting on 2 July, 1944 at Sinking airfield, the first prototype Ki-77 - the aircraft originally intended to fly non-stop from Tokyo to New York - flew nineteen circuits (16,435 km or 10,212 miles) in 57 hr 12 min, thus gaining for Japan an unrecognised world record.

Surviving the war, the aircraft was last flown between Yamanashi Airfield and Yokosuka in US markings to be shipped to the United States where it was eventually scrapped.

Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Twin-engined long-range experimental aircraft.
Crew (5): All in sealed oxygen cabin
Powerplants: Two Nakajima Ha-115 fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engnes, driving three-blade constant-speed metal propellers.
Dimensions: Span 29.438 m (96 ft 6 31/32 in) length 15.3 m (50 ft 2 3/8 in) height 3.85 m (12 ft 7 9/16 in) wing area 79.56 sq m (856.373 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 7,237 kg (15,955 lb) loaded 16,725 kg (36,872 lb) wing loading 210.2 kg/sq m (43.1 lb/sq ft) power loading 7.15 kg/hp (15.75 lb/hp).
Performance: maximum speed 440 km/h (273 mph) at 4,600 m (15,090 ft) cruising speed 300 km/h (186 mph) climb to 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in 24 min service ceiling 8,700 m (28,545 ft) range 18,000 km (11,185 miles).
Production: Two aircraft built by Tachikawa Hikoki KK in 1942 and 1943.

Post by Robert Hurst » 11 Oct 2003, 11:06

Preliminary discussions regarding a heavily armed high-altitude fighter were held between the Koku Hombu and Tachikawa Hikoki KK in mid-1942. At that time the Japanese Army wanted to obtain a fighter fitted with a pressure cabin and capable of reaching a top speed of 800 km/h (497 mph) and having a maximum range of 3,000 km (1,864 miles). As these performance requirements were rather stringent, the Koku Hombu decided to instruct Tachikawa to proceed with the design of the aircraft while they placed a contract with Nakajima for another high-altitude fighter with a less stringent range requirement. The aircraft proposed by Tachikawa, which received the designation Ki-94 (later Ki-94-I), was of highly unconventional design. The aircraft was a large twin-boom monoplane powered by two 2,200 hp Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radials which were mounted fore and aft of the pilot's cockpit and drove four-blade tractor and pusher propellers. Proposed armament included two 37 mm (1.46 in) Ho-203 cannon and two 30 mm (1.18 in) Ho-105 cannon, and a maximum speed of 780 km/h (485 mph) at 10,000 m (32,810 ft) was anticipated. A full-size wooden mock-up was completed late in 1943, but development of the aircraft was discontinued as the Technical Department of the Koku Hombu judged the project too complex and its calculated performance unduly optimistic.

Soon after, Tachikawa submitted a new proposal designed to meet the same requirements as the competitive Nakajima Ki-87. The new aircraft was a single-engined single-seat high-altitude fighter of conventional design with laminar-flow wings and featuring a pressure cabin mounted in the fuselage behind the wing trailing edges. The aircraft was to be powered by a fan-cooled turbosupercharged 2,400 hp Nakajima [Ha-44] 12 eighteen-cylinder radial, rated at 2,450 hp for take-off, 2,350 hp at 1,100 m (3,610 ft), 2,200 hp at 4,400 m (14,453 ft) and 2,040 hp at 11,000 m (36,090 ft), and drivng a six-blade propeller, and the wing-mounted armament was to include two 30 mm (1.18 in) Ho-105 cannon and two 20 mm (0.79 in) Ho-5 cannon. The proposal was accepted by the Koku Hombu which ordered one static test airframe, three prototypes and eighteen pre-production aircraft under the designation Ki-94-II. The first Ki-94-II was scheduled for completion on 20 July, 1945, but eventually was completed two weeks behind schedule. The six-blade propeller planned for the Ki-94-II was not ready in time, and it was decided to begin testing of the first prototype on 18 August, 1945, by temporarily fitting a four-blade airscrew. A second protoype, intended to be fitted with the six-blade propeller, was under construction, but the end of the war prevented it from being completed, while the first aircraft was still being readied for its intended maiden flight three days later.

The two photos were taken from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Rene J Francillon.

Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki KK (Tachikawa Aeroplane Co Ltd).
Type: Single-engined high-altitude fighter.
Crew (1): Pilot in pressurised cockpit.
Powerplant: One 2,400 hp Nakajima [Ha-44] 12 eighteen-cylinder air-cooled rdial engine, driving a (1st prototype) four-blade or (planned production aircraft) six-blade constant-speed metal propeller.
Armament: two wing-mounted 30 mm (1.18 in) Ho-105 cannon and two wing-mounted 20 mm (0.79 in) Ho-5 cannon. External stores: one 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb.
Dimensions: Span 14 m (45 ft 11 3/16 in) length 12 m (39 ft 4 7/16 in) height 4.65 m (15 ft 3 1/16 in) wing area 28 sq m (301.388 sq ft).
Weights: Empty 4,690 kg (10,340 lb) loaded 6,450 kg (14,220 lb) wing loading 230.4 kg/sq m (37.2 lb/sq ft) power loading 2.6 kg/hp (5.8 lb)/hp).
Performance: Maximum speed 712 km/h (442 mph) at 12,000 m (39,370 ft) cruising speed 440 km/h (273 mph) at 9,000 m (29,530 ft) climb to 10,000 m (32,810 ft) in 17 min 38 sec service ceiling 14,680 m (48,170 ft) range 2,100 km (1,305 miles).
Production: One prototype competed by Tachikawa Hikoki KK in August 1945.


[4] ME 262 SCHWALBE / STURMVOGEL DESCRIBED

* The production "Me 262A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)" fighter that finally emerged was fitted with two Jumo 004B engines with 8.83 kN (900 kgp / 1,980 lbf) thrust each. The "B"-series engines were production standard, using much smaller amounts of "strategic metals" such as chromium, nickel, and molybdenum than the pre-production "A" series engines. That made the "B" series engines substantially lighter than the "A" engines, but at a price, as discussed below.

The Jumo 004's starter system was unusual and worth comment. The compressor of a turbojet has to be brought up to speed before the turbojet can be ignited. In modern aircraft, this is done by a high-torque electric motor or airflow from a small starter turbine engine, while in many earlier jet aircraft it was done using a pyrotechnic cartridge that kicked the turbine into motion. The Jumo 004's starter system consisted of a small two-stroke gasoline engine hidden behind the engine nozzle bullet. The gasoline engine had an electric starter, but as a backup there was a pull-cord starter with the handle in a recess in the front of the bullet. Apparently the BMW 003 had a similar scheme.

The Me 262A-1a was armed with four short-barreled MK 108 30-millimeter cannon in the nose. The MK-108 was a low-velocity weapon, only a step above an automatic grenade launcher, and in fact its explosive shells were referred to as "mines". However, although they didn't have long range, they had terrific killing power. The top pair of cannon had 100 rounds per gun, while the lower pair had 80 rounds per gun. The aircraft was originally fitted with a Revi 16B reflector gunsight, though this was later replaced by the Askania EZ42 gyroscopic gunsight.


The Me 262A-1a had armored front window glass and an armored seat back. The wing had moderate sweepback, with trailing-edge flaps and leading-edge slats. The pilot sat high in an all-round vision canopy that tilted open to the right. The machine was not fitted with an ejection seat. The aircraft was designed to be easy to manufacture, and avoided the use of critical materials.

* The "Jabo" Me 262 variant was designated the "Me 262A-2a Sturmvogel (Storm Bird)". As noted, it was fitted with two stores pylons under the forward fuselage for two 250-kilogram (550-pound) general-purpose or cluster bombs, and only had the upper pair of MK 108 30-millimeter cannon.

The Sturmvogel was too "clean" for dive-bombing attacks it would build up too much speed, becoming uncontrollable. It had no bombsight for performing horizontal bombing attacks from medium or high altitudes, but a skilled pilot could use it to perform useful horizontal attacks at low level, particularly with cluster munitions that didn't have to be aimed precisely.

Cockpit armor was largely eliminated, and an extra fuel tank was fitted in the rear fuselage to increase range. This fuel tank had to be emptied first, otherwise the Sturmvogel became dangerously tail-heavy after dropping its bombs. If that sounds half-baked, it should be noted that a similar fix was made to the North American P-51D Mustang to give it "Berlin & back" range, with similar results. Work was also done on an odd scheme where the Sturmvogel was rigged to tow a large bomb fitted with a small wing, but the aircraft tended to "porpoise" while towing the bomb, with one aircraft losing control and lost, the pilot bailing out safely. Other nasty problems also cropped up and the idea was abandoned, with the final report stating the scheme had proven "hazardous and unsatisfactory".


Ki-201 ‘Karyū’: The Me 262 Domestic Production Plan

At the dawn of 1944, the German jet fighter Messerschmitt ‘Me 262’ was nearing the beginning of its service life. Due to issues with its power-plant and interference from the high command, the aircraft had been in the testing stage since 1941. In the coming months it would finally enter mass production. This aircraft achieved revolutionary performance exhibiting a top speed of 870km/h, a cruising distance of 1,050km, and a climb rate of 1,200m/min. The bomber-devastating armament consisted of a quartet of 30 mm machine cannons and 24 rockets. On paper, it was the world’s best interceptor at the time.

It is comparatively little known that Japan had indigenous jet engine programs prior to being influenced by German technology. The development of original Japanese jet engines began in 1941-1942, but they wouldn’t materialize as prototypes until 1943. In the typical fashion of the Japanese military, the Navy and Army did not collaborate on this ordeal. As such, duplicate research efforts were conducted simultaneously.

The testing of indigenous jet engines were plagued with troubles ー to be brief major issues such as total failure of the engine itself during operation, to performance problems like low thrust output and high fuel consumption rate, were unavoidable. By 1944, the most advanced Japanese turbojet developments from both sides only provided about 300kg of thrust. At this point the Japanese were several years behind their German counterparts. However, with limited assistance, an impressive technological leap was soon to be achieved.

Japanese Interest in Me 262

It was in the early months of 1944 that the Luftwaffe High Command revealed the existence of their secret jet and rocket-propelled fighters to Japanese representatives in Berlin for the first time. In previous years the Germans had been reluctant to disclose their experimental weaponry to the Japanese, but as development progressed and the war situation worsened, they opened up more or less entirely. The Japanese did not waste any time to request more information, and in March, Hitler and Göring agreed to release such material to Japan. Three requests were subsequently made on April 1st:

  1. Send Messerschmitt jet technicians to Japan
  2. Permit the training of Japanese technicians in Germany
  3. Allow the purchase of rights for the licensed manufacture of the Me 163 B and Me 262 A.

In addition, by the beginning of that month, basic survey sketches and illustrations of the Me 163 B, Me 262 A, and various German jet & rocket engines were already turned over to Japanese attaches within Germany. Submarines Ro-501 and I-29 departed weeks later en route to Japan with these limited materials distributed among their cargo. Neither of these submarines would actually arrive in Japan, both being intercepted and sunk en-route. Only a very small amount of technical data survived with Commander Eīchi Iwaya, who would later depart I-29 during its stop at Singapore and arrive in Japan during mid-July of the same year.

The Germans agreed to release the manufacturing rights for the Me 262 to Japan in May, but the negotiations did not conclude this early, and the plans weren’t to be made available to the Japanese until the autumn of that year. During the interim Japanese representatives visited production facilities for the Me 262. They were instructed of the manufacturing techniques by August Bringewald, an overseer of Me 262 production in Germany. It was clear that Japan could not mass produce Me 262 without modifying the production techniques accordingly to their own, and would require German specialists to supervise the manufacturing process accordingly. Finally, in July, orders were issued to Messerschmitt to begin preparing the blueprints and materials for the manufacture of secret aircraft and engines to be delivered to the Japanese. On the 23rd of the same month, Göring approved the delivery of one Me 163 B and one Me 262 A to Japan, but this decision was upended by Hitler in August.

The unassuming BMW 003A drawing which revolutionized Japan’s jet program.

Around this time in Japan, the limited technical information pages to survive with Commander Iwaya from I-29 were received, as previously mentioned. Among this of relevance was an Me 262 operations manual, and a single cutaway of the BMW 003 turbojet. Despite only being a copy of a cutaway reduced to 10x15cm, this drawing was studied extensively and garnered a massive interest, because in Germany the BMW 003 was already in practical use. For small parts that were not clear on the drawing, even so little as individual lines, educated guesses were made. Using what could be learned from the layout of this drawing, the Japanese paused and re-examined their entire jet program.

In necessity of efficient development given the war situation, it was decided to unite jet development cooperatively between the Army and Navy, a practice that scarcely occurred in earlier years. The Army’s turbojet projects were completely canceled, while the Navy’s turbojet developments were to be furthered by implementing axial compressor stages learned from the BMW. Addition, a tri-company project was begun to procure high-thrust class axial turbojets, reverse engineered from the diagram of BMW 003. These engines were the following:

  1. Ishikawajima Shibaura Turbine’s Ne-130 (908kgf)
  2. Nakajima Airplane & Hitachi Aircraft’s Ne-230 (885kgf)
  3. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries & Japan Steelworks Ne-330 (1320kgf)

(The 1st Naval Technical Arsenal also privately developed the ‘Ne-20’, though this engine is smaller in scope)

Concurrently with the planning of these aforementioned engines, an airframe to mount them was devised. The summary of a ‘Rocket Plane’ assigned to Kawasaki Aircraft was included in the Army’s September 1944 aircraft prototype plan. In the general outline, it was labeled as the ‘Me 262’, and the engine model was listed as the TR230 or TR330. Within the engine prototype plan issued in the same month, the engines noted as “for Me 262” were the TR140 and TR330, but curiously not the TR230.

(TR140 later became the Ne-130, and TR230 and TR330 are early names of Ne-230 and Ne-330 respectively. )

From these extant materials, it has been deduced that Me 262 was initially assigned to be designed and produced domestically by Kawasaki, and would mount the most successful of the three new turbojet models in development. According the prototype plan, the order of development should be issued during October 1944, the first prototype should be completed in December 1945, and the practical examination should concluded by June 1946. No prototype ‘Ki’ number was assigned to this plane, so the plan was clearly very preliminary. Unsurprisingly, the development order was not issued at the scheduled time, possibly a result of the ongoing negotiations with Germany. Complete technical and manufacturing plans for the Me 262 were delivered to the head of the Messerschmitt foreign export branch, a certain Dr. Thun, in October. Later that month Japanese representatives advised the Germans that only the Army was planning to put the Me 262 into mass production. Two mass production plans seem to have been requested, one for 100 aircraft a month, and another for 500. By December, all the necessary contracts regarding the Me 262’s licensing had been signed and concluded.

Although Kawasaki had been originally selected as the Me 262’s development company, at some point between October and December of 1944, it is evident that the plan was transferred to Nakajima. The reason for this is not recorded, though it was possibly due to Nakajima’s position close to the development and construction of jet engines, with the Ne-230 under development. Kawasaki had also experienced an increased assignment of work at this time, which may have rendered the company unable to viably develop such a national first as a high-performance jet plane. A plan name for the aircraft was now established — it was the ‘Ki-201’ with the unconventional designation “Karyū” — the Fire Dragon, and development was ordered by the Japanese Army Air Headquarters. The project would be held cooperatively between the Army and Navy, with the Army in charge of the development of the airframe, and the Navy the engines. The design team was assembled at Nakajima under Iwao Shibuya and began basic research on the Ki-201 design in January 1945.

The principle outline of the aircraft required was a twin-jet fighter-attacker capable of engaging enemy jet fighters, rocket planes, and high-altitude bombers. The performance requirements were a maximum speed of 800km/h or more, a practical ceiling of 12,000m or more, and a cruising range of 800 – 1,000km or more. According to the ‘Rocket-Weaponry Military Strength Improvement Plan’ drafted in December, where the plane is first known to have been mentioned, prototype #1 was rescheduled to be completed in July 1945, 5 months earlier than the original planned date of the “Kawasaki Rocket Plane”, with two more aircraft in August, followed by three more in September. It was also desired to increase production beyond this, and service 20 aircraft in August as well as September. Around 100 aircraft were generally expected to be serviced throughout 1945 when production plans were achieved, with two to three squadrons (112-168 planes) active by March 1946.

Unfortunately for these expectations, Germany’s final attempts at technological assistance did not proceed smoothly. On February 9, 1945, the German submarine U-864 was sunk four kilometers west of Fedje, Norway by the British HMS Venturer. It had experienced a large number of setbacks, delaying its intended embark to Japan. On board were the parts and plans for manufacturing the Me 262 A, Me 163 B, BMW 003, Jumo 004, and HWK 509. Also lost in the interception were two instrumental Messerschmitt engineers, Riclef Schomerus and Rolf von Chlingensperg, who were intended to assist with the development of jet aircraft and direct the manufacture of Me 163 & Me 262 in Japan, respectively. The Japanese were now left almost entirely in the dark — the only substantial data on German jet technology within their possession was still the very few pages departed from I-29 the previous year.

The 6 Month Development Life of ‘Karyū’

Due to the situation the development schedule was delayed, the planned completion of the basic design was now set for June 1945, the first prototype was reverted to the original schedule of December 1945, and the first 18 production aircraft were to be delivered by March 1946. Even in the absence of German manufacturing prints, the team at Nakajima began the basic design process of Ki-201 in April 1945. The last German mission to Japan, submarine U-234, departed on the 15th of the same month. Among its expansive cargo were the actual airframes Me 262 A, Me 163 B, and evidently Me 309, divided into many crates and complete with manufacturing drawings. But there was no more time to spare, the war was quickly deteriorating and the likelihood that any further German data would make it to Japan was incredibly slim.

Then, immediately following the capitulation of Germany, U-234 surrendered to the USS Sutton on the 14th of May, dashing any last chance for the arrival of German technology. Even as the captured German technicians expressed the notion that Japan would never be able to develop an Me 262 of their own without the onboard materials, the design of Karyū was nevertheless progressing, unknown to the rest of the world.

In the initial draft, Karyū had a conventional linear wing, with the airframe dimensions at a span of 12.56m and a length of 10.55m, a size nearly identical to the Me 262. Ultimately though, the airframe design settled on a shape that appeared closely to Me 262, with a larger footprint of 13.7m span and 11.5m length (a size exceeding Me 262, at 12.6m span and 10.6m length). Accordingly, the wings were swept, and the cross-section of the fuselage was distinctly triangular in the mid-section. A tricycle-type landing gear configuration was adopted. The engine selected was the Ne-230 turbine rocket, or alternatively the somewhat more powerful Ne-130, and one was suspended under each wing. Two 1,000kg gunpowder rockets installed under the fuselage would aid takeoff.

The basic design drawings of Ki-201 were finalized in June, almost perfectly to schedule. The basic shape of Karyū almost perfectly matches its parent, though it is considerably larger in dimensions. This was a sharp contrast to the Navy’s ‘Kikka’, also developed at Nakajima — due to Kikka’s low thrust engines, it had to be designed as a very small aircraft to in order to be practical. On the other end, with the development of high-thrust turbojets as the engine for Karyū, the domestic production of a larger jet like ‘Me 262’ was possible for the first time. However, it was around this time that troubles with the development of these very engines delayed the projected completion of Karyū No. 1 to March 1946, with the full-scale mock-up to be reviewed in August of the preceding year.

The detailed design of Karyū was begun in June immediately after the basic stage was finalized. Though it bore an extremely similar resemblance to Me 262 externally, the detailed structure and materials were quite different due to the circumstances such as the lack of manufacturing plans and the severe material shortages at the time. Me 262’s construction had to be reverse engineered manually using Japanese methods without any detailed design prints. One could say that the typical Japanese method of aircraft design was incorporated into the shape of the Me 262 to create the Karyū.

Nakajima’s original designs were applied in areas including the canopy, lateral shape, and vertical tail. The main aircraft material was the lightweight duralumin alloy SDH, and other materials such as silicon-manganese steel, carbon steel, and tin were used in various components on a smaller scale. Just like Me 262, the airframe structure is semi-monocoque, and the wings were of single-spar (with an ‘auxiliary’ spar) construction, with slotted flaps and leading-edge slats splitting around the engines. Two main fuel tanks of 1,200 litres were located in front and behind the cockpit, with a 600 litre auxiliary tank set behind the rear tank, for a total fuel capacity of 3,000 litres. All fuel tanks were self-sealing and the main tanks were equipped with automatic fire extinguishers. An 8mm steel plate is provided in front of the cockpit, with 8mm at the back and 12mm at the head of the seat. The front of the windshield is composed of 70mm of bulletproof glass.

Compared to Me 262 A, Karyū mounted engines of roughly the same power while increasing the size of the airframe. As such, the maximum top speed estimated by the designers was somewhat lower, though curiously it was projected to exceed Me 262 at extreme altitudes when utilizing Ne-130 engines. Karyū’s increased wing area granted it a lighter wing loading and a higher estimated climb rate.

Me 262 A was well armed with a quartet of MK 108 autocannons in the nose for bomber interception, and Karyū, aiming to take down the B-29 bomber tormenting Japan, was similarly heavily equipped. The machine cannons on the lower outboard of the nose were 30mm caliber and the upper inboard two guns were 20mm. For the Japanese Army, these guns were the Ho-155 Model II & Type2 respectively, powerful cannons loading fuzeless shells able to down a heavy bomber in only a few hits. Both possessed a muzzle velocity roughly 200 m/s over that of the MK 108 and thus were more desirable for firing on air targets. Ki-201 would also be able to load a bomb as large as 800kg, larger than the fighter-bomber Me 262 A-2a’s maximum bomb load of 500kg, or a single 600l drop-tank for long-range missions. Radar ordnance consisted a Ta-Ki Mk. 15 Friend-Foe Identification Radar, and a Ta-Ki Mk. 13 Low-Altitude Altimeter, both stored behind the cockpit along with the radio.

The detailed design work on the Karyū continued throughout July, and basic aerodynamics examinations were completed together with the wind tunnel testing of scale models at around the same time. Construction preparations of the first prototype also began this month, immediately before the end of the war. With just five months lapsed from the start of the design to this point, the startlingly frantic pace of Karyū’s development can be seen.

Ki-201 original design drawings.

Unfortunately for Japan’s Me 262, it was on August 15th that the end of the war finally arrived. Although design work had progressed at a remarkably fast rate for the situation at the time, development was canceled here and the project ended wholly incomplete. If any actual manufacturing of components apart from the mockup preparation took place, it was not significant enough for the airframe to begin any considerable level of assembly. The IJA’s first and last jet fighter, Karyū, never was to grace the skies over Japan. This anticlimactic ending is a simple reality of most advanced wartime projects. It was a wasteful act for the Navy and Army to order Nakajima to develop a jet aircraft inspired by ‘Me 262’ at the same time, and Karyū’s development suffered as a result. In the end, had efforts been focused on one aircraft, more progress could have been made.

The status points taken from data submitted by Nakajima Aircraft at the war’s end follow:

  • About 50% completion of the design
  • About 0% completion of the prototype
  • Status:
    • Started manufacturing full-scale mockup.
    • Only drawings complete at present.

    The principle of Karyū was to create a high-performance jet aircraft sporting a devastating offensive armament capable of taking down the American Boeing B-29, as well as having the capability to equip a large bomb to attack the US fleet. Additionally, it was aiming to confront the Allied jet aircraft of a similar role developing at the time, such as the American Lockheed P-80 & British Gloster Meteor, noted by Nakajima. The prototype was to have been assembled near the Mitaka Institute, at a large hangar originally built for the cancelled G10N “Fugaku” super-heavy bomber. The production of Karyū was scheduled to commence at the Nakajima Iwate factory, which was the dispersal factory of the Mitaka Institute.

    The Mitaka Institute was remodeled into the International Christian University after the war, and the prototype Karyū’s assembly-site-to-be is now occupied by only a thicket of trees.

    The head of examinations for the Ki-201 prototype was scheduled to have been Major Yoshitsugu Aramaki.

    Ki-201 (estimated) main specifications, from the data sheets:

    DimensionsFull Width: 13.700 m
    Full Length: 11.500 m
    Full Height: 4.05 m
    Wing Area: 25.0 m 2
    WeightsEmpty Weight: 4,465 kg
    Loading Weight: 2,497 kg
    Normal Load: 6,962 kg
    Special Load: 8,469 kg
    Wing Loading278.48 kg/m 2
    Crew1 (pilot)
    Fuel CapacityNormal Load: 2,120 l
    Special Load: 2,590 l
    Oil CapacityNormal Load: 80 l
    Special Load: 100 l
    ArmamentHo-155II 30 mm (120 rds x2)
    Type 2 20 mm (200 rds x2)
    or
    Type 2 20 mm (200 rds x4)
    OrdnanceNo. 50 Bomb (500 kg) x1
    or
    No. 80 Bomb (800 kg) x1
    RadarTa-Ki 15 IFF
    Ta-Ki 13 Low Altimeter
    Airframe
    Mounted EngineNe-230 x2: 885 kgf each
    or
    Ne-130 x2: 908 kgf each
    Top Speed
    Ne-230 (Ne-130)
    726 km/h (740 km/h) @ SL
    792 km/h (811 km/h) @ 6,000 m
    812 km/h (852 km/h) @ 10,000 m
    Climb Rate
    Ne-230 (Ne-130)
    18.9 m/s @ SL
    6’52” (6󈧕”) to 6,000 m
    10’18” to 8,000 m
    14’56” (13󈧓”) to 10,000 m
    Cruising Range100% Thrust: 794 km @ 8,000 m
    80% Thrust: 888 km @ 8,000 m
    60% Thrust: 980 km @ 8,000 m
    Practical Ceiling13,600 m
    Never Exceed1,000 km/h
    TakeoffNormal Load: 200 km/h / 949 m
    Special Load: 210km/h / 1,580 m
    Landing5300 kg: 158.5 km/h / 478 m
    Performances

    High-Power Engine Development for Karyū

    Both of the engines scheduled for Karyū, Ishikawajima Shibaura Turbine’s Ne-130 and 1st Munition Arsenal (formerly Nakajima Aircraft)–Hitachi Work’s Ne-230, were at approximately the same stage of development when the war ended. Neither were ready for use. The larger and heavier Mitsubishi Ne-330, as previously mentioned, wasn’t considered for the final Ki-201. It is quite remarkable that the Japanese were able to engineer these turbojets, most famously the smaller Ne-20 for Kikka, with little more than a cutaway of a BMW 003 and even less material availability than Germany.

    Ne-201-II / Ne-130

    The first unit of Ne-130 was completed at the end of May 1945, and the team at Tachikawa tested it as far as 8,000 RPM when the engine heavily damaged itself. The cause was hairline fractures in the construction of the compressor blades, which caused the blades to splinter off at high stress operation. The second engine was completed in early July and eventually successfully tested at full power in August. However, when testing again with accurate measuring equipment on August 16th, one day after the war’s end, the compressor blades were damaged by a foreign object being inhaled. Unit three was completed, but had been destroyed on August 2nd when the Tsurumi factory was bombed. As such, there ultimately were no functional Ne-130 engines in the possession of the Japanese.

    DimensionsLength: 3,850 mm
    Diameter: 850 mm
    Weight900 kg
    Thrust908 kgf
    Revolutions9,000 rpm
    Configuration7 stage axial compressor
    annular combustion chamber
    1 stage axial turbine
    Pressure Ratio3.56
    Fuel Consumption1.39 kg/hr/kgf
    Ne-130 Specifications

    Ne-230

    The first Ne-230 was completed at Mitaka in March 1945. Unit two was finished in May, with the final unit in June. During the testing at Takahagi, while applying countermeasures for faults in the engine’s testing, it is said that the engines (a number or all) were damaged by a bombing raid. No engine was transferred to the US for testing after the war, and as such it’s fairly likely that no functional engine survived the war. In late 2017 the parts of two Ne-230 engines were found in the International Christian University, which was formerly known as the Mitaka Institute. The remains included two nozzles and a cover. There is a possibility that these were not ever part of a functional engine, as they show no obvious signs of being bolted to other pieces. Of the late engines, only Ne-230’s drawing is not present.

    DimensionsLength: 3,430 mm
    Diameter: 762 mm
    Weight870 kg
    Thrust885 kgf
    Revolutions8,100 rpm
    Configuration7 stage axial compressor
    annular combustion chamber
    1 stage axial turbine
    Pressure Ratio3.6
    Fuel Consumption1.84 l/hr/kgf
    Ne-230 Specifications

    In the end, the only successful Japanese turbojet to reach mass production was the Ne-20. This engine was developed for the Navy’s Kikka, and was smaller and less powerful than the engines for the Army’s Karyū, providing only about 490 kgf of thrust. Development progressed quickly as a result, and Kikka flew for the first time in August 1945, the first and last Japanese turbojet aircraft to do so in World War II. From Kikka to Karyū, it could be said that the great driving force of the jet development program in Japan was always the inspiration of the “Me 262”.

    “Kikka” which unlike Karyuu, made it to the stage of test-flight. Though a rough resemblance could be observed, this aircraft was not a copy of the Me 262, nor related to the Ki-201.

    Produsen pesawat terbang pertama di Jepang ini didirikan pada tahun 1918 oleh seorang insinyur kelautan, Chikuhei Nakajima, bersama seorang produsen tekstil, Seibei Kawanishi dengan nama Nihon Hikoki. Pada tahun 1919, Nakajima dan Kawanishi berpisah, lalu Nakajima membeli pabrik Nihon Aircraft dengan bantuan diam-diam dari Tentara Kekaisaran Jepang. Perusahaan ini kemudian diubah namanya menjadi Nakajima Aircraft Company pada tahun 1919. [1]

    Pabrik milik Nakajima Aircraft Company yakni:

    • Pabrik Tokyo
    • Pabrik Musashino
    • Pabrik Donryu
    • Pabrik Ota, dekat Stasiun Ōta. Dikunjungi oleh Kaisar Shōwa pada tanggal 16 November 1934. Rusak berat akibat bombardir Amerika pada tanggal 10 Februari 1945. Saat ini menjadi tempat Subaru Corporation memproduksi truk kei.
    • Pabrik Koizumi, dekat Stasiun Nishi-Koizumi. Rusak berat akibat bombardir Amerika pada tanggal 3 April 1945. Saat ini menjadi pabrik Sanyo.

    Setelah Jepang kalah di Perang Dunia II, perusahaan ini harus tutup karena produksi dan riset pesawat terbang dilarang oleh Panglima Tertinggi Sekutu. Sehingga dua produsen pesawat terbang terbesar di Jepang, yakni Nakajima dan Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) sangatlah terdampak. Tidak seperti MHI, Nakajima tidak berekspansi ke pembuatan kapal dan permesinan umum, sehingga harus dipecah menjadi beberapa perusahaan kecil yang dipimpin oleh bekas manajer, insinyur, dan pekerjanya. Sebagai hasilnya, insinyur aeronautika terkemuka dari Nakajima, seperti Ryoichi Nakagawa, pun membantu mentransformasi industri otomotif Jepang. [1]

    Perusahaan ini lalu terlahir kembali dengan nama Fuji Heavy Industries, produsen skuter Fuji Rabbit dan mobil Subaru, serta dengan nama Fuji Precision Industries (kemudian diubah menjadi Prince Motor Company yang digabung dengan Nissan pada bulan Agustus 1966), produsen mobil Prince Skyline dan Prince Gloria. Fuji mulai memproduksi pesawat terbang pada pertengahan dekade 1950-an dan pernah memproduksi helikopter dan pesawat latih untuk Japan Self-Defense Forces. Pada tahun 2017, Fuji Heavy Industries resmi mengubah namanya menjadi Subaru Corporation. [2] [3] [4]


    The Japanese Navy War Aircraft Numbering System and the

    Nakajima 中島飛行機株式会社 (J9N1) Kikka 橘花 "Orange Blossom"

    Many of you have most likely built the famous Nakajima Kikka 中島 橘花 in resin, plastic or metal format on various scales. This very interesting little aircraft was Japan's first successfully flown jet, based loosely on the Messerschmitt Me-262, albeit much smaller.

    Recently someone is attempting to give the Kikka a designation of J9Y and as those of you who are sticklers for historical accuracy will realize, the Kikka did not actually have a number assigned to it, at least as far as we know. If a number were assigned to it this would most definitely not be J9Y because in the Imperial Japanese Navy designation system Y stood for Yokosuka.

    But let us start at the beginning. First of all J stood for land-based Navy aircraft followed by the number of variants. For example, J1 would be the first land-based Navy aircraft, followed by J2 as the second. The third character in the series was a letter based on the manufacturer. The fourth character would be the version number. Thus J9N1 would stand for Navy land-based, 9 th aircraft in this particular category, built by Nakajima, version 1. The following table will clarify.

    A - Carrier fighter
    B - Carrier bomber
    C - Reconnaissance
    D - Carrier dive bomber
    E - Reconnaissance seaplane
    F - Observation seaplane
    G - Land-based bomber
    H - Flying boat
    J - Land-based fighter
    K - Trainer
    L - Transport
    M - Special seaplane
    N - Fighter seaplane
    P - Bomber
    Q - Patrol
    R - Land-based reconnaissance
    S - Night fighter

    A - Aichi or North American
    B - Boeing
    C - Consolidated Aircraft
    D - Showa or Douglas Aircraft
    G - Hitachi Kokuki or Grumman
    H - Hiro or Hawker
    He - Heinkel
    J - Nihon Kogata Hikoki or Junkers
    K - Kawanishi or Kinner
    M - Mitsubishi
    N - Nakajima
    P - Nihon
    S - Sasebo
    Si - Showa
    V - Vought-Sikorsky
    W - Watanabe or Kyushu
    Y - Yokosuka
    Z - Mizuno Guraida Seisakusho

    Japanese Imperial Navy Land-Based Fighters

    The Japanese Navy land-based (J) fighter system during the war for initial types was:

    J1N1 - Navy Experimental 13-Shi Fighter "Gekko" 3 seat built by Nakajima (N)

    J2M1 - Navy Interceptor "Raiden" 1 seat built by Mitsubishi (M)

    J3K1 - Navy Experimental 17-Shi Otsu Type Interceptor built by Kawanishi (K)

    J4M1 - Navy Experimental 17-Shi Otsu Type Interceptor Fighter "Senden" built by Mistubishi (M)

    J5N1 - Navy Experimental 18-Shi Otsu Type Interceptor "Tenrai" built by Nakajima (N)

    J6K1 - Navy Experimental 18-Shi Otsu Type Interceptor "Jinpu" built by Kawanishi (K)

    J7W1 - Navy Experimental 18-Shi Otsu Type Interceptor "Shinden" 1 seat built by Kyushu (W)

    J8M1 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi rocket-powered Interceptor "Shusui" 1 seat by Mistubishi (M)

    So, following this pattern, the next one would be:

    J9N1 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered Attack "Kikka" 1 seat built by Nakajima (N)

    In the case of the J2M1, J7W1 and J8M1 these were expanded to include:

    J2M7 - Navy Interceptor "Raiden" version 7 built by Mitsubishi (M)

    J7W2 - Navy Experimental 18-Shi version 2 jet-powered Interceptor "Shinden" by Kyushu (W)

    J8M2 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi rocket-powered Interceptor version 2 "Shusui" by Mistubishi (M)

    This could create the following possible derivatives for the Kikka:

    J9N1 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered Attack "Kikka" 1 seat by Nakajima (N)

    J9N2 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered Interceptor "Kikka" 1 seat by Nakajima (N)

    J9N3 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered catapult Interceptor "Kikka" 1 seat by Nakajima (N)

    G11N1-Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered Bomber "Kikka" 1 seat by Nakajima (N)

    R3N1 - Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered Reconnaissance "Kikka" 2 seats by Nakajima (N)

    K12N1-Navy Experimental 19-Shi jet-powered Trainer "Kikka" 2 seats by Nakajima (N)

    "Shi" - is the year of the Emperor's reign. In this case His Imperial Majesty Michinomiya Hirohito 裕仁, now known as Emperor Shōwa 昭和天皇, from 1926-1989.

    Of course the Kikka had no number, but these are all derived from the book: "Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War" by Rene J Francillon.

    The Imperial Japanese Army on the other hand used a basis of Ki-000 for all inventory including interceptors, fighters, bombers, reconnaissance, trainers and attack aircraft. Simple, efficient and easier to track!


    Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima J9N1 Kikka 中島 橘花, "Orange Blossom" 1/72 by Victoria Products



    Imperial Japanese Army Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu 中島 キ- 201 火龍 "Fire Dragon" by RS Models



    Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka 櫻花 "Cherry Blossom" Type-22 by A+V Models



    Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi Ki-202 Shusui-Kai 三菱 キ- 202 秋水改 "Swinging Sword" by A+V Models


    Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka 櫻花 "Cherry Blossom" Type-43 by Unicraft Models


    Imperial Japanese Navy Kawanishi Mk.1 Baika 梅花 "Plum Blossom" by A+V Models

    Photos taken by Al Maciejewski

    References for this article: Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War , by Rene J Francillon, published by the Naval Institute Press, 1990.

    Monogram Close-Up #19: Kikka , by Robert C Mikesh, published by Monogram Aviation Publications, 1979.

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    Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon) - History

    I'm back with a big news post covering the early development of German & Japanese jet aircraft with several Me-262 variants and copies. I actually made these units early last year & started writing the wiki pages for them last April! I'm glad I can now finally finish posting them.

    Another variant that I started working on but was unable to finish was the Me-262 C-3a, which featured an extra rocket engine in the tail for short speed boosts. Due to limitations with the game's engine I was unable to get this system working, if it becomes possible in the future tho it will be added to D-day. I'd also planned to include the Soviet Sukhoi Su-9 & British Hawker P.1048 with these but both are independent designs that only resembled/were inspired by the Me-262 tho. I'll make them both at a later date along with several other early Allied jets.

    Messerschmitt Me-262 A-1a Schwalbe

    The German Me-262 was the first mass-produced & operationally used jet fighter in the world. Work on this revolutionary aircraft started in late 1938 under the code name Projekt 1065, the initial design proposed in April 1939 differed considerably from the production version, the engines were mounted in the wing roots & the wings were straight. Development of the BMW 003 jet engines intended for the Me-262 was repeatedly delayed because of the many technical problems encountered with this brand new propulsion system. Because of these problems it was decided to move the engines to pods fitted under the wing to facilitate easy removal for maintenance. This change also necessitated a change of the wings to a swept configuration to compensate for the change in centre of gravity.

    The first "V1" prototype was ready in April 1941 however the BMW 003 jet engines intended for the aircraft weren't ready so a conventional Junkers Jumo 210 engine with a propeller was fitted to the nose so basic testing of the airframe could be carried out. It wasn't until November 1941 that a pair of BMW 003 were ready to be fitted to the prototype. For the first test flight the Jumo 210 was retained for safety, which proved wise as both BMW 003 engines suffered a flameout causing them to stall, the Jumo 210 was then used to bring the prototype safely back to base. With this failure it was decided to switch to the more reliable Jumo 004 jet engines. The first flight with the Jumo 004 took place on July 1942 in the V3 prototype, marking the first flight of the Me-262 with jets only.

    There was opposition to the Me-262 from several high-ranking officials during early development including the head of Messerschmitt, who wanted to concentrate production on proven propeller designs. As well as the commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring who expected the war to be won before the aircraft could be ready for production, as such funding & support was withheld at times. After the Me-262 prototype was demonstrated to Hitler in mid 1943 he also insisted that the design should be modified into a multi-role fighter-bomber which lead to redesigns of the nearly finished fighter aircraft. These political problems along with the extended development of the jet engines meant that the Me-262 wasn't able to go into operation use until April 1944, six years after its original conception.

    Once in combat though it proved highly capable and able to outperform most allied fighters, with several pilots becoming aces. It was however extremely vulnerable when taking off or landing as it couldn't maneuver or accelerate during this time or the engines would stall. Allied pilots would take advantage of this by loitering around airfields & then attacking Me-262 as they appeared. To combat this the Germans reinforced the anti-aircraft fortifications leading up to the runway in order to give the Me-262 more cover. As the war situation deteriorated though most Me-262's were grounded because of fuel shortages & a lack of trained pilots that could handle the power of the new jet aircraft.

    Following the end of the war American, British, French & Soviet forces scrambled to capture these prized aircraft so they could be studied to advance their own jet aircraft programs. Comparative tests between the British Gloster Meteor & American P-80 Shooting Star showed the Me-262 to be superior in several aspects however the engines required constant maintenance & had a relatively short lifespan. As such these tests didn't last long and several aircraft were lost due to engine failures.

    Out of the 1,430 aircraft built during the war only nine still exist today in museums, with only one still in its original markings. In 2003 the Texas Airplane Factory started the "Me-262 Project" in which they built several replicas using an original Me-262 that was undergoing restoration as a template. Unlike most replicas, which are classified as unique aircraft, the exact replication of the parts used in these Me-262s meant that they are officially registered as newly built Me-262s with the variant name of A-1c. They are all owned by private collectors who often fly them during air shows in American & Germany.

    Messerschmitt Me-262 A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer"

    The Messerschmitt Me-262 A-1a/U4 (in some sources know as the Pulkzerstörer "Pack destroyer") was a modification of the standard Me-262 A-1a airframe, replacing the four 30mm Mk108 cannons in the nose with a single 50mm Mk214 cannon. The 30mm Mk108 while a powerful weapon had a short range which along with the Me-262's high speed meant that the engagement time against enemy aircraft was often very short, especially against slow moving bombers. The 50mm Mk214 greatly increased the damage and weapon range of the Me-262, even giving it the ability to engage bombers from outside of their defensive range. The weapon had a limited amount of ammunition and was difficult to use while manoeuvring though, making it unsuitable in a dogfight with other fighters. Only two of these aircraft were built Wk/nr 111899 & Wk/nr 170083 in early 1945, there are rumours that one of them was used in combat before the war ended but no evidence has been found to substantiate these claims.

    After the war Wk/nr 170083 was captured by American forces at Lechfeld airfield and transferred to the 54th Air Disarmament Squadron led by Colonel Watson (aka Watson's Whizzers), a unit which was tasked with finding and capturing advanced enemy aircraft. In preparations for transferring the aircraft back to American for testing its markings were repainted with USAF roundels and was named Wilma Jeanne after Watson's wife. It was then flown to Cherbourg where it was loaded onto the British aircraft carrier HMS Reaper along with other advanced German aircraft for the long journey across the Atlantic. Arriving in New Jersey the aircraft were then flown to Freeman Army Airfield, during the flight a turbine blade broke in the engine of the Me-262 A-1a/U4 and the plane was destroyed in the resulting crashed.

    Messerschmitt Me-262 B-1a/U1

    The Messerschmitt Me-262 B-1a/U1 was a specialised night fighter variant of the Me-262 equipped with a FuG-218 Neptun radar for finding enemy aircraft in the dark. Development of a night fighter variant of the Me-262 started in late 1944 with the construction of the Me-262 A-1a/U2 prototype (Wk/nr 170056) which used the standard single seat A-1a airframe. Multiple tests were carried out using several different types of radar devices. While the technical sides of the tests proved successful the pilots however reported that they had difficulty flying and using the radar system simultaneously. In light of this it was decided to move development to the Me-262 B-1a two seater trainer airframe, the extra seat which was normally used by a flight instructor was instead modified for use by a dedicated radar operator who could guide the pilot to enemy targets. The addition of the radar antenna protruding from the nose produced extra drag and decreased the aircraft's speed, the space needed for the second seat required the removal of one of the fuel tanks too. To compensate for this loss two external fuel tanks were fitted under the nose, this also increased the drag and decreased the speed. Even with this loss in performance the Me-262 B-1a/U1 was still much faster then the enemy bombers and their escorts. Messerschmitt started work on developing a more advanced version called the Me-262 B-2a which would have featured a lengthened fuselage to hold more fuel instead of the external fuel tanks and the new "Berlin" centimetric radar dish which could be placed inside the nose reducing drag, the war ended before work on a prototype of this improved version could begin though.

    Only seven of the Me-262 B-1a/U1 night fighters were built before the end of the war, they were all given to the 10th squadron of the Nachtjagdgeschwader 11 who used them to great effect with several of the pilots becoming aces, including Kurt Welter who still holds the world record for the most enemy planes shot down in a jet aircraft. In an effort to neutralise this threat the RAF bombed the based they were operating from, after which only four aircraft were left. After the war the three remaining aircraft were captured by British forces who transported them back to Britain for testing, one of them crashed during a storm and another was scrapped. The third and final aircraft was given to the South African air force where it sat in storage for many years, it was then given to the Johannesburg Museum who restored it in 1971 and has since been one of their major exhibits.

    Messerschmitt Me-262 SB.1a

    The Me-262 SB.1a (Schnellbomber Ia) was a proposed "fast bomber" variant of the Me-262. The main difference was the relocation of the cockpit from the centre of the aircraft to the nose, this greatly increased the pilot's vision for the bombing role. This meant that the nose mounted cannons had to be removed though and it had to rely on its greater speed to outrun any enemy fighters. The front landing gear also required modifications to make it rotate 90 degrees and lay flat under the pilots seat. The space once occupied by the pilot was used to house an extra fuel tank increasing the aircraft's range. The design didn't progress further than the initial design proposal and no prototype or production version were built.

    Messerschmitt Me-262 A-2a/U2 Mistel

    The Messerschmitt Me-262 A-2a/U2 was a dedicated bomber variant of the Me-262 featuring a completely new fully glazed nose section that would house a second crew member who would lay down in a prone position. From there he could get a clear view for level bombing runs or guide remote controlled ordinance towards their target. Two prototypes of the Me-262 A-2a/U2 were built before the end of the war, one of them was captured by American forces who presumably took it back to American for testing along with other advance German aircraft and later scrapped it but information on this prototype's final fate is scarce.

    One of the types of ordinance proposed for the Me-262 A-2a/U2 was the use of another Me-262 that has been fitted with explosives and converted into a pilotless flying bomb, with the Me-262 A-2a/U2 mounted on top of the pilotless Me-262 in a Mistel configuration. For take-offs they were both placed on a specialised trolley fitted with a rocket booster, after becoming airborne the trolley would then be jettisoned and collected for reuse. Once the Me-262 A-2a/U2 was within range of the target it would detonate the explosive bolts holding the two aircraft together. The bombardier in the nose of the Me-262 A-2a/U2 would then take remote controlled of the Me-262 bomb via radio and guide it to a collision course with the target.

    Avia S-92 Turbina

    During World War II multiple factories in Czechoslovakian were employed by the Germans to produce different parts for the Me-262 A-1 fighter and Me-262 B-1 trainer aircraft. At the end of hostilities in Europe the factories and parts were captured by Soviet forces, all complete aircraft and some parts were taken back to the Soviet Union for testing. The jibs, tools and documents within the factories were handed over to the newly restored Czechoslovakian government though. Using some of the parts left by the soviets along with others newly constructed in the wartime factories Avia set to work to produce their own version of the Me-262 A-1 and Me-262 B-1. The first of the single seat aircraft the Avia S-92 was completed in August 1946 with the first two seater Avia CS-92 trainer flowing in December 1946. The aircraft proved to be difficult and extremely time consuming to make with many of the parts having to be individually hand made, making each plane slightly unique. As such only nine Avia S-92 and three CS-92 were completed over the next three years before production was discontinued. They served in the 5th fighter squadron as a training unit to help pilots get their first experience with jet aircraft. Most were scrapped in the 1950's but a single S-92 and CS-92 remain on display in the Prague Aviation Museum.

    Yugoslavia showed interest in buying the S-92 and CS-92 and placed an order for one of each for evaluation but didn't receive any aircraft. There are reports that Israel bought several S-92 and one of them exploded during a test flight in April 1950, however there is no evidence to substantiate this. There have been suggestions that the aircraft that exploded was really a Gloster Meteor that the British had secretly given to Israel for testing and it was claimed to be a S-92 to cover it up, while slightly more plausible this is still a matter of conjecture.

    Nakajima Kikka

    In early 1944 the Japanese military attaché in Germany was shown the Me-262 along with several other advanced German aircraft. Impressed by these new designs he reported back to the Japanese high command on who then authorized him to open negotiations to buy a production licence for the Me-262 & Me-163. Documents for the two planes along with a complete Me-163 and other aircraft parts where then loaded onto the Japanese submarine I-29 in Lorient France and left on 16 April 1944 to take the perilous journey around Africa back to Japan. On 14 July 1944 the I-29 arrived in Singapore, several of the passages then disembarked and completed the rest of the trip by plane, taking some of the Me-262 documents along with them. Once resupplied I-29 also left Singapore to complete the finial part of it's journey back to Japan. While going through the Luzon Strait though the I-29 was intercepted & sunk by American forces. With the loss of the I-29 & the parts it carried the engineers at Nakajima only had the few documents flown from Singapore along with the memories of a few offices who had seen the Me-262 first hand to work with.

    Even with this limited amount of information Nakajima started work on the Kikka in September 1944. Several changes where made to the original Me-262 design making it simpler and easier for manufacture in Japan including using more readily available materials such as wood. One major change was the addition of folding wings which would enable the aircraft to be concealed more easily. At first it was planed to fit the Kikka with the Ishikawajima Tsu-11 motorjet which was originally designed for use on the MXY7 Ohka kamikaze plane. Instead Ishikawajima started development of new jet engine specificity for use in the Kikka called the Ne-10, this design however was unable to produce enough thrust to power the Kikka. With this failure work moved to the Ne-20 which was a reverse engineered version of the German BMW 003, the engineers at Ishikawajima only had a few photographs and a cut-away drawing to work from though. Even with this limited amount of information they were able to produce a usable engine.

    The first prototype was completed in June 1945 and after ground tests it took to the skies for it's first flight on 7 August 1945 with with Lieutenant Commander Susumu Takaoka piloting. The short flight went well but the Ne-20 required a long time to get the Kikka up to takeoff speed. To elevate this on the second test flight the Kikka was fitted with RATO (rocket assisted take off) units, unfortunately the rockets had been fitted at an incorrect angle resulting in the Kikka crashing during takeoff. Work started on repairing the damage but the war ended before they could finish. A second prototype was also nearing completion at the time the war ended, along with around 20 other airframes in various stages of completion. After the war American forces captured airframes number 3, 4 and 5, they where sent to Patuxent River Naval Air Base in America for testing. The prototypes where later cannibalized to make a single complete aircraft, which was then given to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Museum kept it in storage for many years but it has recently been moved it to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for restoration work.

    Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu

    While Nakajima's main focused was on completing the Kikka as quickly as possibly to help counter the expected Allied invasion of the Japanese home islands. A second team lead Iwao Shibuya started development of another aircraft that more more closely followed the original design of the Me-262 called the Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon). This aircraft would also incorporate more advanced equipment that was then in development such as the Ne-230 turbojet & Ho-155-II cannons. A prototype was expected to be finished & ready for testing in December 1945, however the war ended before work could start putting an end to the development of the Ki-201.

    Yes your eyes do not deceive you, new D-day news post! It's been nearly a year since the last news post, this has mainly been due to a technical problem that blocked me from accessing the D-day website & forums, thus I was unable to post anything for over 10 months! Sadly during this time I was somewhat demotivated to work on D-day, I still made a few random units for fun but I didn't make that much overall progress tho.

    Gladly now that the problem has been resolved I'm feeling refreshed, revitalized & ready to work on D-day again. So to kick things back into action I've made a set of generic buildings as well as a generic sidebar & loading screen. These graphics will be used as placeholders for where I have yet to make specific national themed artwork. Which can normally take months to just research & several more to make all the 3D models.

    So with this set France will no longer be using those hideous grey boxes with "placeholders" written across them. It also means that the new countries of Poland, China, Sweden & Czechoslovakia that I have been slowing working on will be include as playable (but incomplete) sides in the next release along with Japan. These are of course just placeholders & each of these country will receive unique national artwork in a later release.

    I also plan to make a set of generic defensive buildings as well in the near future & of course I still have a backlog of over a 100 units that I still haven't posted/added to the wiki yet too so expect more news to come soon.

    I am proud to announce the addition of West Germany to D-day as a new sub-faction. They will be playable in the Post-War time frame as an alternative to the Third Reich. While the normal Third Reich faction makes use of prototypes and paper projects designed during the closing stages of World War II in a hypothetical scenario where the war continued on. The West German faction on the other hand uses equipment developed in the 1950's and 1960's for the newly established Bundeswehr, as in our real timeline. The addition of this sub-faction lets players create Cold War scenarios gone hot as you stand with you American and British Allies to fend off a Soviet invasion of Europe. Access to the West German sub-faction is done in the same manner as the American Marines sub-faction, where after deploying your construction vehicle you are given the choice of two factions to pick from. Once chosen you will not be able to change sub-factions for the rest of the game.

    Here is a more in depth look at the units available to the West German sub-faction. As usual for more information and pictures click on the unit name/animation to view their D-day Wiki page.

    Development of the Unimog series of trucks started in 1946 as a truck that could also be used as an agricultural tractor allowing great versatility for farmers struggling in the post-war period. The first prototype was ready at the end of 1946 and after trials and adjustments was put into mass production at the end of 1947. In 1951 Daimler-Benz bought the Unimog company and in 1953 launched two new versions, the 401 and 402. In 1955 with the formation of the Bundeswehr Daimler-Benz designed a new 404 version of the Unimog truck specifically for military service. Production started that same year and continued until the 1980s, with various upgrades being made over the years but still keeping the same rugged and proven design of the original. The civilian version of the Unimog also continued to evolve over the years and remains in production this day.

    Note: In game the Unimog 404 is used as a supply collection vehicle

    The Schützenpanzer HS.30 was a infantry fighting vehicle developed by the Swiss company Hispano-Suiza for the Bundeswehr in the 1950's. It was the first armoured vehicle to be developed for Germany after World War II. Unlike other armoured personnel carriers that were in use at the time the HS.30 was fitted with a turret equipped with a 20mm auto-cannon. This gave it the ability to engage enemy infantry and unarmoured targets, making it arguably the worlds first infantry fighting vehicle. The HS.30 was authorised for production before a prototype was ready and tested. This meant that early production versions suffered from many problems, especially with the engine and transmission which were originally designed for a lighter vehicle. This rush into production along with an inordinate order of 10,000 vehicles (much more than what was required) raised some suspicions. An investigation revealed that personnel associated with the procurement process and several politicians had received in total over 50 million Deutschmarks in bribes for their support of the HS.30, creating a scandal within the German government. Eventually the early problems with the HS.30 were worked out and the order reduced with only 2,176 being built between 1958-1971.

    The Flakpanzer HS.30 was an anti-aircraft system developed by Hispano-Suiza on the base of the HS.30 infantry fighting vehicle. Two different prototypes where built in the mid 1950's, one using duel 20mm guns and the other fitted with a larger turret equipped with duel 30mm cannons. Neither of the designs were put into production, further information is limited and the fate of the prototypes unknown.

    The Spähpanzer Ru 251 was designed in 1960 to replace the M41A1 Walker Bulldog that the Bundeswehr had been using in the reconnaissance role. Prototypes where built in 1963/64 and underwent testing, it was however decided to cancel the project as the newly deployed Leopard 1 tank was just as if not more capable of fulfilling the intended reconnaissance role. Documents related to the development of the Ru 251 are still considered classified material by the Bundeswehr and the surviving prototype is kept in a secure storage facility, as such there is only basic information available and a few photos from during it's testing. Recently someone working at the storage facility managed to take and release several photos of of the prototype tho, marking the first time it has been seen in several decades.

    In the mid 1950's the newly formed Bundeswehr put out a request for a new tank destroyer. The German companies Henschel and Hanomag jointly worked on a design together, as well as the Swiss company MOWAG. In 1960 both had finished prototypes that where given to the Bundeswehr for trials. The Henschel and Hanomag design was chosen and in 1965 was put into production as the Kanonenjagdpanzer. In the 1970's the Soviets introduced new Soviet tanks with thicker amour, this rendered the Kanonenjagdpanzer's 90mm cannon obsolete. Plans were made to refit the Kanonenjagdpanzer with the 105mm L/7 cannon to combat this new threat, instead it was decided to remove the gun a fit the Kanonenjagdpanzer with an anti-tank missile system on it's roof, this new modification was called the Raketenjagdpanzer Jaguar.

    Development of the Leopard tank started in 1956 as a part of a joint project between Germany, France and Italy to create a new standard European tank (a.k.a. the Europa-Panzer). In 1960 Porsche, Rheinmetall (Germany) and AMX (France) submitted prototype tanks for evaluation. Disagreements in the design and manufacturer of the tank put a strain on the project and political changes in France further exacerbated problems. So Germany and France decided to end the partnership and continue development of their own designs independently. For Germany Porsche's design was chosen and after a second prototype and a limited run of 50 pre-production vehicles it started mass-production as the Leopard tank in 1964. The Leopard went on to also became a huge success on the export market, being bought by many European countries thus largely fulfilling it's originally intended role of being a standard European tank. While being largely replaced by the Leopard 2 in Europe the Leopard 1 is currently still in active service in several South-American countries.

    The Light Artillery Rocket System or LARS was a multi-barrelled rocket launcher fitted on the back of a Magirus 6x6 truck. It could fire 36 110mm rockets which could be fitted with various warheads ranging from anti-personnel, anti-tank and parachute equipped mines. Development started in the mid 1960s and it came into service with the Bundeswehr in 1969. In the 1980s the system was upgraded by changing to a new armoured MAN 6X6 truck which is know as the LARS 2, with the original design becoming the LARS 1. In 1998 LARS was replaced in front line service with the American M270 MLRS but two hundred of them are still in reserve storage.

    During the Cold War the West German Airforce expected their airfields to be a primary target in any conflict with the Soviets. To counter this they planned to adopt a mobile strategy with heavy use of new VTOL aircraft that in a time of war could be operated from makeshift runways or the autobahn. To fulfil this new strategy Heinkel (VJ 101A), Messerschmitt (VJ 101B) and Bolkow all submitted different designs for a new VTOL fighter/interceptor. Instead of making the three companies compete for the production contract the Defence Ministry encouraged them to work together, so in 1959 the three of them joined together to create the EWR (Entwicklungsring Süd) consortium. The new jointly designed VJ 101C incorporated the best features from the original concepts, with Heinkel's wing mounted engine pods and Messerschmitt's fuselage lift fan being combined to provide the aircraft's VTOL capability.

    In early 1960 a rudimentary test rig was built to test the feasibility of the VTOL engines, a skeletal prototype was then built and in May 1961 underwent testing on a telescopic column. Work continued on improving this prototype and in March 1962 it was able to fly freely on its own. With the success of these tests a full prototype (X-1) was built and flew for the first time on April 10th 1963 and the first transition from vertical to horizontal flight was achieved on September 20th 1963. On September 14 1964 the X-1 prototype crashed and was destroyed during take-off, it was later found that a roll rate gyro had been installed backwards causing the autopilot to malfunction. A second prototype (X-2) completed in mid 1965 and along with fixes to the autopilot it also featured newer engines fitted with afterburners, it achieved its first VTOL flight on October 22th 1965. Testing of the X-2 prototype continued for several more years and plans were made for construction a larger and more advance EWR VJ 101D design, however changes in strategic requirement meant that interest in the EWR VJ 101 diminished and in 1968 the project was cancelled. The X-2 prototype survives to this day and can be found in the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

    Following the cancellation of the VJ 101 EWR continued work on several conceptual designs (The AVS project in partnership with Boeing and the EWR A 400 STOL Design Study), these slowly evolved the original VJ 101 design and culminated into the Panavia Tornado.

    The Fw-860 was an unique VTOL aircraft designed in partnership between Focke Wulf and the French company SNECMA, the French version being known as the AP 519. While most VTOL design used lift fans or rotating engines to achieve vertical flight the Fw-860 instead would take off and land on it's tail, in a similar fashion to a rocket. This tail-sitting method while requiring complex landing gear had advantages of needing less complex VTOL engines, saving wight and space within the aircraft making it possible to produce a more compact design. A major problem with this design though is that the pilot's view is restricted to looking up vertically at the sky when taking-off/landing, to solve this the nose section of the Fw-860 would be able to rotate 90 degrees giving the pilot an unrestricted horizontal view. This unusual aircraft never left the concept stage and work instead moved to more traditional VTOL designs.

    The Dornier Do-31 was a VTOL transport aircraft designed to be used along with the EWR VJ 101 VTOL fighter plane as part of West Germany's mobile defense strategy. Development of the Do-31 started in 1959 with a test rig being completed in 1962 which was used for several years to work out the problems with this large and ambitious design. Three different prototypes were then completed during 1967. The first prototype (Do-31E1) was only fitted with Bristol Pegasus engines for testing the standard horizontal operations and flew for the first time on February 10th 1967. The second prototype (Do-31E2) was used for static ground tests and never flew. The third and final prototype (Do-31E3) was fitted with both Bristol Pegasus engines and the Rolls-Royce RB162 lift engines and was capable of full VTOL operations, its first flight was during July 1967 and the first vertical take-off was achieved on November 22nd 1967. During the 1969 Paris air show the Do-31E3 gave a demonstration, during which it set world records for speed, distance, altitude and speed and duration over a course. The Do-31 remains the only jet powered VTOL transport aircraft ever built and as such these records have yet to be challenged. Unfortunately for this unique aircraft changes in strategy and the high cost of the project lead to its cancellation in 1970. Dornier also put forward a proposal for a larger civilian passenger version called the Do-231 but couldn't find any airlines interested in purchasing it so it failed to leave the drawing board. Two of the prototypes still exist today, Do-31E1 can be found displayed at the Dornier Museum in Friederichshafen and the Do-31E3 prototype is located within the Flugwerft Schleissheim aviation museum in Oberschleißheim. The second prototype Do-31E2 was scrapped soon after the project was cancelled.

    It's been quite awhile since I posted any new D-day news, that doesn't mean I've been sitting idle tho. I have lots of new (& old but unreleased) content to post, which I plan to start churning out on a weekly basis. To start things off tho here is a little known WW1 tank for the Italians.

    The Ansaldo Magrini Mangiapan was designed in 1916 by major Magrini as a "mobile fort" and was one of Italy's first tank designs. It featured multiple sets of tracks to help it traverse the crater filled battlefields of no-man's land. To power these tracks there were four 200hp engines in the centre of the tank which then drove two electric motors at the front and back, propelling this massive 70t vehicle to an estimated 20 km/h. It also unusually for that era featured two rotating turrets equipped with 76mm (some sources state 75mm or 105mm) cannons, as well as having multiple machine guns fitted around the hull. The design was approved by the direzione generale del regio esercito but was cancelled soon after because of the high cost and feasibility of such a complex design. Instead interest moved to the Fiat 2000 and purchasing tanks from France and Britain.

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