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Mitsubishi Ki-83


Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Prototype


Imperial Japan | 1945



"The end of the war in 1945 brought about an end to the promising Mitsubishi Ki-83 twin-seat, twin-engine heavy fighter."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/01/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Japanese held a talent for developing excellent twin-engined aircraft during World War 2 (1939-1945). The Kawasaki Ki-45 "Toryu" was produced in over 1,700 examples from late 1941 on and the Ki-46 "Dinah", used in the fast-reconnaissance role, was another example seeing similar production totals and service life. The latter design was from Tomio Kubo and, following the success of this product, Kubo an his design team tried their hand at a single-engine, single-seat long-range escort fighter in the Mitsubishi Ki-73 - an aircraft utilizing a 24-cylinder, 2,600 horsepower inline engine driving two three-bladed propeller units in a contra-rotating arrangement in the nose.

However, issues with the engine doomed the Ki-73 and this led to Kubo and his team to work on an all-new twin-engine heavy fighter design to fulfill a 1943 requirement for such an aircraft - the key quality being inherently good operational range. A typical form was selected which saw a centralized fuselage straddled by the engine nacelles fitted to each wing element. The wing mainplanes were fitted well-forward of midships. The two-seat cockpit was held at front and the fuselage tapered to the rear, the tail consisting of a sole vertical fin with mid-mounted horizontal planes. Each engine nacelle was underslung and spanned from before the wing leading edges to beyond the wing trailing edges. A "tail dragger" undercarriage was used. Each engine would drive a four-blade propeller.

First flight was had on November 18th, 1944and the design immediately proved itself a strong platform with good handling characteristics and agility. Power came from 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-211 "Ru" 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engines outputting at 2,070 horsepower each. As a fighter, the aircraft was slated to carry a formidable front-facing array of 2 x 30mm and 2 x 20mm cannons in the nose - giving it a potent punch against any and all Allied fighters and bombers of the period. Performance specifications indicated a fast mount with a maximum listed speed of 440 miles per hour. Cruising speeds would be closer to 280mph. Operational range was out to 1,215 miles and a service ceiling of 41,500 feet being reported.

For its time, the Ki-83 represented one of the more advanced project aircraft capable of making a difference in Japanese fortunes in the war. However, the Allied bombing campaign of the Japanese homeland truly restricted what could be had and what could not. Four prototypes of the Ki-83 were ultimately realized but the Japanese surrender of August 1945 derailed any and all hopes for the line to see serial production reached. In the immediate post-war period, the Ki-83 was studied extensively by American researchers who knew nothing of the aircraft's existence until after the war.

Beyond the stated Ki-83 version, there were plans for two primary offshoots to emerge - the Ki-95 and the Ki-103. The Ki-93 is known to have been along the lines of a fast-reconnaissance platform but was never built.

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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 Mitsubishi Ki-83 Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Prototype.
2 x Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru (Ha-43) 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 2,070 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller units.
Propulsion
438 mph
705 kph | 381 kts
Max Speed
41,339 ft
12,600 m | 8 miles
Service Ceiling
1,215 miles
1,955 km | 1,056 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 Mitsubishi Ki-83 Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Prototype.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
41.0 ft
12.50 m
O/A Length
50.9 ft
(15.50 m)
O/A Width
15.1 ft
(4.60 m)
O/A Height
13,184 lb
(5,980 kg)
Empty Weight
20,790 lb
(9,430 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 Mitsubishi Ki-83 Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Prototype .
PROPOSED:
2 x 30mm cannons in nose.
2 x 20mm cannons in nose.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Mitsubishi Ki-83 family line.
Ki-83 - Base Project Designation; four prototypes completed.
Ki-95 - Proposed fast-reconnaissance variant; not produced.
Ki-103 - Related development; not furthered.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Mitsubishi Ki-83. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 4 Units

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

[ Imperial Japan (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (438mph).

Graph Average of 375 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
4
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
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Image of the Mitsubishi Ki-83
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.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
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 Mitsubishi Ki-83 Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Prototype appears in the following collections:
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