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Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick)


Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft


Imperial Japan | 1942



"The Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu proved to be a most capable platform as a twin-engine fighter - particularly this KAIc nightfighter variant."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/15/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
By 1937, interest in a twin-engine fighter had peaked for the Imperial Japanese Army so much so that a requirement was put forth for the nation's first. Kawasaki entered into the fray successfully and presented the Ki-45 series shortly thereafter. The Ki-45 Toryu (meaning "Dragon Killer" or "Dragon Slayer" and nicknamed "Nick" by the Allies) would go on to find success at many differing levels, but more importantly, it would provide the Imperial Army with the much needed Ki-45 KAIc dedicated night-fighter platform (detailed elsewhere on this site), and challenge the night time bombing campaign of the Allies over control of the Pacific Theater.

Design of the Ki-45 followed standard two-engine fighter design for the time. Engines were mounted on a low-wing monoplane, each engine on either side of the streamlined fuselage. Accommodations consisted of two personnel seating in a divided glazed canopy. A single tail fin made up a standard tail assembly, giving the Ki-45 a identifiable Bf 110-like appearance. Armament of the base Ki-45 KAIa consisted of one forward-firing 20mm cannon, two 12.7mm (.50 caliber machine guns mounted in the nose and a single 7.92mm self-defense machine gun in the rear cockpit position making the Ki-45 system a most potent adversary. Provision was also allowed for up to two 551lb bombs held underwing. The Ki-45 KAIb model series appeared soon enough and was designed as a dedicated ground attack / anti-shipping variant. The system sported a 20mm cannon in the nose, a fuselage-mounted 37mm cannon, the standard 7.92mm machine gun in the rear cockpit and the system also retained the bomb-carrying provision of its predecessor. A large caliber (75mm) cannon was also trialled with the system for the anti-shipping role.

The Ki-45 would be airborne in prototype forms by 1939, though developmental setbacks would stave off production till mid-to-late September of 1941. The system was quickly thrown into action against bomber formations of the United States Army Air Force and achieved particular successes against B-24 Liberator types. A dependable and hard-hitting platform, the Ki-45 system excelled against such slow-moving targets. The Ki-45 was transformed into a dedicated nightfighter in the Ki-45 KAIc model series with obliquely-mounted 37mm cannon and advanced search radar. The C-model went on to become the definitive Ki-45. As excellent a system as Japan fielded however, the Ki-45 was relegated to homeland defense as Allied advancements in the Pacific continued to hamper offensive operations by the Japanese.

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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 Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft.
2 x Mitsubishi Ha-102 14-cylinder radial piston engines developing 975 horsepower each.
Propulsion
336 mph
540 kph | 292 kts
Max Speed
32,808 ft
10,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,243 miles
2,000 km | 1,080 nm
Operational Range
2,300 ft/min
701 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 Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
36.1 ft
11.00 m
O/A Length
49.3 ft
(15.02 m)
O/A Width
12.1 ft
(3.70 m)
O/A Height
8,818 lb
(4,000 kg)
Empty Weight
12,125 lb
(5,500 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 Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft .
1 x 20mm cannon (forward firing)
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in nose position
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in rear cockpit position

OPTIONAL:

2 x 551lb bombs carried underwing
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) family line.
Ki-45 - Prototype Model Designation
Ki-45 KAI - Prototype Model Designation and Pre-Production Model Designation.
Ki-45 KAIa - Initial Production Variant; fitted with 1 x 20mm cannon, 2 x 12.7mm machine guns and 1 x 7.92mm machine (rear cockpit).
Ki-45 KAIb - Fitted with Mitsubishi Ha-102 at 1,050 horsepower; armament consisted of 1 x 37mm forward-firing fuselage mounted cannon, 1 x 20mm cannon in nose and 1 x 7.92mm machine gun in rear cokcpit; trialed with 75mm cannon for anti-shipping duty.
Ka-45 KAIc - Dedicated Night-Fighter Variant; fitted with 1 x 37mm cannon, 2 x 20mm cannons and 1 x 7.92mm machine gun.
Ki-45 KAId - Maritime Patrol Fighter
Ki-45 II - Proposed Experimental Model
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,701 Units

Contractor(s): Kawasaki - Japan
National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (336mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1701
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
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Image of the Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick)

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
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 Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick) Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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