Aviation of World War II

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Multipurpose Attack Aircraft

Tachikawa Ki-36

Tachikawa Ki-36 - an all-metal low-wing aircraft with a take-off power of about 500 hp. It took only four months to develop and build the first prototype, and on April 20, 1938 (according to other sources, on April 22), the plane took off. The second prototype was ready by the end of April.

In mid-July 1938, an order was received from the army command to improve the maneuverability of the aircraft in terms of speed and turning radius, as well as to equip the aircraft with reconnaissance photographic equipment and weapons. In the same month, an order was received for the production of two additional prototypes by September.

The first two prototypes were equipped with the Tempu No-13 300 hp engine. with. On the third and fourth prototypes, an improved Na-13a was installed, the power of which was increased to 480 hp. with.

In October 1938, acceptance tests were completed and the aircraft was recognized as fit for service. In terms of its maneuverable, dynamic and takeoff and landing characteristics, the aircraft was ideally suited for use on the front line.

Ki-36 was able to stay in the air for up to three hours at an operating altitude of 1000 - 3000 meters, keeping a cruising speed of 220 km / h. The flight duration at maximum fuel load could be increased to 6 hours. The aircraft remained stable and manageable up to a speed of 150 km / h. Its turning radius at this speed did not exceed 15 meters!

An excellent view from the cockpit was also noted, which was provided by the forward-shifted cockpit and a large sweep of the wing along the leading edge, which did not block the downward view. A large window was made in the wooden floor of the gunner's cabin.

According to the test results, the aircraft was adopted as "Type 98 tactical reconnaissance aircraft" or 98-Chokkyô for short.

Ki-36 was an all-metal low-wing aircraft with non-retractable landing gear in fairings. Duralumin sheathing, only the control surfaces were sheathed with canvas. The engine hood was original, which did not have traditional flaps. Only on both sides of the bonnet were two exhaust manifolds removed. The air-cooled 9-cylinder radial Na-13a was a proprietary development of Tokio Gasu Denki, or Gusuden for short. The engine under its own name "Tempû" or otherwise - "Amakaze", which means "Strong wind", has been produced by "Hitachi" since 1939. The gearless engine with a volume of 17.9 liters at 2300 rpm produced 480 hp. on takeoff and 450 hp. with. at par. The propeller is two-bladed, metal of variable pitch. For smooth control of the propeller pitch, a variator was used for the first time in Japanese aviation.

A two-spar wing with a 13-degree sweep along the leading edge.

The armament consisted of two machine guns. One, stationary 7.7 mm Type 89 - a copy of the English Vickers-E, was located on the right side under the engine hood. The breech of the machine gun was brought under the dashboard, and the pilot was able to service the machine gun in flight. The machine gun ammunition was 200 rounds in a belt. Ammunition was often increased to 400 rounds. The machine gun allowed a practical rate of fire up to 900 rds / min. The effective range was 820 meters.

A Type 89 telescopic sight was installed on the right side of the cockpit.

A 7.92-mm Type 98 machine gun, a licensed copy of the German MG-15, was originally provided for in the gunner's cockpit. In the stowed position, the machine gun was mounted on a bracket on the right side of the gunner's cabin. In case of repelling an enemy attack, the rear part of the canopy of the arrow's cockpit moved to the tail along the rail guides, the middle to the bow, and the machine gun was mounted on the pivot of the arched turret. It was also envisaged to install a coaxial 7.7-mm Type 89 machine gun with sector magazines, however, in practice, this type of machine gun, in all likelihood, was not used due to its large weight and dimensions. The main armament of the Ki-36 riflemen throughout the war remained the Te-4 portable turret machine gun of 7.7 mm caliber. Its ammunition usually consisted of four disk magazines for 70 rounds. The machine gun was effective at distances up to 800 m, weighed 9.3 kg and allowed firing with a technical rate of fire of up to 730 rds / min.

The standard bomb armament of the vehicle was 10 Type 92 bombs weighing 15 kg, which were suspended five under each wing. For training purposes, a 12.5 kg bomb was used on the same pendants. Sometimes, to carry out certain missions, the aircraft were modified to carry 30 kg and 50 kg bombs. At the end of the war, the Ki-36 kamikaze used in tokkotai missions - "special attacks" were modified to carry a 250 kg bomb under the fuselage.

The photographic equipment in the case of using the vehicle as a reconnaissance vehicle was represented by a fixed 18- or 25-cm Type 96 camera mounted on runners shifted to the starboard side of the cockpit. The camera could easily be moved to the lower window in the cockpit floor through which the shooting was carried out. The observer also had a Type 96 or Type 100 manual 18 cm camera.

Tachikawa Ki-55 . Soon after the adoption of the Ki-36 reconnaissance aircraft, the aircraft was adapted to perform tasks of advanced flight training. Weapons and photographic equipment were removed from the rear cockpit, instead of a folding seat, a standard pilot's seat with a set of instruments and a second set of pilot equipment appeared, most often radio equipment and, accordingly, the antenna mast were removed.

The aircraft, designated "Type 99 Training, Advanced Training" or short Ki-55, was launched in series in parallel with the main combat model. The Ki-55 has become one of the most widespread trainer aircraft in the Japanese army aviation. He was in service with almost all army flight schools.

Tachikawa Ki-36 (Ki-55)
Crew 2
Wing span, m 11.80
Wing area, m² 20.00
Length, m 8,00
Height, m 3.64
1 × PE Nakajima Na-115 | Hitachi Na-13a, power takeoff/flight, hp. 1 × 510/470
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 1,247 (1292)
Gross weight 1,660 (1721)
Maximum speed, km/h 285 (349)
Cruising speed, km/h 220 (235)
Rate of climb, m/min 448 (454)
Service ceiling, m 8,150 (8,200)
Service range, km 1,235 (1,060)

Armament . One 7.7-mm synchronous machine gun "Type 89" and in the rear of the cockpit - 7.7-mm Te-4 or 7.92-mm Type 98, up to 150 kg of bombs.

Piloting the Ki-36 aircraft was extremely comfortable. The takeoff distance of the optimally loaded aircraft was 140 m when using flaps deflected by 20 degrees and about 200 m without using flaps. The take-off speed was 110 km / h. When climbing to an altitude of 100 m and a speed of 180 km / h, it was recommended to remove the flaps and move the propeller pitch to the cruising position.

The optimal speed when climbing a medium-loaded aircraft was considered to be 170 km / h, however, pilots were advised to keep 5-10 km / h more.

It was also recommended not to exceed 2300 rpm of the engine in order to avoid overheating. In this mode, a maximum speed of about 285 km / h could be reached. The recommended cruising speed was 210 km / h at an altitude of 1000 m at 1600 rpm. The most economical in terms of fuel consumption was considered a speed of 140 km / h at 1300 engine rpm with the flaps extended by 5 degrees. Typical fuel consumption was 50 - 70 liters per hour.

The landing speed with the flaps extended was 150 km / h, the travel distance with the brakes was 170 meters.

Serial production of Ki-36 attack aircraft by Japanese standards was quite massive. From November 1938 to January 1944, when production of Ki-36 aircraft ceased, 1,334 aircraft were built, of which 872 were built at the Tachikawa plant in the suburbs of Tokyo and another 472 at the Kawasaki plant. The training version of the Ki-55 was produced in an equally large series. From September 1939 to December 1943, 1,389 Ki-55 aircraft were manufactured (1,078 at the Tachikawa plant and 311 at the Kawasaki plant).

In 1942, a new aircraft was developed, designated Ki-72, with retractable landing gear and a more powerful 600-horsepower Hitachi Ha-38 engine, which, however, was never built.

Photo Description

Drawing Tachikawa Ki-36

Drawing Tachikawa Ki-55


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering " /Aerospace Publising/
  • "50 best fighters of World War II" /Gennadiy Kornukhin/
  • "Japan Warplanes of World War II" /Oleg Doroshkevich/