The heavy fighter as a military aircraft class was a constant throughout the inventories of the air services participating in World War 2. Japanese seemed to take a particular interest in the type and held a stable of several strong performers during the period while other designs either failed outright or were ultimately abandoned as the war progressed. The Rikugun Ki-93 was another entry into the category but this design only ever reached the prototype stage with one example completed and a second left unfinished by war's end.
The Ki-93 began life through an initiative by the Japanese Army Aerotechnical Research Institute in 1941. Design studies were undertaken to produce an advanced twin engine, all-metal heavy-class fighter to be powered by a pair of Mitsubishi radials and work spanned into 1943 before a contract was formally issued in February covering two prototypes and one test article.
Power was to come from 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-211 18-cylinder twin-row radial piston engines each delivering 1,970 horsepower on take-off and driving six-bladed propellers. These were fitted to underslung nacelles protruding from the wing leading edges. Performance specifications indicated a sound aircraft for the period with a maximum speed of 388 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 215 miles per hour, a range out to 1,865 miles and a service ceiling of 39,535 feet. Performance was only a key concern for the low-to-medium flight envelopes expected of the machine for its attack role. For this reason, the cockpit section was also armored.
Intended armament for the type was a single 57mm Ho-402 cannon set within a ventral gondola and 2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons fitted to the wing roots. For defense against trailing interceptors, the rear crewman managed a 12.7mm Ho-103 heavy machine gun on a trainable mount.
Beyond the basic "Ki-93-Ia" heavy fighter / bomber destroyer version planned, there was also a proposed anti-shipping variant as the "Ki-93-Ib" It would carry a 75mm cannon (in the ventral gondola) as well as support 2 x 550lb conventional drop bombs. It is conceivable that both forms would ultimately support launch rails for rockets given their dedicated attack roles.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
46.7 ft (14.22 m)
62.3 ft (19.00 m)
15.9 ft (4.85 m)
16,954 lb (7,690 kg)
25,221 lb (11,440 kg)
+8,267 lb (+3,750 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Rikugun Ki-93 production variant)
2 x Mitsubishi Ha-214 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,970 horsepower each (take-off power).
Ki-93-Ia Bomber Destroyer:
1 x 57mm Ho-402 cannon in ventral gondola structure
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannon in wing roots
1 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine gun on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.
Ki-93-Ib Anti-Shipping Variant:
1 x 75mm cannon in ventral gondola
2 x 550lb conventional drop bombs
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0
Ki-93 - Base Series Designation; one prototype complete
Ki-93-Ia - Heavy Fighter variant armed with 1 x 57mm cannon in ventral gondola and 2 x 20mm cannons in wing roots.
Ki-93-Ib - Anti-Shipping variant armed with 1 x 75mm cannon in ventral gondola; support for 2 x 550 lb bombs.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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