STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Nakajima - Japanese Empire
OPERATORS: Imperial Japan
LENGTH: 32.55 feet (9.92 meters)
WIDTH: 36.88 feet (11.24 meters)
HEIGHT: 11.12 feet (3.39 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 5,864 pounds (2,660 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 8,576 pounds (3,890 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Nakajima Ha-45 radial piston engine developing 1,800 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 392 miles-per-hour (631 kilometers-per-hour; 341 knots)
RANGE: 1,053 miles (1,695 kilometers; 915 nautical miles)
CEILING: 34,449 feet (10,500 meters; 6.52 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 2,780 feet-per-minute (847 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Frank) Single-Seat, Single Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 3/22/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Out of the many fine fighters available to the Japanese Army in the closing months of World War 2, none were of greater import than the arrival of the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (meaning "gale" and known as "Frank" to the Allies. The single engine fighter was a respected performer capable matching up against the Allied North American Mustangs while fielding enough firepower to take down the high-flying and well-defended Boeing B-29 Superfortresses. Though Japan had developed various capable platforms towards the end of the war, the Ki-84 Hayate was really one of the only designs to ever see production quantities of note, for some 3,500 examples were produced up until the final days of the war - this production covering just about a year and a half.
Like all late-stage Japanese fighter designs, the Hayate was designed with superior views from the cockpit, a powerful and proven engine, slender and aerodynamic fuselage and armament consisting of a mix of machine gun and cannon. The heart of the system was a Nakajima-brand Ha-45 type radial piston engine capable of delivering some 1,800 horsepower. The engine allowed for a top speed of nearly 400 miles per hour, a service ceiling of close to 35,000 feet and an operational range of just over 1,000 miles. Additionally, the airframe and powerplant proved the Ki-84 to be quite maneuverable in a dogfight even when sparring against the best American counterparts. Base armament of early models included a 2 x 12.7mm machine gun array in the upper forward fuselage part of the nose and 2 x 20mm cannons buried in the wings. Later models - in particular the Ki-84-III "bomber destroyer" - would sport an even more impressive 2 x 20mm cannon setup in the fuselage nose and 2 x 30mm cannons in the wings. Bombs could also be carried under wing and would be of the 551lb variety.
Ultimately, the avoidance of the Allied bombing campaign became impossible and as such, production and resources were in short supply. The number of Hayates in service performed admirably yet those in service were in such constant use that the series suffered reliability issues as a whole. Despite this, the Nakajima Ki-84 was of a stellar design and, given more in the way of numbers and time, might have made more of an impact in defense of Japan. The Ki-84 was in service until the last few days of the conflict.
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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 (392mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Nakajima Ki-84-Ia Hayate (Frank)'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