Aviation of World War II

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  • Long Range Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • First flight: 1943
  • Tachikawa

The Ki.70 reconnaissance aircraft was designed as a replacement for the Mitsubishi Ki.46, but never made it to mass production, showing lower performance than the latest Ki.46 modifications. In March 1939, eight months before the first flight of the prototype Ki.46, the air staff had already sent Tachikawa a proposal to design an even faster long-range reconnaissance aircraft, designated the Ki.70.

Tachikawa developed a design for a twin-engine mid-wing all-metal structure with a laminar profile wing. The crew was to consist of three people. The observer was located in the nose and had a 7.7 mm machine gun at his disposal, the pilot sat in front of the wing, and in the rear of the fuselage was a radio operator with a 12.7 mm machine gun on a mobile mount. To improve the angles of fire from the rear machine gun, the tail was made two-keeled. With two 18-cylinder Mitsubishi Ha-104M air-cooled engines, 1900 hp. each, the maximum speed was expected at 647 km / h at an altitude of 5400 meters.

The production of two experimental aircraft was very slow, and the first Ki.70 was ready only in February 1943. With the start of testing, it turned out that the flight data of the Ki.70 turned out to be much worse than the calculated ones. In addition, due to the very large load on the wing, the aircraft had poor takeoff and landing characteristics. Handling in the air was normal, but the maximum speed was only 580 km/h, with the Ki.46-II reaching 604 km/h and the Ki.46-III 630 km/h.

Mitsubishi Ki-70
Crew 3
Wing span, m 17.80
Wing area, m² 43.00
Length, m 14.5
Height, m 3.46
2 × PE Mitsubishi Ha-104M, power hp 2 × 1,900
Weights, kg, кг
Empty weight 5,895
Gross weight 9,855
Maximum speed, km/h 580
Cruise speed, km/h 490
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 1,000
Service ceiling, m 11,000
Service range, km 2,480
1 × 7.7 mm Type 89 machine gun on mobile nose mount
1 × 12.7 mm machine gun Ho 103 on a mobile mount in the cockpit of the gunner-radio operator.

In order to improve the flight characteristics of the third experimental Ki 70, it was decided to install Mitsubishi Ha 211-I Ru engines with a power of 2200 hp, equipped with turbochargers. However, the Ha 211-I Ru turned out to be unreliable, and the design of the Ki.70 was overweight. As a result, the army air headquarters decided to stop all work on this program.

One of the three built copies survived until the end of the war and was captured by the Americans. Received the code designation "Clara" (Clara) and was immediately sent for scrap.

Photo Description
Mitsubishi Ki-70

Drawing Ki-70


  • Reconnaissance Aircraft Tachikawa Ki.70 /Andrey Krumkach/
  • Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War /Rene J.Francillion/
  • "Encyclopedia of military equipment" /Aerospace Publishing/