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

Photos

Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate, "Frank" fighter:
Japan's Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate, "Frank" fighter

Design

The Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate was designed to be a replacement for the Ki-43.3 The design work started in early 1942 and completed in mid 1943.4

Cockpit

The Nakajima Ki-84's cockpit had a bubble canopy that provided the pilot with excellent visibility.1

The radio was behind the cockpit.1

Engine

The Ha-45-23 was much more reliable than other Japanese engines.1 Later versions were turbo-charged.1 The Ki-84's engines required constant maintenance.3

Fuel Tanks

The Ki-84 was one of the few Japanese aircraft that had self sealing fuel tanks.1

Propeller

The four blade propeller was a constant speed electrically operated variable pitch unit.1

Fuselage

The rear fuselage was made from wood in late models to conserve on raw materials.1

Tail

Some pilots complained that the elevators felt heavy at high speed and the rudder felt mushy at low speeds.1

Armament

The Ki-84's armament consisted of heavy machine guns and cannons which could shoot down B-29s.5

Speed and Range Comparison

Speed and Range Comparison

 

Prototype

The first prototype to fly was at Ojima in April 1943.1,2,5
The prototype first flew in March 1943.3 The engines were problematic.3

There were 83 preseries Ki-84s ordered in mid 1943.4

Production

In April 1944, Ki-84 production started at Nakajima's Ota plant.2,5 To increase production Nakajima started additional production at its Otsonomiya plant.2

In the month of December 1944 there were 373 Ki-84s produced, which was the most in one month of any Japanese army fighter.1

The Ki-84s were produced by Nakajima and Mansyu.1 In 17 months they delivered 3,382 Ki-84s.1,2

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.1,3 There were fuel and hydraulic problems throughout its life.1

  • Nakajima Ki-84 prototypes: 23
  • Nakajima Ki-84 service trials: 833
  • Nakajima Ki-84 pre production: 423
  • Nakajima Ki-84-I / Nakajima Ki-84-II: 3,3823
  • Nakajima Ki-106: 31,3
    • Produced by: Tachikawa Hikoki K.K.3,4
  • Nakajima Ki-113: 11,3
  • Nakajima Ki-116: 11,3
  • Total: 3,3825, 3,5143,4
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.4
    • Production: April 1944 - ?5

Production Comparison

Production Comparison

Variants

  • Nakajima Ki-84:
  • Nakajima Ki-84-Ia:
  • Nakajima Ki-84-Ib:
  • Nakajima Ki-84-Ic: Was a bomber destroyer version with 30 mm cannons in the wing roots.1,2,3
  • Nakajima Ki-84-II: Had wooden rear fuselage.3,4
  • Nakajima Ki-106: All wood versions.1,3
  • Nakajima Ki-113: Had a stronger structure.1 Built from steel.3
  • Nakajima Ki-116: Had a lighter engine.1 Used the Mitsubishi Ha-32 engine (1,500 HP).3
  • Nakajima Ki-117: Interceptor version.1

Usage

The Nakajima Ki-84 was considered the best Japanese fighter developed during World War II.1,3 It's capabilities were on par with the P-51D and P-47N when flown by an experienced pilot.1,4 Unfortunately most of the experienced pilots were already wounded or killed by the time it came into service in the summer of 1944.1

China

The 22nd Sentai received pre-production aircraft in China in March 1944.2,5

Philippines

There were 10 Sentais equipped with the Ki-84 that were sent to the Philippines.2,5

Specifications

  Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate3
Type Fighter bomber3
Crew 13
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45-213
OR Nakajima Ha-45-233
OR Nakajima Ha-45-253
Cylinders Radial 183
Cooling  
Net HP 1,900 - 2,0003
Propeller blades 43
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10.5"3
11.24 m3
Length 32' 6.5"3
9.92 m3
Height 11' 1"3
3.38 m3
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Nakajima Ki-84-Ia Hayate1,2,3,4,5
Type Fighter1,2,4,5, Fighter bomber2,5
Crew 11,2,4,5
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-45 piston2,4,5
Nakajima Ha-45-23 piston1
Cylinders Radial2,5, Radial 181,4
Cooling Air4
Net HP 1,8002,5, 1,9001,4
Propeller blades 41
Fuel capacity 60 gallons1
217 liters1
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"1,4, 36' 10.5"2,5
11.24 m1,2,5
Length 32' 6"1,2, 32' 6.25"2, 32' 6.6"5
9.92 m1,2,5
Height 11' 1"1,2, 11' 1.25"2,5
3.39 m1,2,5
Wing area 226 ft2 1, 226.04 ft2 2, 226.05 ft2 5
21 m2 1,2,5
Weight  
Empty 5,830 lb1, 5,864 lb2,3,5
2,660 kg1,2,3,5
Loaded 7,955 lb4, 7,965 lb3, 8,558 lb1, 8,576 lb2,3,5
3,613 kg3, 3,890 kg1,2,3,5
Performance  
Speed at sea level 325 mph3
523 kph3
Speed @ 20,000' /
6,120 m
391 mph1, 392 mph4
631 kph1
Speed @ 20,079' /
6,210 m5
392 mph5
631 kph5
Speed @ 20,080' /
6,120 m
392 mph2,3
631 kph2,3
Climb 3,790'/minute3
1,155 m/minute3
Climb to 16,404' /
5,000 m
5.9 minutes5
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
5.9 minutes2,3
Service ceiling 34,449'5, 34,450'2,3,4, 34,500'1
10,500 m1,2,3,5
Range 1,025 miles3, 1,053 miles2,4,5, 1,350 miles1
1,650 km3, 1,695 km5, 1,895 km2, 2,168 km1
Armament 2: 20 mm4
2: MG4
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG3
2: 12.7 mm Ho-1031,2,5
Wings 2: 20 mm3
2: 20 mm Ho-51,2,5
Bombs 1,100 lb4
Under wings 2: 551 lb bombs2,5
2: 250 kg bombs1,2,5
OR 2: 50 gallon drop tanks1
2: 190 liter drop tanks1
  Nakajima Ki-84-Ib Hayate3
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament 4: 20 mm3
  Nakajima Ki-84-Ic Hayate3
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament 2: 20 mm3
2: 30 mm3
Nose 2: 20 mm5
Wings 2: 30 mm5
Bombs 2: 551 lb3
2: 250 kg3

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
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