In 1937 Kawasaki purchased a license
to build the German DB.601 engine - the resulting revised and
lightened Japanese engine emerged in 1940 as the Ha-40.
Around this engine Kawasaki planned the Ki-60 fighter, and a
lighter aircraft designated the Ki-6 Hien ('Flying Swallow').
The latter was completed in December 1941, and flew well, reaching
a speed of 368 mph. During the first half of 1942 the
prototype was extensively tested, performing very well against a
captured P-40E Warhawk and a German Messerschmidt Bf-109E sent to
Japan by submarine.
plant delivered 2,654 of the Ki-61-1 and -1a versions - the latter
being redesigned for easier servicing and increased maneuverability.
They went into action around New Guinea in April 1943 and were
given the reporting-name 'Tony' by the Allies. They were the only
Japanese fighters with a liquid-cooled engine. In early 1945
one of 275 engineless airframes was fitted with the Ha-112 radial
engine. Although a sudden lash-up conversion this produced a
staggeringly fine fighter, by far the best ever produced in
Japan. This aircraft, designated the Ki-100, was put into
production with desperate haste. One of the first Ki-100 units destroyed 14
F6F Hellcats over Okinawa in their first major encounter - without
loss to themselves. The easily-flown and serviced Ki-100
fought supremely well against Allied fighters and B-29 bombers to
the very end of hostilities in the Pacific.
beautiful model from our Premier Series. 1/24th
scale. Wingspan 19" x 14.5" length.
No. AEJ3D-TN. Only $169.95