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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Mitsubishi Ki-57 transport, Army Type 100
Allied Code Name: Topsy

Photos

  • Mitsubishi MC.20, Y-93 transport
  • Mitsubishi MC.20, Y-93 transport

Design

Dai Nippon Koku K.K. (Greater Japan Air Lines) asked Mitsubishi to design and build a civilian transport similar to the Ki-21 bomber. As the project progressed the Japanese Army took over the project.

The design of the Ki-57 took many of the same parts of the plane from the Ki-21 bomber, but the fuselage was unique.

Requirements

  • Crew of 4
  • Carry 11 passengers and 661 lb / 300 kg cargo over 870 miles / 1,400 km
  • Cruising speed 186 mph / 300 kph at 6,560' - 13,125' / 2,000 m - 4,000 m
  • Loaded range 1,243 miles / 2,000 km
  • Ferry range 1,864 miles / 3,000 km
  • Loaded weight 17,417 lb / 7,900 kg

Wings

The wings on the Ki-57 were placed low in relation to the fuselage.

Passengers

The passengers sat in 2 rows of single seats.

Prototype

The first Ki-57 prototype was finished in July 1940. It took flight in August.

The fourth aircraft was lost during a test flight over Tokyo Bay.

An order for production was received by the end of 1940.

Production

  • Mitsubishi Ki-57-I, MC-20-I: 101
  • Mitsubishi Ki-57-II, MC-20-II: 406
  • Total: 507
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K.
    • Production: July 1940 - January 1945

Variants

  • Mitsubishi Ki-57:
  • Mitsubishi MC-20: Civilian transport.
  • Mitsubishi Ki-57-I, Army Type 100 Transport Model 1: Army transport.
  • Mitsubishi MC-20-I: Civilian designation.
  • Mitsubishi L4M1, Navy Type 0 Transport Model 11: Navy transport.
  • Mitsubishi Ki-57-II, Army Type 100 Transport Model 2: More powerful engine which caused engine housing to be redeveloped.
  • Mitsubishi MC-20-II: Civilian transport.

Usage

The Ki-57 was the Japanese Army's and Navy's standard transport aircraft and was used to transport personnel and paratroops.

Units

  • Sentais: 108, 109
  • Chutai: 20th Dokuritsu Hiko
  • Hikodans: 7, Shireibu
  • Hikoshidans: 4, 9
  • Shudan: 2
  • Kokuguns: 2, 3, 4, 6
  • Hikosentai: 1

Paratroop Drop at Palembang

The Ki-57s were used on February 14, 1942, in a paratroop drop at the Palembang oil installation in Sumatra. Seven hundred paratroopers were dropped.

After World War II

One of the few aircraft to continue serving after World War II, the remaining Ki-57s were used by Dai Nippon Koku K.K. They were used until October 10, 1945.

Specifications

  Mitsubishi Ki-57-I
Type Transport
Crew 4
Passengers 11
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima Ha-5 KAI, Army Type 97
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 850 each
Propeller blades 3 metal variable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 52' 9 7/8"
16.1 m
Height 15' 7 25/32"
4.77 m
Wing area 754.332 sq ft
70.08 sq m
Weight  
Empty 12,174 lb
5,522 kg
Normal load 17,328 lb
7,860 kg
Maximum load 18,600 lb
8,437 kg
Performance  
Speed at 11,155' / 3,400 m 267 mph
430 kph
Speed - Cruising at 9,840' / 3,000 m 199 mph
320 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 12 minutes 10 seconds
Service ceiling 22,965'
7,000 m
Range 932 miles
1,500 km
Range - Maximum 1,865 miles
3,000 km
Armament None
  Mitsubishi MC.20
Type Transport
Crew 4
Passengers 11
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi Kinsei, Nakajima Ha-5 KAI, Army Type 97
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 850 each
Propeller blades 3 metal variable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 74'
Length 52' 9"
Height 16' 2"
Wing area  
Weight  
Normal load 18,300 lb
Performance  
Range 1,500 miles
Armament None
  Mitsubishi Ki-57-II
Type Transport
Crew 4
Passengers 11
Engine (Type) 2: Mitsubishi Ha-102, Army Type 100
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,050 each, 1,080 each
Propeller blades 3 metal constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1", 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 52' 9 7/8", 52' 10"
16.1 m
Height 15' 11", 15' 11 11/32"
4.86 m
Wing area 754.332 sq ft
70.08 sq m
Weight  
Empty 12,313 lb
5,585 kg
Normal load 18,018 lb
8,173 kg
Maximum load 20,106 lb
9,120 kg
Performance  
Speed at 19,030' / 19,090' / 5,800 m 292 mph
470 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 15 minutes 45 seconds
Service ceiling 26,250'
8,000 m
Range 932 miles
1,500 km
Range - Maximum 1,865 miles
3,000 km
Armament None

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  3. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site