Ki-105 Ohtori . Back in the years of World War II, an unusual project of a tanker aircraft appeared in Japan, which would be used to deliver fuel to the metropolis. The country received oil through two main channels - from Indonesia and Alaska, but both of these channels were closed with US assistance. Japan's oil reserves could have been enough for only 6 months of active hostilities.
Under these conditions, an aircraft such as the Kokusai Ki-105 "Ohtori", developed on the basis of the heavy transport glider Ki-7 "Manazuru" (Crane), could appear.
The new Japanese glider stood out with a rather original design, since despite the considerable take-off weight and rather serious dimensions, it was made according to a two-girder scheme with spaced tail and the presence of a central gondola. This gondola could accommodate a tank with fuel weighing 8 tons or 32 fully equipped paratroopers. The airframe chassis was made non-retractable, it consisted of one idler and four main bearing wheels. Unloading and loading of the Ki-7 glider was carried out through sliding sections located at the rear of the central nacelle.
A heavy transport tanker aircraft was proactively designed. Initially, it received the designation Ku-7-II "Okhtori" (English Ohtori - phoenix), and later the vehicle acquired the army index Ki-105.
The aircraft was to be equipped with two powerful 960-horsepower Mitsubishi engines, we are talking about the Na-26-II 14-cylinder air-cooled engines. All the necessary navigation equipment was also installed on the plane. By the summer of 1945, the first 9 prototype aircraft of this type were built. Army pilots tested the machines and found them very successful. In total, the Japanese planned to release up to 300 Ki-105 heavy transport aircraft.
These aircraft were to be used as air tankers to deliver fuel from production sites still controlled by Japan. Moreover, most of the fuel (up to 80%) would be spent on the flight itself. But even this suited the Japanese leadership, since the fuel situation in Japan at the end of the war was simply disastrous. However, Japan did not have time to implement the plans before its surrender. The Kokusai Ki-105 "Ohtori" aircraft remained an experimental aircraft, only 9 aircraft were built in the series.
|Wing span, m
|2 × PE Mitsubishi Na-26-II, power hp
||2 × 960
|Maximum speed, km/h
|Cruising speed, km/h
|Service ceiling, m
|Service range, km