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Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)

Imperial Japan (1943)
Picture of Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter  / Interceptor Aircraft

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien was another capable performance fighter aircraft in Japanese service during the middle and latter years of World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/19/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (meaning "Swallow" and codenamed "Tony" by the Allies) was another of the oft-forgotten yet impressive Japanese-brand fighter designs of the Second World War, joining the equally impressive Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden - in this author's opinion. Not without its developmental problems early on, the Ki-61 nonetheless forged into a well-oiled killing machine with a potent armament, sufficient armor for pilot and fuel alike and impressive performance numbers to rival anything offered up by the Allies at the time.

The Ki-61 became a design reality by 1940 and was the brainchild of Shin Owada and Takeo Doi. Their previous design experiences saw them working under German aircraft designer Richard Vogt and the German influence in the Ki-61 could readily be seen to the aviation-educated eye. Additionally, the German mark on this series of aircraft was made ever moreso with the inclusion of a license-produced Daimler-Benz DB 601A which were being fielded under the recognizable Japanese label of Ha-40 under the Kawasaki brand. The prototype would be ready to fly by 1941 with full production beginning in 1943.

From an external design standpoint, the Ki-61 featured a sleek and slender fuselage design. The engine was placed well ahead of the cockpit, with the latter being situated in the center-forward position of the upper fuselage. The wings were of a monoplane low-mounted type with rounded edges, as were the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces adorning the empennage. Power was derived form a single Kawasaki V-12 piston engine, offering up performance statistics including a 367 miles per hour top speed, a 16,404 foot ceiling limit and an equally impressive 1,118 mile operational range. To the trained observer, the Ki-61 definitely shared some similarities to other nation aircraft designs, almost always compared favorably as a meshing of the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the American North American P-51 Mustang. The nose design could easily be associated with either design, as can the placement of the cockpit, smallish tail section and the under-fuselage scoop.

The Ki-61 proved a worthwhile platform in service through to the end of the war. The system was actually one of the few Japanese aircraft to be able to engage the Boeing B-29 Superfortress at its normal operating altitude and was capable of handling it with some power thanks to the Hien's powerful 4 x 20mm cannon array. Joining the ranks of capable fighters in World War 2, the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien certainly is a worthy mention in any discussion - at the very least earning the title of one of the better Japanese-branded fighters of the conflict. Some 3,000 Hiens in various forms were produced.

Any available statistics for the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft 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 (367mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Kawasaki Ki-61-1 KAIc Hien (Tony)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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
3028
3028


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Imperial Japan
Year: 1943
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki - Japan
Production: 3,028
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Imperial Japan
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-61-1 KAIc Hien (Tony) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
29.33 ft


Meters
8.94 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
39.37 ft


Meters
12 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
12.14 ft


Meters
3.7 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,798 lb


Kilograms
2,630 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,650 lb


Kilograms
3,470 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Kawasaki Ha-40 V-12 piston engine developing 1,180 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
367 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
590 kph


Knots
319 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,118 mi


Kilometers
1,800 km


Nautical Miles
972 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
32,808 ft


Meters
10,000 m


Miles
6.21 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,343 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
714 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons in nose
2 x 12.7mm Type 1 machine guns in wings
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Ki-61 - Base Series Designation
• Ki-61-I - Initial Production Aircraft; fitted with 4 x 12.7mm machine guns.
• Ki-61-I KAIc - Fitted with 2 x 20mm cannons in nose in addition to the standard 4 x 12.7mm machine gun array in the wings.
• Ki-61-I KAId - Limited Production Model; fitted with 2 x 30mm cannons in place of 4 x 12.7mm wing guns.
• Ki-61-II - "Improved" Ki-61-I Model; fitted with Kawasaki Ha-140 engine at 1,500 horsepower; fitted with 4 x 20mm cannons.