Mitsubishi Ki-73 (Steve)
Imperial Japan (1944)
Where applicable, the appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Russian Ministry of Defense, Chinese Ministry of Defense or British Ministry of Defence visual information does not imply or constitute endorsement of this website (www.MilitaryFactory.com). Images marked with "www.MilitaryFactory.com" or featuring the Military Factory logo are copyrighted works exclusive to this site and not for reuse in any form.
The Mitsubishi Ki-73 made it to the design stage and no further - Allied intelligence reports assigned it the name of Steve believing it was to enter service soon.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Mitsubishi Ki-73 (Steve) Long Range Escort Fighter Proposal. Entry last updated on 9/21/2015. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Rather unique for a Japanese-originated wartime fighter design was the use of a contra-rotating propeller arrangement in which two three-bladed systems were in play. These were driven by a single Mitsubishi Ha-203-II 24-cylinder, liquid-cooled "horizontal H" inline piston engine of 2,600 horsepower which was essentially two 12-cylinder engines paired and driving the twin propeller units. The rest of the overall design arrangement was conventional - the engine in the nose, a single-finned tail at rear and the cockpit set over center mass. Wings were straight monoplane appendages with clipped tips and the undercarriage was a "tail-dragger" system made fully retractable.
Issues with the early prototype form arose centering on the complex engine fit and there were growing concerns about the structure and control scheme particularly at the speeds anticipated. Eventually work on the troublesome compound engine was ended which, in turn, ended development of the Ki-73. While the Ki-73 was never formally adopted for service and never entered serial production, captured documents by the Allies - who believed the type was to come online soon - ushered in the codename of "Steve" for the series which never was.
The proposed maximum speed for the Ki-73 was 750 kilometers per hour, about 466 miles per hour, making it one fast mount aided through its powerful engine setup and contra-rotating blades. The slender, streamlined fuselage was also clean from nose to tail. Armament would have most likely been all-cannon in keeping with Japanese fighter traditions late in the war, perhaps 4 x 20mm systems buried in the wings (two units per wing).
Any available statistics for the Mitsubishi Ki-73 (Steve) Long Range Escort Fighter 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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (466mph).
Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.