Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks

Tachikawa Ki-77

Long-Range Aircraft Prototype (1942)

Aviation / Aerospace

1 / 1
Image from the Public Domain; not U.S. markings on captured aircraft.

Jump-to: Specifications

Despite setting what were unofficial world records during World War 2, the Tachikawa Ki-77 was limited by the Japanese war situation of World War 2.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/08/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The period between World Wars allowed aircraft builders and pilots the chance to set and break many aerial records. Advancements in technology and construction practices were key contributing factors that, when tied to the bravery of airmen and women, allowed all-new heights to be reached. In 1937, a local Japanese newspaper paired with a Mitsubishi Ki-15 to fly from the Japanese Islands to the United Kingdom in a much-publicized long distance journey. Not to be outdone, the Asahi Shinbun, another local newspaper in Japan, commissioned for a similar feat when it sponsored an aircraft to make the dangerous route from Japan to Europe. The endeavor ultimately held several goals - to serve as a local propaganda device, to strengthen ties with its Axis partners, and to drive development of long-range technologies for possible use in future Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) aircraft.

Researchers at the Aeronautical Research Institute of the University of Tokyo - an establishment founded as far back as 1877 - helped to lay the foundation for the aircraft's design with support from engineers at Tachikawa. Tachikawa Hikoki KK builders then constructed the machine as a well-streamlined monoplane airplane with rounded fuselage, single tail fin, pressurized cabin, and retractable undercarriage. The team eyed the end of 1941 for their first flight though fortunes changed when the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. Navy's chief Pacific station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941 - pitting Japan into total war with the United States and its allies. This shelved the promising long-distance endeavor for the interim as resources and manpower were now completely redirected to the Japanese war effort.

In July of 1942, an Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 made its way from Italy to Japan by way of the Soviet Union and China to strengthen ties with its Axis ally. In turn, this prompted the Japanese to rekindle their interest in a long-distance flight out west - though avoiding Soviet airspace at all costs due to a poor relationship between the two regional powers. Tachikawa completed the aircraft under the designation of "Ki-77" and a first flight was completed on November 18th, 1942.
The flight revealed a bevy of deficiencies that grounded the initial prototype for some time. During this lull, Tachikawa moved on constructing another aircraft to the same specifications which produced what would become just the second of two total prototypes for the Ki-77 line. With a crew selected and trained for the adventure ahead, and some of the more major issues ironed out in the aircraft, the flight was formally launched on July 7th, 1943 from an airstrip in Singapore.

As it was, Allied intelligence had been alerted through German communications of the long distance flight and were promptly dispatched to meet the journeying Ki-77. It is believed that the Japanese flight was doomed by their run in with the British who dispatched the unprotected enemy aircraft somewhere over the Indian Ocean. The Tachikawa aircraft carried a crew of eight including three Army officers personnel.

The second Ki-77 was utilized in a record-setting long distance attempt from 1944 onwards which it unofficially managed over Japanese controlled territories prior to the end of the war. At the time of the Japanese surrender in August of 1945, the Ki-77 has survived the Allied bombing campaign and thus taken over by the Americans to which it was transport stateside for inspection during 1946 before being dismantled and scrapped. As such, the Tachikawa Ki-77 fell into aviation history without much fanfare to its name.


Service Year

Imperial Japan national flag graphic
Imperial Japan

Development Ended.


Tachikawa Hikoki KK- Imperial Japan
National flag of modern Japan Imperial Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

50.2 ft
(15.30 m)
96.8 ft
(29.50 m)
12.6 ft
(3.85 m)
Empty Wgt
15,961 lb
(7,240 kg)
36,872 lb
(16,725 kg)
Wgt Diff
+20,911 lb
(+9,485 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Tachikawa Ki-77 production variant)
Installed: 2 x Nakajima Ha-115 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,170 horsepower each.
Max Speed
273 mph
(440 kph | 238 kts)
28,543 ft
(8,700 m | 5 mi)
11,185 mi
(18,000 km | 33,336 nm)
820 ft/min
(250 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Tachikawa Ki-77 production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)

Ki-77 - Model Designation; two aircraft built with one lost in a flight over the Indian Ocean on its way to Germany.

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 pioneering aircraft
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 representing modern aircraft
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 War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-