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Ki-60 . In February 1940, the Directorate of Technical Supply of the General Staff of the Imperial Army Air Force assigned the Kawasaki company a task to create two combat aircraft at once: the Ki.60 heavy interceptor and the Ki.61 light front-line fighter. This time, the highest possible maximum speed and firepower were put at the forefront of the tactical and technical assignment. Designed under the leadership of Takeo Doi and Shin Owada, the aircraft was a low-wing, liquid-cooled Ha-40, licensed copy of the German DB-601. To achieve the highest possible speed characteristics, it was decided to use all the achievements of aerodynamics and design theory known at that time. With a takeoff weight of 2890 kg and a wing area of ​​15.9 m², the prototype of the heavy interceptor had a very high wing load - 181.76 kg/m².

With regard to ensuring sufficient firepower, the stake was placed exclusively on the licensed production of the powerful German 20-mm MG151 / 20 cannon from the Mauser company. It was planned to place one such cannon in the consoles, and mount a pair of 12.7-mm synchronized No-103 machine guns above the engine. At the same time, the total second salvo was 4.42 kg / sec, which was very significant for that time, which exceeded the firepower of the German Bf 109E-7 and F-2, not to mention the first Spitfires and Hurricanes.

However, the test pilots did not like the new aircraft at once. In addition to the high wing loading, the aircraft had poor maneuverability, which was combined with poor longitudinal and lateral stability, as well as a very high landing speed. In addition, the top speed was reached only 548 km/h.

In an attempt to address these issues, a second and third prototype was created. Both of these aircraft were enlarged, up to 16.2 m² wing area, against 15.9 m² the first prototype also has a gradual reduction in weight with improved aerodynamics. Although the fully equipped Ki.60.03 weighed 2600 kg, the wing load was reduced to 160.49 kg/m², i.e. it was 150 kg lighter than its unarmed predecessor, the test pilots were able to squeeze only 567 out of the new fighter - 570 km/h at an altitude of 6000 m. True, the rate of climb has improved significantly. Now the plane climbed to an altitude of 5000 m in just 6 minutes.

In terms of speed characteristics, the Ki.60.03 differed little from the Bf.109E-3/E-4 or Spitfire Mk.I/Mk.II, with a rather noticeable superiority in firepower and, in fact, could be adopted Air Force of the Imperial Army, if not for its frankly sluggish (for a single-engine fighter) maneuverability, as well as poor longitudinal and lateral stability. It was the latter that forced the developers to stop further improving the Ki-60 project, since the test pilots noted that the development of this machine in combat units would be accompanied by significant difficulties. All this ultimately led to the concentration of all the efforts of the "Kawasaki" company on the creation of the light (front-line) Ki.61 fighter, in the development of which all the mistakes made during the creation of the previous project.

Kawasaki Ki-60
Crew 1
Wing span, m 10.05
Wing area, m² 16.20
Length, m 8.47
Height, m 3.70
1 × PE Daimler-Benz DB-601А, power, hp 1 × 1150
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 2150
Loaded weight 2750
Maximum speed, km/h 560
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 625
Service ceiling, m 10,000
Service range, km 1000

Armament. Two synchronous 13 mm Ho-103 machine guns and two Mauser MG-151/20 wing cannons or two 13 mm Ho-103 machine guns.

Photo Description

Drawing Ki-60


  • "Swallow" of the Imperial Army / Alexey Andreev /
  • Japan Aviation / Andrey Firsov /
  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /

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August 05, 2020.
In English specifications it goes like Japanese heavy fighter Kawasaki Ki-60 (prototype)


Three Ki-60 prototypes, left-to-right, third, first, second (click on the photo to view).