Profile Publications No. 118 The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien

The sole surviving Hien, a Ki-61-ll K Ala presented to Japan by the U.S. Air Force and maintained in mint condition. (Photo: Aireview) As the B-29’s switched tonight bombing the 244th Sentai found itself engaged against the U.S. Navy and, in February, 1945, during the first attack by Task Force 58 they met over Yokkaichi, southwest of Nagoya, a large formation of U.S. Navy aircraft. In the ensuing melee the 244th pilots claimed to have destroyed 12 enemy aircraft for the loss of only two of their own. However, the odds were against themas they were outnumbered inmost combats and, on the ground, the aircraft had to be parked and serviced some considerable distance away from the runways at Chofu and Narumatsu to avoid detection by the omnipresent Hellcats and Corsairs. K A WAS A K I Ki-61 With the war drawing to its end the B-29’s returned during daylight under the cover of Iwo Jima-based P-5Ps. The 244th tried to stop them but the Ki-61’s were no match for the Mustangs and often the Hiens had to be protected by the Ki-100's with which the unit was in the process of being re-equipped. When Japan finally surrendered the 244th Sentai, along with the other fighter units of the once-proud J.A.A.F., had been beaten to their knees and flight operations had been curtailed drastically by the combined lack of experienced pilots, aircraft and petrol.© R eneJ. Francillon, Ph.D., 1966. SPECIFIC A T ION Ki-61 Prototype Ki-61-lb Ki-61 - 1 K A Ic Ki-61-ll Prototype K i -61-11 K Ala Span 120 m. 120 m. 12-0 m. 12-0 m. 12-0 m. (39 ft. 4rr in.) (39 ft. 4 ^in.) (39 ft. 4 *in.) (39 ft. 4 *in.) (39 ft. 4 i in.) Length 8-75 m. 8-75 m. 8-94 m. —9-16 m. (28 ft. 81 in.) (28 ft. 8* in.) (29 ft. 4 in.) —(30 ft. 0| in.) Height 3-70 m. 3-70 m. 3-70 m. 3-70 m. 3-70 m. (12 ft. 1+i in.) (12 ft. 1+i in.) (12 ft. 1+i in.) (12 ft. 1 +£in.) (12 ft. 1j± in.) Wing Area 200 sq. m. 200 sq. m. 200 sq. m. 22-0 sq. m. 20-0 sq. m. (215-278 sq. ft.) (215-278 sq. ft.) (215-278 sq. ft.) (236-8 sq. ft.) (215-278 sq. ft.) Empty Weight 2.238 kgs. 2,210 kgs. 2,630 kgs. —2,840 kgs. (4,934 lb.) (4,872 lb.) (5,798 lb.) —(6,261 lb.) Loaded Weight ...2.920 kgs. 2,950 kgs. 3,470 kgs —3.780 kgs. (6,437 lb.) (6,504 lb.) (7,650 lb.) —(8,333 lb.) Maximum Weight —3,250 kgs. ——3,825 kgs. —(7,165 lb.) ——(8.433 lb.) Wing Loading 146 kgs./sq. m. 147-5 kgs./sq. m. 173-5 kgs./sq. m. —189 kgs./sq. m.(at normal loaded (29.9 Ib./sq. ft.) (30-2 Ib./sq. ft.) (351 Ib./sq. ft.) —(38-8 Ib./sq. ft.) weight) Power Loading 2-49 kgs./h.p. 2-51 kgs./h.p. 294 kgs./h.p. _ 2-52 kgs./h.p. (at normal loaded (5-48 lb./h.p.) 5-53 lb./h.p. (6-48 lb./h.p.) —(5-56 Ib./h.p.) weight and take­off rating) Fuel Capacity: Internal 550 litres 550 litres 550 litres 550 litres 550 litres (145 U.S. gallons) (145 U.S. gallons) (145 U.S. gallons) (145 U.S. gallons) (145 U.S. gallons) Drop Tanks— 2 x 200 litres 2 x 200 litres 2 x 200 litres 2x200 litres — (2x53 U.S. gallons) (2 x 53 U.S. gallons) (2x53 U.S. gallons) (2 x53 U.S. gallons) Engine Ha-40 1.100 h.p. Army Type 21,100 h.p. Army Type 2 Ha-140 Ha-140 Take-off Rating 1,175 h.p. at 2,500 r.p.m. 1,175 h.p. at 2,500 r.p.m. 1,180 h.p. at 2,500 r.p.m. 1,500 h.p. at 2,750 r.p.m. 1,500 h.p. at 2,750 r.p.m. War Emergency —1,080 h.p. at 3,500 m. 1,100 h.p. at 3,900 m. 1,250 h.p. at 5,700 m. 1,250 h.p. at 5,700 m. Rating (11,480 ft.) (12,795 ft.) (18,700 ft.) (18,700 ft.) Maximum Speed ...591 km./h. at 6,000 m. 592 km./h. at 4,860 m. 590 km./h. at 4,260 m. —610 km./h. at 6,000 m. (367 m.p.h. at 19,685 ft.) (368 m.p.h. at 15,945 ft.) (366 m.p.h. at 13.980 ft.) —(379 m.p.h. at 19,685 ft.) 523 km./h. at 10,000 m. —580 km./h. at 5,000 m. ——(325 m.p.h. at 32,810 ft.) —(360 m.p.h. at 16,405 ft.) ——Cruising Speed —400 km./h. at 4,000 m. ————(249 m.p.h. at 13.125 ft.) ———Climbing Speed: Altitude 10,000 m. 5,000 m. 5,000 m. 5,000 m. (32,810 ft.) (16,405 ft.) (16,405 ft.) —(16,405 ft.) Time in 17 min. 14 sec. in 5 min. 3 1 sec. in 7 min. —in 6 min. Service Ceiling 11,600 m. 11,600 m. 10,000 m. —11,000 m. (37,730 ft.) (37,730 ft.) (32,810 ft.) —(36,090 ft.) Range: Normal 600 km. _ _ 1,100 km —(373 mi.) ——(684 mi.) Maximum —1,100 km. 1,800 km. —1.600 km. —(684 mi.) (1,120 mi.) —(995 mi.) Armament: Fuselage 2 x 12-7 mm. Type 1 2 x 12-7 mm. Type 1 2 x 20 mm. Ho-5 2 x 20 mm. Ho-5 2 x 20 mm. Ho-5 Wing 2 x 7-7 mm. Type 89 2x 12-7 mm. Type 1 2 x 12-7 mm. Type 1 2 x 12-7 mm. Type 1 2 x 12-7 mm. Type 1 Bombs...—— 2x250 kgs. — 2x250 kgs. — — (2x551 lb.)— (2x551 lb.) PRINTED IN ENGLAND <Profile Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 26, 1a North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, England by George Falkner &Sons Ltd., for McCorquodale City Printing Division, London. U.S. 2nd Class Mailing Rates applied for.
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