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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Nakajima Ki-87 fighter

Photos

  • Nakajima Ki-87 fighter

Design

In 1942 the Koku Hombu brought specifications for a new fighter to Nakajima. In November 1942 an order for three prototypes to be completed by January 1945 and for seven pre-production by April 1945 was made.

Specifications

  • Speed: 497 mph / 800 kph
  • Range: 1,864 miles / 3,000 km, later lowered to 310 - 497 miles / 500 - 800 km
  • Armament: two 20 mm and two 30 mm

Engine

A Nakajima Ha-44 11 or 21 (2,400 HP) was selected. A turbo supercharger was mounted on the starboard side of the nose.

Armament

Two 20 mm Ho-5 cannons were placed in the wing roots and two 30 mm Ho-105 cannons outboard of the landing gear.

Landing Gear

The landing gear was made to turn 90 degrees so it would lay flat in the wings.

Prototype

The Ki-87 prototype was completed in February 1945. In April 1945 test flights were conducted. The landing gear had faults and during the five test flights they were never retracted.

Production

  • Nakajima Ki-87 prototype: 1
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K. at Ota
    • Production: February 1945

Variants

  • Nakajima Ki-87:
  • Nakajima Ki-87-II: Only in the design phase. Was to have a Nakajima Ha-46 11 (3,000 HP) installed with the turbo supercharger in the belly.

Specifications

  Ki-87
Type High Altitude Interceptor Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-44 11
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
Net HP 2,400
Propeller blades 4 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 44' 0.25"
13.423 m
Length 38' 9 3/8"
11.82 m
Height 14' 9 5/16"
4.503 m
Wing Area 279.86 sq ft
26 sq m
Weight  
Empty 9,672 lb
4,387 kg
Loaded 12,416 lb
5,632 kg
Loaded - Maximum 13,448 lb
6,100 kg
Performance  
Speed at 36,090' / 11,000 m 439 mph
706 kph
Climb to 32,810' / 10,000 m 14 minutes 12 seconds
Service Ceiling 42,175' / 12,855 m
Operational Range 2 hours
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm Ho-5
2: 30 mm Ho-105
Bombs 1: 551 lb
1: 250 kg

Sources:

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