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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (gale / storm) fighter; Army Type 4
Allied code name: Frank

Photos

  • Nakajima Ki-84, Type 4, fighter
  • Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate fighter

Design

The Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate was designed to be a replacement for the Ki-43. The design work started in early 1942 with T. Koyama as project engineer, and completed in mid 1943.

Specifications

  • Speed: 398 - 423 mph / 640 - 680 kph
  • Range: 250 miles / 400 km
  • Flight Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Wing Area: 204.5 - 226 sq ft / 19 - 21 sq m
  • Wing Load: 34.8 lb/sq ft / 170 kg/sq m
  • Engine: Nakajima Ha-45
  • Armament: Two 12.7 mm Ho-103, Type 1 machine guns and two 20 mm Ho-5 cannons.
  • Armor Protection
  • Self Sealing Fuel Tanks

Cockpit

The Nakajima Ki-84's cockpit had a bubble canopy that provided the pilot with excellent visibility.

The radio was behind the cockpit.

Engine

The Ha-45-23 was much more reliable than other Japanese engines. Later versions were turbo-charged. The Ki-84's engines required constant maintenance.

Fuel Tanks

The Ki-84 was one of the few Japanese aircraft that had self sealing fuel tanks.

Propeller

The four blade propeller was a constant speed electrically operated variable pitch unit.

Fuselage

The rear fuselage was made from wood in late models to conserve on raw materials.

Tail

Some pilots complained that the elevators felt heavy at high speed and the rudder felt mushy at low speeds.

Armament

The Ki-84's armament consisted of heavy machine guns and cannons which could shoot down B-29s.

Speed and Range Comparison

Speed and Range Comparison

 

Prototype

The first prototype to fly was at Ojima in March 1943 / April 1943. The engines were problematic.

A second prototype started flying in June 1943.

There were 83 preseries Ki-84s ordered in mid 1943 and sent to Tachikawa Army Air Arsenal for testing.

Production

In April 1944, Ki-84 production started at Nakajima's Ota plant. To increase production Nakajima started additional production at its Otsonomiya plant.

In the month of December 1944 there were 373 Ki-84s produced, which was the most in one month of any Japanese army fighter.

The Ki-84s were produced by Nakajima and Mansyu. In 17 months they delivered 3,382 Ki-84s.

Bombed Factory

The main engine plant at Musashi was destroyed by the United States 20th Air Force and production was moved to an underground plant at Asakawa and a new plant at Hamamatsu. Production never achieved previous levels.

Poor Workmanship

The excellent design of the Ki-84 didn't make up for the poor workmanship that went into the production of the aircraft. There were fuel and hydraulic problems throughout its life.

  • Nakajima Ki-84 prototypes: 2
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota and Utsonomiya
    • Production: March - June 1943
  • Nakajima Ki-84 service trials: 83
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota and Utsonomiya
    • Production: August 1943 - March 1944
  • Nakajima Ki-84 pre production: 42
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota and Utsonomiya
    • Production: April - June 1944
  • Nakajima Ki-84-I: 94
    • Manufacturer: Mansyu Hikoki Seizo K.K. at Harbin
    • Production: 1945
  • Nakajima Ki-84-I / Nakajima Ki-84-II: 3,288, 3,382
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota and Utsonomiya
    • Production: April 1944 - August 1945
  • Nakajima Ki-106: 3
    • Manufacturer: Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa
    • Production: 1945
  • Nakajima Ki-113 prototype: 1
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota and Utsonomiya
    • Production: Autumn 1944
  • Nakajima Ki-116 prototype: 1
    • Manufacturer: Mansyu Hikoki Seizo K.K. at Harbin
    • Production: 1945
  • Total: 3,382, 3,514
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.
    • Production: April 1944 - ?

Production Comparison

Production Comparison

Variants

  • Nakajima Ki-84:
  • Nakajima Ki-84-Ia, Army Type 4 Fighter Model 1A Hayate: Production model.
  • Nakajima Ki-84-Ib:
  • Nakajima Ki-84-Ic: Was a bomber destroyer version with 30 mm cannons in the wing roots.
  • Nakajima Ki-84-II: Had wooden rear fuselage to conserve aluminum.
  • Nakajima Ki-84N: High altitude with a Nakajima Ha-44 (2,500 HP) engine. Wings were made larger.
  • Nakajima Ki-84P: High altitude with a Nakajima Ha-44 (2,500 HP) engine with even larger wings.
  • Nakajima Ki-84R: Had a Nakajima Ha-45 (2,000 HP) engine and two state three speed supercharger.
  • Nakajima Ki-106: All wood versions. Had four 20 mm Ho-5 cannons.
  • Nakajima Ki-113: Had a stronger structure. Built from steel. Never flown as it was overweight.
  • Nakajima Ki-116: Had a lighter engine. Used the Mitsubishi Ha-32 engine (1,500 HP). Had a three blade propeller.
  • Nakajima Ki-117: Interceptor version.

Usage

The Nakajima Ki-84 was considered the best Japanese fighter developed during World War II. It's capabilities were on par with the P-51D and P-47N when flown by an experienced pilot. Unfortunately most of the experienced pilots were already wounded or killed by the time it came into service in the summer of 1944.

Units

  • Sentais: 1st, 11th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 22nd, 25th, 29th, 47th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, 64th, 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 85th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th, 111th, 112th, 200th, 246th
  • Dokuritsu Dai Shijugo Chutai: 24th

China

The 22nd Sentai, led by Major Iwashi, received pre-production aircraft in China in March 1944.

Philippines

There were 10 Sentais equipped with the Ki-84 that were sent to the Philippines.

Specifications

  Ki-84
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 21
OR Nakajima Ha-45 23
OR Nakajima Ha-45 25
OR Nakajima Ha-45 11
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,900 - 2,000
Net HP - Ha-45-11 1,800
Propeller blades 4, 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10.5"
11.24 m
Length 32' 6.5"
9.92 m
Height 11' 1"
3.38 m
Armament  
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter
  Ki-84-I
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 11
OR Nakajima Ha-45 12
OR Nakajima Ha-45 21
OR Nakajima Ha-45 23
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP - 11 1,800
Net HP - 12 1,825
Net HP - 21 1,990
Net HP - 23 1,900
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
  Nakajima Ki-84-Ia Hayate
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 piston
Nakajima Ha-45-23 piston
Cylinders Radial, Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,800, 1,900
Propeller blades 4
Fuel capacity 60 gallons
217 liters
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10", 36' 10 7/16", 36' 10.5"
11.238 m, 11.24 m
Length 32' 6", 32' 6.25", 32' 6 9/16", 32' 6.6"
9.92 m
Height 11' 1", 11' 1.25"
3.385 m3.39 m
Wing area 226 sq ft , 226.04 sq ft , 226.041 sq ft, 226.05 sq ft
21 sq m
Weight  
Empty 5,830 lb, 5,864 lb
2,660 kg
Loaded 7,955 lb, 7,965 lb
3,613 kg
Loaded - Maximum 8,558 lb, 8,576 lb
3,890 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 325 mph
523 kph
Speed at 20,000' / 20,079' / 20,080' / 6,120 m 391 mph, 392 mph
631 kph
Speed - Cruising 277 mph
445 kph
Climb 3,790'/minute
1,155 m/minute
Climb to 16,404' / 16,405' / 5,000 m 5.9 minutes, 5 minutes 54 seconds
Service ceiling 34,449', 34,450', 34,500'
10,500 m
Range 1,025 miles, 1,053 miles, 1,350 miles
1,650 km, 1,695 km, 1,895 km, 2,168 km
Range - Maximum 1,347 miles
2,168 km
Armament 2: 20 mm
2: MG
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG
2: 12.7 mm Ho-103
Wings 2: 20 mm
2: 20 mm Ho-5
Bombs 1,100 lb
Under wings 2: 551 lb bombs
2: 250 kg bombs
OR 2: 44 gallon, 50 gallon drop tanks
2: 190 liter drop tanks, 200 liter
  Nakajima Ki-84-Ib Hayate
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Armament 4: 20 mm
Nose 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Wings 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter
  Nakajima Ki-84-Ic Hayate
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Armament 2: 20 mm
2: 30 mm
Nose 2: 20 mm
Wings 2: 30 mm
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter
  Ki-84-II
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 21
OR Nakajima Ha-45 23
OR Nakajima Ha-45 25
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP - 21 1,990
Net HP - 23 1,900
Net HP - 25 2,000
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Armament  
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter
  Ki-106
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 21
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,990
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10 7/16"
11.238 m
Length 32' 7.75"
9.95 m
Height 11' 9 5/16"
3.59 m
Wing Span 226.041 sq ft
21 sq m
Weight  
Empty 6,499 lb
2,948 kg
Loaded 8,598 lb
3,900 kg
Performance  
Speed at 21,000' / 6,400 m 385 mph
620 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 5 minutes
Service ceiling 36,090'
11,000 m
Range 497 miles
800 km
Combat Radius 1.5 hours
Armament  
Nose 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Wings 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter
  Ki-113
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 21
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,990
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10 7/16"
11.238 m
Length 32' 7.75"
9.95 m
Height 11' 9 5/16"
3.59 m
Wing area 226.041 sq ft
21 sq m
Weight  
Empty 6,349 lb
2,880 kg
Loaded 8,708 lb
3,950 kg
Performance  
Speed at 21,325' / 6,500 m 385 mph
620 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 6 minutes 54 seconds
Service ceiling 33,800'
10,300 m
Range 621 miles
1,000 km
Combat Radius 1.5 hours
Armament  
Nose 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Wings 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter
  Ki-116
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mitsubishi Ha-33 62
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,500
Propeller blades 3 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10 7/16"
11.238 m
Height 11' 3 13/16"
3.45 m
Wing area 226.041 sq ft
21 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,938 lb
2,240 kg
Loaded 7,039 lb
3,193 kg
Armament  
Nose 2: 12.7 mm Ho-103, Type 1
Wings 2: 20 mm Ho-5
Bombs 2: 551 lb
2: 250 kg
OR  
Drop Tanks 2: 44 Gallon
2: 200 liter

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of World War II, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
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