Kawasaki Ki-61 "Tony" 
    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.
    The Gifu 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.


Kawasaki Ki-61 "Tony" 
A beautiful model from our Premier Series.  1/24th scale.  Wingspan 19" x 14.5" length.
  No. AEJ3D-TN.  Only $169.95
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