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Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara)


Prototype Fast-Reconnaissance Aircraft


Imperial Japan | 1943



"Tachikawa of Japan completed only three of its Ki-70 high-speed photographic reconnaissance prototypes during World War 2."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/15/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
From 1941 onwards, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) relied on the twin-engine Mitsubishi Ki-46 (Allied codename of "Dinah") for fast reconnaissance work. 1,742 of its kind were produced across several major marks. In time, thought was given to pursuit of replacing this early war implement and this gave rise to the little-remembered Tachikawa Ki-70 ("Clara").

For speed, the Ki-70 was to retain a twin-engine layout mated to a well-streamlined fuselage. The nose section was heavily glazed for excellent vision with the cockpit stepped just aft. Along the dorsal spine rear was another heavily glazed section for views to the sides and rear. The crew numbered three. Rounded monoplane wings were set at midships with the tail unit consisting of a split vertical fin arrangement along a singular horizontal plane. The powerplant of choice became a pair of Mitsubishi Ha-104M engines of 2,070 horsepower output driving four-bladed propeller units. Dimensions included a length of 14.5 meters, a wingspan of 17.8 meters, and a height of 3.46 meters. Empty weight was 13,000 lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaching 23,590 lb.

Due to the fast speeds and relatively high altitudes that the Ki-70 was required to operate at, its armament was strictly defensive in nature - centering around a modest 1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 1 x 7.7mm machine gun pairing. The rear cockpit was to be a dedicated machine gunner's position.

Tachikawa managed to complete the initial prototype in 1943 to which a first flight took place that same year. The program eventually netted a total of three prototypes in all yet none were able to prove the product sound - the Ki-70 was a slower aircraft than the one it was intended to replace and handling issues were not all that favorable. By the end of the war, the Ki-70 initiative was abandoned in favor of more critical wartime endeavors.

Performance specifications for the Ki-70 included a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour, a cruising speed in the 305 mph range, a service range of 1,540 miles, and a service ceiling up to 36,100 feet.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara) Prototype Fast-Reconnaissance Aircraft.
2 x Mitsubishi Ha-104M (Army Type 4) 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 2,070 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller units.
Propulsion
360 mph
580 kph | 313 kts
Max Speed
36,089 ft
11,000 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
1,541 miles
2,480 km | 1,339 nm
Operational Range
3,280 ft/min
1,000 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara) Prototype Fast-Reconnaissance Aircraft.
3
(MANNED)
Crew
47.6 ft
14.50 m
O/A Length
58.4 ft
(17.80 m)
O/A Width
11.4 ft
(3.46 m)
O/A Height
13,007 lb
(5,900 kg)
Empty Weight
23,589 lb
(10,700 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara) Prototype Fast-Reconnaissance Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG).
1 x 7.7mm Medium Machine Gun (MMG).
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara) family line.
Ki-70 - Base Series Designation; only three prototypes produced.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 3 Units

Contractor(s): Tachikawa - Imperial Japan
National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (360mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
3
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
RECONNAISSANCE
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Tachikawa Ki-70 (Clara) Prototype Fast-Reconnaissance Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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