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Ki-67 "Hiryu"

Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu
  • Heavy Bomber
  • Mitsubishi

The Mitsubishi Ki-67 "Hiryu" ("Flying Dragon"), Allied reporting name "Peggy" was a twin-engine heavy bomber produced by Mitsubishi and used by the IJAAF (Imperial Japanese Army Air Force) in World War II. Its Army designation was "Type 4 Heavy Bomber".

Designer - Kyunojo Ozawa. First flight - 27 December 1942. Number built - 767.

Construction

The Ki-67 appeared as the embodiment of the 1941 army technical assignment, being the successor to the Ki-49 Nakajima. According to the technical specifications, the new aircraft was supposed to be a high-speed twin-engine heavy bomber and suitable for possible military conflicts with the Soviet Union over Manchuria and along the Siberian border. Unlike many Japanese military aircraft, the Ki-67 had to have good defensive armament and sufficient ability to survive when receiving heavy combat damage. It was also pointed out that it should be a very maneuverable aircraft, capable of dive bombing and able to avoid attacks at low altitude.

By design, the Ki-67 was a twin-engine mid-wing of an all-metal design with a fully retractable tail wheel of the landing gear. The aircraft had sealed fuel tanks and crew armor, which was a novelty for Japanese aircraft. Coupled with two 18-cylinder 1900 hp. air-cooled engines, the aircraft possessed perhaps the greatest survivability of all Japanese aircraft of the Second World War.

A Ki-67 with a bomb load of 1,070 kg (2,360 lb) (internally carried in bomb bays) would be classified in the US as a medium bomber (B-25 Mitchell, for example, could carry up to 2,722 kg (6,000 lb), B- 26 Marauder up to 1,814 kg (4,000 lb), and A-20 Havoc up to 907 kg (2,000 lb)). However, it possessed some remarkable qualities over the American medium bombers; The Ki-67 had a high top speed at 537 km / h / 334 mph (versus 443 km / h / 275 mph for the B-25, 462 km / h / 287 mph for the B-26, and 538 km / h / 338 mph for the A-20), good maneuverability at high dive speeds (up to almost 644 km / h / 400 mph), high constant speed of climb, as well as high horizontal maneuverability (small turning radius and ability to turn at low speeds). The maneuverability of the Ki-67 was so good that the Japanese used this aircraft as the basis for the development of the Ki-109 twin-engined fighter, originally designed as a night fighter and later used as a daytime heavy fighter. In the later stages of World War II, the Japanese navy also used the Ki-67 as the basis for a Q2M1 "Taiyo" anti-submarine aircraft equipped with a submarine detection radar.

Variants

Note: Ko, Otsu, Hei and Tei are the Japanese equivalents to a, b, c, d. Kai - 'modified' or 'improved'.

  • Ki-67-I: Prototypes. Diverse models with various types of weapons. 19 produced.
  • Ki-67-Ia "Hiryu" Army Heavy Bomber Type 4, Model 1: Main production model. The majority (420+) were modified in the factory as land-based torpedo bombers (after work-number 160). Produced by Mitsubishi: 587; by Kawasaki: 91; by bu 1° Army Arsenal of Tachikawa: 1.
  • Ki-67-Ib: Late production model. Reinforced the tail gun turret (2 x 20 mm).
  • Ki-67-I KAI: Experimental model equipped with Mitsubishi Ha-104 Ru engines. 3 produced.
  • Ki-67-I AEW variant: Equipment the early warning radar "Taki 1 Model II". 1 produced.
  • Ki-67 "To-Go": Army special attack aircraft type 4: Improved version of the Ki-67 I for kamikaze, unarmed, without turrets, and with two 800 kg (1,760 lb) bombs in belly compartment.
  • Ki-67 "guided missile mother ship": Experimental type for carrying guided missiles.(Kawasaki Ki-147 I-Go Type 1-Ko,Mitsubishi Ki-148 I-Go Type 1-Otsu, I-Go Type 1-Hei, "Ke-Go" IR, "Ko-Go","Sa-Go") 1 produced.
  • Ki-67 long-range bomber variant: Equipped with widened wings and without turrets. Only a project.
  • Ki-67 ground attack variant: Version armed with three remote-control ground-firing 5 x 30° 20 mm cannons, 20 mm defensive cannon in the tail position, three 13.2 mm (.51 in) machine guns in lateral and upper positions, and more fuel capacity for long range. Specifically designed for land strikes against B-29 bases in the Marianas. Only a project.
  • Ki-67-II: Prototypes. Modified version of the Ki-67-I, with two Mitsubishi Ha-214 engines of 1,603 kW (2,150 hp) each. 2 produced.
  • Ki-67 glider tug: A standard Ki67-I was used to tow the "Manazuru" (Crane) transport glider in tests.
  • "Yasukuni": Naval torpedo bomber version of the Ki-67-I. Created from Ki-67-Is transferred from the IJAAF.
  • Ki-69: Heavily-armed escort fighter model. Only a project.
  • Ki-97: Transport model. Only a project.
  • Ki-109: Night fighter prototypes. Ki-67-I modified for night fighting for operating in pairs, the Ki-109a with a radar/reflector (similar to the Douglas Havoc II "Turbinlite") for radar transmission and detection and the Ki-109b, armed with twin 37 mm Ho-203 cannon in an upward-firing Schrage Musik-style fixed dorsal mount (as the single Ho-203 autocannon in the Mitsubishi Ki-46-III KAI was) to destroy the objective. Only a project.
  • Ki-109: Day Fighter prototypes. Ki-67-I modified for daylight fighting. One fixed 75 mm Type 88 Heavy Cannon in the nose and one mobile 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Ho-103 Type 1 machine gun in the tail. Equipped with Mitsubishi Ha-104 engines of 1,417 kW (1,900 hp) each or turbochargers Ha-104 Ru with 1,417 kW (1,900 hp) each. 2 produced.
  • Ki-109 Army Heavy Fighter Interceptor: First non-prototype model of series. Lacking gun positions in upper and side positions and without bomb-bay compartments. Fixed 75 mm Type 88 Heavy Cannon in the nose retained from Day Fighter prototype. Had a revised version of tail gun. 22 constructed by Mitsubishi.
  • Ki-112: Wooden bomber model. Only a project.
  • Ki-167 "Sakura-dan": Special attack version equipped with one shaped charge thermite bomb of 2,900 kg (6,400 lb) in the fuselage behind the crew cabin. The shape of the bomb conducted the blast forward, projecting a jet capable of reaching nearly a mile with a maximum blast radius of 300 m (980 ft). The bomb was designed to breach emplacements as well as to destroy massed formations of armor. 9 produced.[4]
  • Q2M1 "Taiyo": A Navy variant based on the Ki-67-I, specifically designed for antisubmarine warfare. Equipped with radar units (Type3 Model 1 MAD (KMX), Type 3 Ku-6 Model 4 Radar, and ESM Antenna equipment). Had two Mitsubishi Kasei 25 Otsu engines of 1,380 kW (1,850 hp) each with six-blade propellers. Carried torpedoes or depth charges. Only a project.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Specification
Ki-67-Ib Ki-109
Crew 6-8 4
Dimensions
Wing span, m 22.50
Wing area, m² 65.85
Length, m 18.7 17.95
Height, m 7.70 5.80
Powerplant
Two Mitsubishi Ha-104 Engine, 18-cylinder radials 1,900 hp ( 1,417 kW )
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 8,649 7,424
Max. takeoff weight 1,3765 1,0800
Performance
Speed, km/h maximum 537 550
at altitude, m 6090 (20 000 ft)
Time to 6,000 m, min 14.5 -
RAte of climb, m/s - 8.6
Service ceiling, m 9,470 12,000
Service range, km 3,800 2,200
Armanent (defensive)
12.7 mm Ho-103 (Type 1), pcs. 5 1
20 mm Ho-5, pcs. 1 -
75 mm Type-88, pcs. - 1
Bomb im bombbay, kg 1600 -
Bomb in Kamikaze versions, kg 2,900 -

Ki-67. Combat Use

Mitsubishi Ki.67 - I

Ki. 67 - I

The Ki-67 was used for level bombardment and (like the Yasakuni type) torpedo throwing, the aircraft could carry one torpedo on an external sling under the fuselage. The Ki-67 was originally used by the Japanese Army and Navy against the US Navy during its third strike against Formosa and Ryukyu Island. It was later used in Okinawa, mainland China, French Indochina, Karafuto and against B-29 airfields in Saipan and Tinian.

One aircraft, in the stormtrooper version, was developed for the mission to Giretsu. The Ki-67 was equipped with three 20 mm remote control cannons directed forward at an angle of 30 ° for ground attack, a 20 mm cannon in the tail, 13.2 mm machine guns in the side and upper sectors of fire, and enlarged fuel tanks. However, even in this case, due to the great distance, the mission to Giretsu was calculated only one way.

In the later stages of World War II, special versions of the Ki-67, KAI (Enhanced) and Sakura-Dan were used for kamikaze missions. Information source - Lt. Sgt. Seiji Moriyama, one of the crew at Fugaku from the Special Attacking Unit, who at one time witnessed the conversion of the Ki-67 into a To-Go kamikaze aircraft carrying two 800 kg bombs during operations in Okinawa.

Photo Description
Drawing Ki 67 Drawing Ki 67

Drawing Ki 109 Drawing Ki 109

Ki-67 74-148 of the 74th Hiko Sentai

Ki-67 74-148 of the 74th Hiko Sentai. (Matsumoto airfield, Japan, 1945.)

Bibliography

  • "Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War" /Francillon, Rene J./
  • "Warplanes of the Second World War" /Green, William/