MANUFACTURER(S): Tachikawa - Imperial Japan
OPERATORS: Imperial Japan
LENGTH: 47.57 feet (14.5 meters)
WIDTH: 58.40 feet (17.8 meters)
HEIGHT: 11.35 feet (3.46 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 13,007 pounds (5,900 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 23,589 pounds (10,700 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-104M 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 2,070 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 360 miles-per-hour (580 kilometers-per-hour; 313 knots)
RANGE: 1,541 miles (2,480 kilometers; 1,339 nautical miles)
CEILING: 36,089 feet (11,000 meters; 6.84 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,280 feet-per-minute (1,000 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara) Prototype Fast Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 2/8/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
From 1941 onwards, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) relied on the twin-engine Mitsubishi Ki-46 (Allied codename of "Dinah") for fast reconnaissance work. 1,742 of its kind were produced across several major marks. In time, thought was given to pursuit of replacing this early war implement and this gave rise to the little-remembered Tachikawa Ki-70 ("Clara").
For speed, the Ki-70 was to retain a twin-engine layout mated to a well-streamlined fuselage. The nose section was heavily glazed for excellent vision with the cockpit stepped just aft. Along the dorsal spine rear was another heavily glazed section for views to the sides and rear. The crew numbered three. Rounded monoplane wings were set at midships with the tail unit consisting of a split vertical fin arrangement along a singular horizontal plane. The powerplant of choice became a pair of Mitsubishi Ha-104M engines of 2,070 horsepower output driving four-bladed propeller units. Dimensions included a length of 14.5 meters, a wingspan of 17.8 meters, and a height of 3.46 meters. Empty weight was 13,000 lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaching 23,590 lb.
Due to the fast speeds and relatively high altitudes that the Ki-70 was required to operate at, its armament was strictly defensive in nature - centering around a modest 1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 1 x 7.7mm machine gun pairing. The rear cockpit was to be a dedicated machine gunner's position.
Tachikawa managed to complete the initial prototype in 1943 to which a first flight took place that same year. The program eventually netted a total of three prototypes in all yet none were able to prove the product sound - the Ki-70 was a slower aircraft than the one it was intended to replace and handling issues were not all that favorable. By the end of the war, the Ki-70 initiative was abandoned in favor of more critical wartime endeavors.
Performance specifications for the Ki-70 included a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour, a cruising speed in the 305 mph range, a service range of 1,540 miles, and a service ceiling up to 36,100 feet.
Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (360mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units