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Thread: KI 44 "Tojo"

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    Member ralphwiggum's Avatar
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    KI 44 "Tojo"

    How well did this fighter perform against the Hellcat, Mustang & Hellcat?
    I know Nothing about this plane but, I really like it!


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    Senior Member Thorlifter's Avatar
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    From what I know about the plane, it was generally not well liked and was considered to have weak armament. It was not a good dogfighter, but the pilots learned to use it's exceptional climb rate to their advantage.

    Though the plane wasn't introduced until 1941, it was considered obsolete when the KI-84 came online. With a few exceptions, the plane was only used around Japan's major cities to combat the B-29's.

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    Member ralphwiggum's Avatar
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    WOW! I thought that the KI44 came out After the KI 84 Goes to show how much I know I thought it was Japan's P47 Thunderbolt!
    How about the N1K1 "George"? I know that this was a good dogfighter

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    Senior Member Thorlifter's Avatar
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    Usng the Nakajima Homare engine, the Kawanishi N1K was probably Japan's best naval based fighter. It was just as fast as a Hellcat and could really take a pounding.....as far as Japanese planes go. In fact, in the hands of a skilled pilot, they considered a F6F an "easy kill."

    Plus, with 4 20mm cannons, it was heavily armed.

    While the Homare engine produced over 1800hp, the engine was actually very tempermental and caused problems. Engineers were also disappointed with the engine as they were hoping for a 400mph plane, but could only get 360 out of it. The landing gear was also plagued with problems.

    Despite these issues, it was still one of Japan's best planes.

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    One Ki.44-I-Hei was experimentally fitted with Sumitomo Pe-7 contra-rotating airscrews of 9 ft 10 in (3m) diameter. No idea what the results were.


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    I must admit that I thought the Ki44 was quite a good fighter. This doesn't mean that it was a match for the excellent Ki84, but it was a dangerous opponent.

    Somewhere I have quite a good article on it which I will try to find and give a more detailed reply.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grampa's Avatar
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    The "Tojo" marks a turning from the traditionell request of manuverbility and contrast against Ki-43 in the same way as the J2M as the Zero. The plane came up after an sudden need of climb and speed, even the prize of less manuverybility and higher landingsspeed has to be payd. A test between an imprted Me 109E and a Ki-60 late 1940 showded that the Ki-44 whas faster. 1233 planes whas build, but the manufacturing of the plane whas delayed 1942 by the priority of the ki-43. even if the plane whas fast, had good climb and diving-speed like the americans fighterplane the pilots still dident like it because of the small wings that gave the plane bad manuverbility whitc resaulted that the pilots whas banned to do fast roll and other maneuvers, it also had bad wiew for takeoff. One interesting thing here is the Ki-44c who had the guns in the wings replaced whit cannons, the cannons whas the Ho-301 of 40mm diameter that shoot 400 rounds per minut, those rounds dident have any shells.
    Look for more info in this webbsite. Ho-301 cannon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sorry for my bad english

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    Hi Ralph,

    >How well did this fighter perform against the Hellcat, Mustang & Hellcat?

    Here some interesting comments by Mustang pilot 'Ax' Hiltgen of the 530th Fighter Squadron (from Roger Freeman's "Combat Profile: Mustang"):

    "Altitude was important to get over the bad weather in combat and when we encountered 'Tonys' and 'Tojos' - particularly the latter."

    "Fortunately for us, as the Japanese planes got better - with the 'Tojo' the best - their fighter pilot quality plummeted."

    "As mentioned earlier, the only Japanese plane that came close to the characteristics of the P-51 was the 'Tojo'. With the 'Oscar' and 'Zero', if you stayed out of tight, slow manoeuvres and used the advantages of the Mustang you would win."

    (He might not have encountered the Nakajima Ki-84 before he was rotated out of the theatre. However, from aviation enthusiasts familiar with the Japanese perspective, I've heard that the Ki-84 gave a lot of trouble initially and did not develop full engine power, so that many pilots still preferred the mature Ki-44 which gave comparable performance.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
    One Ki.44-I-Hei was experimentally fitted with Sumitomo Pe-7 contra-rotating airscrews of 9 ft 10 in (3m) diameter. No idea what the results were.

    Wow.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wayne Little's Avatar
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    For anyone interested, Hasegawa are about to release a new 1/32 Ki-44

    1/32 Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki II Hei




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    Senior Member razor1uk's Avatar
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    Are their any detailed drawings and structural info around for the Shoki, the firery spirited culler of demons?
    One thing I've noticed is nearly all references say the hayate/Ki-84 evolved from the 43, but looking at the side profiles of all three, the 84 resembles more the 44, but more 43 styled wings, anyone else think so too?
    In reality the 84 was based upon both, managing to take the best of both and minimse the worst of each, if it wasn't for them being over-tasked and hence running into servicability issues.
    Pilots of the 44 and 84, both considered the Hellcat easy prey, if they were bounced (and their own skill level was enough), where as 43 pilots lamented their losses and sometimes the construction of their A/C - talk of some machines being supplied from the factories with the under fuz centre wing skin panel seams being wide open & extra unused rivet drillings.
    Last edited by razor1uk; 10-12-2010 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Ad Infinitum

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    Senior Member Shinpachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor1uk View Post
    Are their any detailed drawings and structural info around for the Shoki, the firery spirited culler of demons?
    This pdf file may be useful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -screenshot_tojo.jpg  
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13
    Senior Member razor1uk's Avatar
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    Domo arigatto Shin, very useful, it is much appreciated (I take the measurements are in Metric?).

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shinpachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor1uk View Post
    Domo arigatto Shin, very useful, it is much appreciated (I take the measurements are in Metric?).
    You are welcome, razor1uk.
    Yes, they are in Metric - generally millimeters.

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    Did any Ki-44 survived the war to be placed in a museum? I have been looking around but it seems that all were destroyed.

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