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Kawasaki Ki-88

Imperial Japan (1943)
Picture of Kawasaki Ki-88 Fighter Aircraft Proposal

The Kawasaki Ki-88 failed to impress during its mock-up stage that it was not ordered into production for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawasaki Ki-88 Fighter Aircraft Proposal.  Entry last updated on 4/5/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Concerned about the slow progress in getting the complex Kawasaki Ki-64 Heavy Fighter into the air (with its tandem engine arrangement), Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) authorities thought it best to allow development of an interim, or insurance-minded, fighter aircraft which became the Kawasaki "Ki-88" of simpler form and function. However, the aircraft only reached a mockup stage by which time its performance was estimated to be no better than existing Japanese service fighters so the Ki-88 was never officially adopted nor ordered for serial production.

Work began as soon as August 1942 and took no more a conventional design approach than the Ki-64 in that it utilized a rear-mounted engine driving a forward-mounted propeller. The engine was connected to the propeller unit by way of a drive shaft running under the cockpit floor - similar in concept to the classic American Bell P-39 "Airacobra" (detailed elsewhere on this site). In similar fashion, a 37mm cannon was fitted to fire through the propeller hub as the forward compartment of the fuselage lay empty thanks to the rear engine placement. The cockpit was seated aft of the cannon and wing mainplanes mounted low and ahead of midships. The tail was a conventional, single-finned unit being used while the undercarriage was made up of a "tail-dragger" configuration. Beyond its 37mm gun, the aircraft was also slated to carry 2 x 20mm cannons in the lower nose section, offering frontal battery against any and all enemy warplanes fielded across the Pacific Theater.

The end of the road for the Ki-88 came when the design was reviewed in its mock-up stage during 1943 and found that it would be no more faster than some of the fighters already in use or beginning to come online in number. Since nothing could be gained from the Ki-88 project, it was abandoned in favor of other, more promising ventures needed by the Japanese military going forward.

As designed, the Ki-88 featured a length of 33.5 feet and a wingspan of 40.7 feet. Gross weight was listed at 8,600 pounds. Power was to come from a Kawasaki Ha-140 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,500 horsepower. Calculated maximum speed was 375 miles per hour and no other estimated performance specifications were offered.

Any available statistics for the Kawasaki Ki-88 Fighter Aircraft Proposal are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






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.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (373mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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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
0
0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Imperial Japan
Year: 1943
Type: Fighter Aircraft Proposal
Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki - Imperial Japan
Production: 0
Global Operators:
Imperial Japan (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Kawasaki Ki-88 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
33.46 ft


Meters
10.2 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
40.68 ft


Meters
12.4 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
8,598 lb


Kilograms
3,900 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Kawasaki Ha-140 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,500 horsepower and mounted in fuselage rear.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
373 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
600 kph


Knots
324 kts

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
1 x 37mm cannon firing through the propeller hub
2 x 20mm cannons in lower nose
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Ki-88 - Base Series Designation; only reached mock-up stage.