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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Mitsubishi Ki-109 heavy interceptor

Photos

  • Mitsubishi Ki-109 heavy interceptor

 

Design

In November 1943 the Rikugun Kokugijutsu Kenkyujo (Army Aerotechnical Research Institute) suggested that the Ki-67, then undergoing flight trials, be modified to be a hunter killer. The Ki-109a would be the killer with obliquely mounted 37 mm cannons and the Ki-109b would be the hunter with radar and a search light.

Major Sakamoto came up with the idea of putting a 75 mm Type 88 anti-aircraft gun in the nose. It was thought it could shoot at the B-29s while staying out of the range of their defensive armament.

Engineer Ozawa led the team that completed the first prototype of a modified Ki-67 with a 75 mm gun in the nose.

Modifications

After the third aircraft the dorsal turret, later blisters and bomb bay were not included.

Prototype

The Ki-109 prototype was finished in August 1944.

Tests were successful and 44 were ordered to be constructed.

Production

  • Prototypes: 22
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.
    • Production: August 1944 - March 1945

Variants

  • Mitsubishi Ki-109:

Usage

Unit

The only unit to receive the Ki-109s was the 107th Sentai.

Specifications

  Mitsubishi Ki-109
Type Heavy interceptor
Crew 4
Pilot, co-pilot, radio-operator, gunner
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi Ha-104, Army Type 4
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,900 each
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 73' 9.5"
22.5 m
Length 58' 10 11/26"
17.95 m
Height 19' 1 1/22"
5.8 m
Wing area 708.801 sq ft
65.85 sq m
Weight  
Empty 16,367 lb
7,424 kg
Loaded 23,810 lb
10,800 kg
Performance  
Speed at 19,980' / 6,090 m 342 mph
550 kph
Range 1,367 miles
2,200 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 75 mm Type 88 with 15 shells
Tail Turret 1: 12.7 mm Type 1

Sources:

  1. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site