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Kawasaki Ki-102 (Randy)

Imperial Japan (1944)
Picture of Kawasaki Ki-102 (Randy) Ground Attack / Heavy Fighter / Night Fighter Aircraft

The Kawasaki Ki-102 was developed specifically to replace the Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu series of heavy fighters.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawasaki Ki-102 (Randy) Ground Attack / Heavy Fighter / Night Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 4/5/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The two-seat, twin-engine Ki-102 was classified as a close-support/heavy fighter aircraft and developed by the Kawasaki concern of Imperial Japan. To the Allies, it was known under the codename of "Randy" and in official Imperial Japanese Army Air Force nomenclature, it existed as the "Army Type 4 Assault Aircraft". The aircraft was developed from the preceding Kawasaki "Ki-96" twin-engine heavy fighter of which only three prototypes were produced, intending to ultimately replace the twin-engine Kawasaki Ki-45 (Toryu) "Nick" heavy fighter in both production and operational service. First flight of the Ki-102 prototype was recorded in 1944 though the end of the war for Japan in August of 1945 signified the end of development and production of the Ki-102 for the long-term. The type was eventually evolved into three distinct forms to include a dedicated fighter, dedicated night-fighter and dedicated ground attack platform. Some Ki-102s (Ki-102b production models) saw limited combat service while most were stationed on the Japanese mainland for defensive purposes prior to the anticipated Allied invasion (which never occurred). A total of 238 examples were manufactured by Kawasaki Aircraft Engineering and saw service from 1944 to the end of the war in 1945.

With the apparent success of their Ki-45 "Toryu" twin-engine heavy fighter line, Kawasaki turned to developing an improved form as a private venture. Development ensued in 1942 and more or less followed the same design principles inherent in the Ki-45 before it. The new design included a twin-engine configuration with a crew of two, the fuselage intended to fit heavy cannon-minded armament to counter the American bomber presence. However, the Japanese Army requested the type be designed as a single-seat heavy fighter which forced Kawasaki to rework the design. A revised prototype went airborne in September of 1943 while a further two prototypes soon followed. The Japanese Army liked what it saw from the new Ki-96 performance-wise though a new initiative requested the Ki-96 be redesigned as a two-seat, twin-engine heavy fighter - essentially the original Ki-96 vision. The design was once again reworked, this time to become the new "Ki-102" which retained the former design's wing and tail assemblies while incorporated new additions where needed. Ki-96 development was, therefore, discontinued with only three prototypes completed.
The Ki-102 was born from three prototype forms using the base "Ki-102" designator. "Ki-102a" marks signified the original high-altitude heavy fighter design form of which a total of the 26 of the type were ultimately produced. All combat models were fitted with 1 x 37mm Ho-203 series cannon and 2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons as well as turbosupercharged engines required for high altitude performance. The Ki-102a was known to the Japanese as the "Type Ko".

Outwardly, the series followed in line with previous twin-engine Kawasaki offerings. The design was characterized by a streamlined fuselage with the tandem-seating crew cabin at forward-middle, low-mounted monoplane wings, leading edge radial engine nacelles and a conventional single-fin tail unit. The undercarriage consisted of two main landing gear legs and a tail wheel while all was completely retractable into the underfuselage. The pilot sat in a forward cockpit under a glazed canopy with decent vision outwards while the rear crewman sat in a separated cockpit at amidships.

The Ki-102b became a follow-up specialized ground attack variant fitting 1 x 57mm Ho-401 cannon as well as 2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons. 1 x 12.7mm Ho-103 (Type 1) heavy machine gun was allocated to the rear cockpit for self-defense against trailing enemy fighters. Power was derived from 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-112-II Ru 14-cylinder radial piston engines of 1,500 horsepower each which gave excellent performance. The Ki-102b reported a top speed of 360 miles per hour with a range equal to 1,200 miles while the service ceiling was in the vicinity of 33,000 feet. A reengineered tailwheel was also introduced. Some 207 examples were built in all, proving the definitive mark in the series and was known to the Japanese as the "Type Otu". The Ki-102b production mark would be the only Ki-102 form to see combat action, this over Okinawa and its exposure very limited.

The Ki-102c was a proposed dedicated night-fighter development with various changes included in her design. This brought about use of a very basic AI radar system under a new Plexiglas nose cone, a lengthened wing assembly and fuselage and reworked tail planes. Armament comprised 2 x 30mm Ho-105 series cannons under the fuselage as well as 2 x 20mm Ho-5 "oblique-firing cannons" at amidships. The oblique-firing cannons were set in a forward-angled position, allowing the fighter to hover under and behind a bomber target (typically its most vulnerable spot) and fire cannon projectiles at will. However, only two of the type were ever completed before the end of the war. The Ki-102c was known to the Japanese as the "Type Hei".

All Ki-102 variants featured provision for the carrying of 2 x 550lb conventional drop bombs for strike sorties or 2 x fuel drop tanks for increased operational ranges.

The "Ki-108" was a related Ki-102 development of which only two prototypes were completed, converted from existing Ki-102b series airframes. These were to be the beginnings of a new high-altitude fighter design complete with a pressurized flight cabin for the crew and strengthened airframe. The end of the war signified the end of this development.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (360mph).

    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-102 (Randy)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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
238
238


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Imperial Japan
Year: 1944
Type: Ground Attack / Heavy Fighter / Night Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki - Imperial Japan
Production: 238
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-102 (Randy) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
37.57 ft


Meters
11.45 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
51.08 ft


Meters
15.57 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
12.14 ft


Meters
3.7 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
10,913 lb


Kilograms
4,950 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
16,094 lb


Kilograms
7,300 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Mistubishi Ha-112-II radial piston engines developing 1,500 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
360 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
580 kph


Knots
313 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,243 mi


Kilometers
2,000 km


Nautical Miles
1,080 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
36,089 ft


Meters
11,000 m


Miles
6.84 mi

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
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

Ki-102a:
1 x 37mm Ho-203 cannon in nose
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons

Ki-102b:
1 x 57mm Ho-401 cannon in nose
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons
1 x 12.7mm Ho-103 heavy machine gun in trainable rear cockpit position.

Ki-102c:
2 x 30mm Ho-105 cannons in fuselage belly
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons in oblique-firing position.

OPTIONAL (All Variants):
2 x 550lb bombs OR 2 x fuel drop tanks
2 x 550lb bombs OR 2 x fuel drop tanks
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Ki-102 - Encompassing 3 prototypes plus 20 pre-production aircraft.
• Ki-102a - Heavy Fighter; 1 x 37mm cannon and 2 x 20mm cannons; 26 examples produced.
• Ki-102b - Ground Attack; 1 x 57mm cannon; 2 x 20mm cannons; 1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun in rear cockpit; 207 examples produced.
• Ki-102c - Night-Fighter; fitted with primitive AI radar under Plexiglas nose cone; 2 x 30mm cannons; 2 x 20mm cannons in oblique-firing position; 2 examples completed.
• Ki-108 - Proposed high-altitude fighter prototype; pressurized cockpit; two examples modified from existing Ki-102b production mounts.