Aviation of Word War II
At the end of 1942, work on the improved Ki-45-II was curtailed and a decision was made on its basis to develop the Ki-96 single-seat twin-engine heavy fighter. In September 1943, its tests showed satisfactory flight data, but the army command once again changed its views and it was decided to develop a two-seater attack aircraft on the Ki-96 base. In August 1943, the project received the designation Ki-102.
The new aircraft received additional armor and powerful weapons. The power plant consisted of two powerful 1500 hp Mitsubishi Ha-112-II engines. The first flight in March 1944 and in October 1944 the aircraft was put into production under the designation "Type-4 Army Attack Aircraft (Ki-102b)".
Structurally, the Ki-102 attack fighter was an all-metal monoplane. The wing is two-spar. In the outer consoles, between the side members, there were two sealed fuel tanks of 170 liters each. Two more tanks of 285 liters each were placed in the center section also between the side members. In the leading edge of the center section, there was also a tank with a capacity of 80 liters. The main 720-liter tank was located in the fuselage between the pilot's and gunner's cockpits. On both sides of the tank, two armor plates 12 mm thick were attached to the spars, which were simultaneously fire partitions.
Flaps were located along the trailing edge of the wing, which were also air brakes during a dive. By means of a hydraulic drive, the flaps could be deflected at an angle of up to 50 °. Diving was allowed at an angle of up to 60 ° at a safe speed of up to 720 km / h.
Three-post chassis. The main pillars were retracted back into the engine nacelles, the tail pillar on the aircraft of the first series was retracted back into the niche of the tail section of the fuselage, closing with flaps. On machines of a later release, the tail strut was lengthened to allow the suspension of large-caliber bombs, while the strut became non-retractable.
• Ki-102b - attack aircraft; armed with one 57mm Ho-401 cannon, two 20mm Ho-5 cannons and one 12.7mm Ho-103 (Type 1) machine gun for firing backwards.
• Ki-102a - high-altitude fighter; armament from one 37-mm Ho-204 cannon and two 20-mm Ho-5 cannons, the power plant - two Mitsubishi Ha-112-II-Ru engines - with turbochargers, at an altitude of 8200 m developing a power of 1250 hp. The aircraft did not go into production; in total, 15 aircraft converted from Ki-102b entered the army.
• Ki-102c - a variant of a night fighter with an enlarged wing span, an elongated fuselage, a new tail unit, radar and armament from two 30-mm Ho-155 cannons and two 20-mm Ho-5 and one or two oblique 30- mm No-155, engine Hа-112-II-RU; built two aircraft.
Bomb armament was placed only on the external sling under the fuselage on two universal pylons, for small bombs weighing up to 250 kg inclusive, or on one pylon for bombs weighing 500 or 800 kg.
In the spring of 1944, two Ki-102b aircraft were equipped with specially designed pressurized cabins and new empennage, thus becoming the prototypes of the new model of the Japanese high-altitude fighter - Ki-108. They were equipped with Mitsubishi Ha-112-II Ru engines with turbochargers, armament consisted of one 37-mm No-203 cannon and two 20-mm No-5 cannons, however, due to problems with turbochargers and constant raids by American aviation, their flight tests did not have time to complete.
Combat use. The Kawasaki Ki-102 attack aircraft was perhaps the most powerful and protected aircraft in Japan. Most of the vehicles produced were put into reserve - they were saved in case of an invasion of the Western Allies on the Japanese islands. In the battles, in particular in the battle for Okinawa, only a small number of Ki-102 fighters were used.
The Allied aircraft received a code designation - "Randy". A total of 238 aircraft were produced.