World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2017
Search:
Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Nakajima Ki-27 fighter bomber; Army Type 97
Allied code name: Nate (southwest Pacific), Abdul (China-Burma-India)

Photos

  • Nakajima Ki-27 fighter
  • Nakajima Type 97 fighter
  • Nakajima Type 97 fighter

Design

Development of the Nakajima Ki-27 started in 1935. The first built was a proof of concept aircraft called the PE. Kawasaki (Ki-28) and Mitsubishi (Ki-33) also developed a competing prototypes. The Ki-27 was selected as it was more maneuverable.

In the late 1930s the Nakajima Ki-27 was what most Japanese pilots wanted, a highly maneuverable fighting aircraft. It was very popular before World War II.

Fuselage

The fuselage was of all metal construction. The Ki-27 had a stressed skin.

Undercarriage

The undercarriage was fixed.

Prototype

The Type PE first flew in July 1936. The Ki-27 prototype was finished in October 1936.

Two of the Ki-27 prototypes first flew on October 15, 1936, from Ojima Airfield. Ten pre-production aircraft were ordered.

Production

The first Ki-27a production aircraft was built in early 1938.

Manysu Hokoi Seizo KK (Manchurian Aeroplane Manufacturing Co.) started production in 1942.

  • Nakajima PE: 1
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota
  • Nakajima Ki-27 prototypes: 2
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota
    • Production: October - December 1936
  • Nakajima Ki-27 pre-production: 10
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota
    • Production: June - December 1937
  • Nakajima Ki-27 prototypes and pre-production: 12
  • Nakajima Ki-27a, Type 97 Fighter Model A, and Nakajima Ki-27b: 3,384
    • Manufactured by: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota (2,005), Mansyu Hokoi Seizo K.K. (1,379)
  • Nakajima Ki-27 KAI: 2
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota
    • Production: July - August 1940
  • Nakajima Ki-27b:
    • Manufactured by: Mansyu Hikoki Seizo K.K. (Manchurian Aeroplane Manufacturing Company Limited) at Harbin, Manchukuo
  • Total: 3,399
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K., Nakajima (2,020), Mansyu (1,379)
    • Production: 1937 - 1942, ? - 1942

Variants

  • Nakajima PE: Proof of concept.
  • Nakajima Ki-27 prototype: Had a Nakajima Ha-1a radial engine (650 HP).
  • Nakajima Ki-27 pre production: First appeared in late 1937.
  • Nakajima Ki-27a, Army Type 97 Fighter Model A: Had a Nakajima Ha-1b engine. Metal faired canopy.
  • Nakajima Ki-27b: Clear canopy. Light bombs under the center section of the wings.
  • Nakajima Ki-27 KAI: Lighter weight.
  • Army Type 97 Fighter Trainer:

Usage

Japan, Manchuria, and Thailand (12) used the Ki-27.

The Ki-27 first arrived in China in March 1938. In the CBI (China Burma India) theater the Ki-27 was known as the "Abdul."

Units

  • Sentais: 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 33rd, 50th, 54th, 59th, 63rd, 64th, 70th, 77th, 78th, 85th,87th, 144th, 245th
  • Dokuritsu Dai Shijugo Chutais: 9th, 10th, 28th, 47th, 84th
  • Kyo-iku Hikotais: 5th Lensei Hikotai
  • Akeno Army Fighter Training School

Nomonham Incident

Against Russia in May - September 1940, during the Nomonham Incident, the Ki-27 pilots claimed 1,340 Russian aircraft shot down. Revised figures place this to be actually around 200 / 450.

There were five Sentais that were involved in the fighting: 1st, 11th, 24th, 59th, 64th.

South West Pacific

In December 1941 the Ki-27s supported the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Malaya Burma, and the Netherlands East Indies. These were the 1st, 11th, 50th, 54th, and 77th Sentais.

Secondary Roles

Once the Ki-27 was withdrawn from front line combat, they were used for defense of the Japanese home islands and training. Typically the wheel spats were removed and the tail skid replaced by a wheel.

Kamikaze

As a kamikaze aircraft it could carry a 1,102 lb / 500 kg bomb.

Specifications

  Type P.E., Prototype, Pre-Production
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-1a, Army Type 97
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 650
Propeller blades 2 variable pitch
  Nakajima Ki-27, Type 97
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: Nakajima Kotobuki
1: Nakajima Ha-1b
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 750, 780
Propeller blades 2
Fuel capacity 156 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 35' 10", 36', 37' 1.25"
11.31 m
Length 24' 4", 24' 7", 24' 8 7/16", 24' 8.5"
7.53 m
Height 8', 10' 7 15/16", 10' 8"
3.25 m
Wing area 199.777 sq ft, 200 sq ft
18.56 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,447 lb
1,110 kg
Loaded 3,946 lb, 4,300 lb, 4,643 lb
1,790 kg
Maximum load 5,200 lb
Performance  
Speed 280 mph
Speed at 11,480' / 3,500 m 292 mph
470 kph
Speed - Cruising 217 mph
349 kph
Speed - Cruising at 11,480' / 3,500 m 217 mph
350 kph
Climb 2,953'/minute
900 m/minute
Climb to 6,560' / 2,000 m 2.1 minutes
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 5 minutes 22 seconds, 5.4 minutes
Range 390 miles, 460 miles
627 kph
Range with drop tanks 1,060 miles
1,705 km, 1,710 km
Armament 2: 7.7 mm MG
Nose 1: MG
2: 7.7 mm MG, 7.7 mm Type 89
Wings 2: MG
Bombs 4: 55 lb
4: 25 kg
  Nakajima Ki-27a
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-1b, Army Type 97
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 650, 710
Propeller blades 2 variable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 37' 1.25", 37' 1.3"
11.31 m
Length 24' 8 7/16", 24' 8.5"
7.53 m
Height 10' 7 15/16", 10' 8"
3.25 m
Wing area 199.68 sq ft, 199.777 sq ft
18.55 sq m, 18.56 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,447 lb
1,110 kg
Loaded 3,946 lb
1,790 kg
Performance  
Speed at 11,480' / 11,483' / 3,500 m 292 mph
470 kph
Speed - Cruising at 11,480' / 3,500 m 217 mph
350 kph
Climb to 16,404' / 16,405' / 5,000 m 5 minutes 22 seconds, 5.36 minutes
Service ceiling 40,190'
12,250 m
Range 390 miles, 1,063 miles
627 km, 1,710 km
Range - Maximum 1,060 miles
1,710 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
  Nakajima Ki-27b
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-1b, Army Type 97
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Net HP 650, 710
Propeller blades 2 variable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 37' 1", 37' 1.25"
11.31 m
Length 24' 8", 24' 8 7/16"
7.53 m
Height 10' 7 15/16", 10' 8"
3.25 m
Wing area 199.777 sq ft
18.56 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,447 lb
1,110 kg
Loaded 3,946 lb
1,790 kg
Performance  
Speed at 11,480' / 3,500 m 292 mph
470 kph
Speed - Cruising at 11,480' / 3,500 m 217 mph
350 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 5 minutes 22 seconds
Range 390 miles
627 km
Range - Maximum 1,060 miles
1,710 km
Armament 2: MG
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 89
Bombs 220 lb
4: 55 lb
4: 25 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 28.6 gallon
2: 130 liter

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Handbook on Japanese Military Forces, US War Department, 1991
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site