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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Tachikawa Ki-36 army cooperation, Army Type 98; Tachikawa Ki-55 trainer, Army Type 99;
Allied code name: Ida

Photos

  • Tachikawa Ki-36 Type-98 cooperation
  • Tachikawa Type 98, Army Type KB-98 reconnaissance bomber
  • Tachikawa Type 98, Army Type KB-98 reconnaissance bomber
  • Tachikawa Ki-55, Type 99 cooperation

Design

The Tachikawa Ki-36 was designed to meet a May 1937 Imperial Japanese Army specification for a single engine army cooperation airplane that could operate from rough airfields near the front lines.

Mitsubishi submitted the Ki-35 and Tachikawa the Ki-36 with the Ki-36 being selected. Ryokichi Endo led the design team.

Visibility

The Ki-36 had excellent visibility as it had the leading edges of the wings swept back and there were windows under the wings center section.

Trainer

The Tachikawa Ki-55 was basically the Ki-36 with less operational equipment and was to be used as a trainer.

Prototype

The Ki-36 prototype first flew on April 20, 1938. It was discovered there was a propensity for wingtip stalls, but this was cured by fitting leading edge slots in the wings on the second prototype.

The Ki-55 prototype first flew in September 1939.

Production

Deliveries of the Ki-36 started in November 1938. Production ended in January 1944.

Deliveries of the Ki-55 ended in December 1943.

  • Ki-36 prototypes: 2
    • Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa
    • Production: Early 1938
  • Ki-36, Army Type 98 Direct Co-Operation Plane: 1,334
    • Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuku Kogyo K.K. at Gifu (472), Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa (860, 862)
    • Production: November 1938 - January 1944 (Tachikawa), June 1940 - May 1942 (Kawasaki)
  • Ki-55 prototype: 1
    • Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa
    • Production: September 1939
  • Ki-55, Army Type 99 Advanced Trainer: 1,389
    • Manufacturer: Kawasaki (311), Kawasaki Kokuku Kogyo K.K. at Gifu (251), Kawasaki Kokuku Kogyo K.K. at Akashi (60), Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa (1,077, 1,078)
    • Production: October 1939 - April 1943, November - December 1943 (Tachikawa); February 1941 - March 1943 (Kawasaki at Gifu), September 1941 - November 1942 (Kawasaki at Akashi)
  • Total: 2,723
    • Manufacturer: Kawasaki (783), Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa (1,940)

Variants

  • Ki-36, Army Type 98 Direct Co-Operation Plane: Army cooperation.
  • Ki-55, Army Type 99 Advanced Trainer: Trainer.

Usage

Japan and Thailand used the Ki-36. Cochin China, Japan, Manchuria, and Thailand used the Ki-55.

Units

  • Ki-36
    • Sentai: 29, 44
    • Chutai: 17, 44, 45, 66, 74 Dokuritsu Dai Shijugo
    • Korean Command, Central Command
    • Ground Support: 7, 8
  • Ki-55
    • Army Flying Schools: Kumagaya, Mito, Tachiarai, Utsonomiya

China

The Ki-36 was deployed to China for active service.

Secondary Roles

In 1943 the Ki-36 was very vulnerable to Allied fighters and was withdrawn to secondary areas.

Standard Advanced Trainer

The Ki-55 became the Imperial Japanese Army's standard advanced trainer.

Suicide Aircraft

Both the Ki-36 and Ki-55 would be equipped with bombs under the fuselage and used as suicide aircraft.

Post World War II

Three Ki-55s were found abandoned on Java and were used in the Indonesian Air Force against the Dutch.

Specifications

  Tachikawa Ki-36
Type Army cooperation
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Hitachi Ha-13a
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 510
Propeller blades 2, 2 Wood
Dimensions  
Span 38' 8.5", 38' 8.5625", 38' 8.6"
11.8 m
Length 25' 3", 26' 2.96875", 26' 3"
8 m
Height 11' 11.25", 11' 11.3", 11' 11.3125"
3.64 m
Wing area 215.277 sq ft, 215.29 sq ft
20 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,749 lb
1,247 kg
Loaded 3,660 lb
1,660 kg
Performance  
Speed 216 mph
347 kph
Speed at 5,905' / 1,800 m 216 mph
348 kph
Cruising speed 146 mph, 147 mph
235 kph, 236 kph
Climb to 9,840' / 3,000 m 6 minutes 39 seconds, 6.7 minutes
Service ceiling 26,740'
8,150 m
Range 767 miles
1,234 km, 1,235 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.303" / 7.7 mm MG, 7.7 mm Type 89
Cockpit - Rear 1: 0.303" / 7.7 mm MG, 7.7 mm Type 89
Bombs 331 lb
10: 27.5 lb, 28 lb, 33 lb
150 kg
10: 12.5 kg, 13 kg, 15 kg
Suicide mission 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg
OR 1: 1,102 lb
1: 500 kg
  Tachikawa Ki-55
Type Trainer
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Hitachi Ha-13a
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 510
Propeller blades 2, 2 Wood
Dimensions  
Span 38' 8.5", 38' 8.5625"
11.8 m
Length 26' 2.96875", 26' 3"
8 m
Height 11' 11.25", 11' 11.3125"
3.64 m
Wing area 215.277 sq ft
20 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,848 lb
1,292 kg
Loaded 3,794 lb
1,721 kg
Performance  
Speed 217 mph
349 kph
Speed at 7,220' / 2,200 m 217 mph
349 kph
Cruising speed 146 mph
235 kph
Climb to 9,840' / 3,000 m 6.7 minutes, 6 minutes 55 seconds
Service ceiling 26,900'
8,200 m
Range 659 miles
1,060 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm MG, 7.7 mm Type 89
Suicide mission 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg
OR 1: 1,102 lb
1: 500 kg
  Tachikawa Type 98
Type Bomber, Reconnaissance
Crew 3
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Kinsei
Cylinders Radial
Cooling Air
Net HP 900
Dimensions  
Span 46'
Length 26' 2"
Weight  
Loaded 7,800 lb
Performance  
Speed 250 mph
Range 260 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: MG
Cockpit - Rear 1: MG
Bombs 3,300 lb

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site