Aviation of World War II

Home Russian

High Altitude Reconnaissance Bomber

Tachikawa Ki-74

In 1939, Koku Hombu gave the Tachikawa firm an assignment to develop an intelligence officer capable of reconnaissance from the territory of Manchuria in remote areas of the Soviet Union that lay west of Lake Baikal. This aircraft was supposed to have a flight range of at least 5000 km and develop a maximum speed of over 450 km/h.

The design of the new machine was headed by Dr. Kimura, who chose the 2500 hp Mitsubishi Na-214M engines to achieve high performance steel. sec., which brought six-blade propellers into rotation, and decided to make the cockpit airtight. However, the refinement of the pressurized cabin, which was being tested on other aircraft - SS-1 and Ki-77 - was delayed, and by order of the military, work was suspended.

At the end of 1941, the priorities changed, the project was remembered, but this time Koku Hombu ordered the Tachikawa company to create a long-range high-altitude bomber capable of reaching the United States. The reorientation of the aircraft to perform new tasks did not require the developers to radically redesign the design, they simply equipped a bomb bay in the fuselage, installed a bomber sight, sealed fuel tanks and armor protection for crew jobs, and the Mitsubishi Na-214M engines were replaced with the Na-211-1 (power 2200) of the same company. The preliminary design, designated Ki-74, was approved by the military in September 1942, after which Tachikawa received an order to build three prototypes. The first of them took off in March 1944, and soon the remaining two were ready, on which the Na-211-1 Ru engines equipped with turbochargers were installed. During flight tests on all three prototype aircraft, there were problems with engines, which turned out to be "raw" and not completed.

As a result, on thirty aircraft of the pre-production batch, it was decided to use less powerful, but much more reliable 2000-horsepower Mitsubishi Na-104 Ru engines, also equipped with turbochargers.

With this power plant, the Ki-74 bomber at an altitude of 8500 m developed a maximum speed of 570 km / h. Its bomb load was 1000 kg, and its defensive armament was represented by one remote-controlled 12.7-mm Type 1 machine gun in the rear of the aircraft. All five crew members were located in the pressurized cabin, in the bow.

Ki-74 was supposed to be used primarily for bombing the bases of American B-29 bombers on the island of Saipan, but since before the surrender of Japan, only 13 aircraft of the pilot batch were built, these plans were not carried out. Also, it was not possible to carry out a non-stop flight to Germany. A fourth pre-production aircraft was prepared for him, but the Third Reich had already surrendered by that time. The designs of the Ki-74-II bomber with a bomb load increased to 2000 kg and the transport aircraft remained on paper.

Although the Ki-74 did not participate in hostilities, the Allied intelligence managed to obtain information about its creation, so the Japanese bomber managed to get the code name "Patsy" ("Patsy").

A total of 16 aircraft were built, including prototypes. By the end of the war, 4 aircraft survived, which were taken to the United States, where they were tested.

Tachikawa Ki-74
Crew 5
Wing span, m 27.00
Wing area, m² 80.00
Length, m 17.65
Height, m 5.10
2 × PE Mitsubishi Na-104 Ru
Takeoff power hp. 2 × 2,000
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 10,200
Gross weight 19,400
Maximum speed, km/h 570
Cruising speed, km/h 400
Rate of climb, m/min 471
Service ceiling, m 12,000
Service range, km 8,000

Photo Description

Drawing Ki-74

Trophy Ki-74 on trials in the USA


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering " /Aerospace Publising/
  • "Japan Warplanes of World War II" /Oleg Doroshkevich/