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Rikugun Ki-202

Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal

Imperial Japan | 1945

"The Rikugun Ki-202 was a more evolved form of the earlier Mitsubishi Ki-200, itself a direct copy of the German Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket plane."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Rikugun Ki-202 Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal.
1 x Mitsubishi Toku Ro.3 liquid-fueled rocket motor developing 4,410 lb of thrust.
559 mph
900 kph | 486 kts
Max Speed
39,370 ft
12,000 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
25 miles
40 km | 22 nm
Operational Range
30,000 ft/min
9,144 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Rikugun Ki-202 Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal.
25.2 ft
7.68 m
O/A Length
31.9 ft
(9.72 m)
O/A Width
9.0 ft
(2.75 m)
O/A Height
3,571 lb
(1,620 kg)
Empty Weight
11,056 lb
(5,015 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Rikugun Ki-202 Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal .
2 x 30mm Ho 155-II cannons in wings
Notable series variants as part of the Rikugun Ki-202 family line.
Ki-202 - Base Series Designation
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/21/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The alliance between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War 2 (1939-1945) allowed for the transfer of technology to occur between the two parties. Plans (for both aircraft and rocket engine), components and a complete example of the German Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet" rocket-powered interceptor were loaded onto a pair of German U-boat submarines which set sail for the Japanese islands. When only one of these boats arrived in Japan, engineers were left with a technological puzzle to solve in getting their Me 163 into the air. With some ingenuity, the Me 163 was finally completed and taken aloft - only to crash on its maiden flight, this sole example becoming a total loss.

Mitsubishi headed development, and was to manage license manufacturing, of the J8M "Sharp Sword" for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). It would also carry the designation of "Ki-200" for the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and both were based largely on the Me 163B production model. A first flight of the J8M was had on July 7th, 1945 and seven were completed before the end of the war which was to come that August. The product very closely mimicked the form and function of the original German design.

During the waning months of the war - by which point American Boeing B-29 "Superfortresses" were bombing Japanese cities with near impunity - the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) partnered with the concern of Rikugun for an off-shoot of the Ki-200 to help bolster Japanese air defenses but provide far better endurance than the 7.5 minutes of flying time witnessed in the German design. A dimensionally larger airframe to carry additional fuel stores was drawn up and power was to come from a Mitsubishi "Toku" Ro.3 liquid-fueled rocket motor offering 4,410lb of thrust. Estimated performance included a maximum speed of 560 miles per hour, an endurance of 10.5 minutes. a service ceiling of 39,470 feet and a rate-of-climb of 2,430 feet per minute. The aircraft could see 20,000 feet of altitude in as little as 2.5 minutes. Designated Ki-202 "Shusui-Kai" ( "Sharp Sword, Improved"), the name showcasing its direct evolution from the earlier Ki-200 design.

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Dimensions included a length of 7.7 meters, a wingspan of 9.7 meters and a height of 2.75 meters. Empty weight was 3,570lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 11,055lb. Outwardly, the Ki-202 resembled the Me 163 in certain areas but drawings indicated a longer, sleeker appearance with slender fuselage lines. The wing mainplanes were appropriately swept back and a single vertical tail rudder was featured (no horizontal tailplanes were used). The pilot sat under a framed canopy at the nose of the aircraft, views to the rear restricted by the raised fuselage spine.

Like the German model, the Ki-202 would take off under its own (rocket) power and jettison its wheeled dolly upon clearing the ground. Landing would involve the pilot gliding his aircraft down and contacting the ground on a spring-loaded belly-mounted skid aided by a tailwheel. In this way, the aircraft could be reused once refueled, rearmed and placed back atop its wheeled dolly.

Proposed armament, intended to counter the advanced and well-defended B-29 bomber, was 2 x 30mm Ho-155-II series cannons. These guns were to be mounted in the wing roots and gave a good response to the large targets they would be charged with brining down.

The war ended much too quickly for Mitsubishi to make any notable progress on prototypes. The aircraft ended its days in the planning stages and nothing more, its impact left to the imagination.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Rikugun Ki-202. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Rikugun Kokugijitsu Kenkyujo - Imperial Japan
National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan ]
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Image of the Rikugun Ki-202
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Going Further...
The Rikugun Ki-202 Rocket-Powered Interceptor Proposal appears in the following collections:
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