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Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)


Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft


Imperial Japan | 1943



"The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien was another capable performance fighter aircraft in Japanese service during the middle and latter years of World War 2."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/19/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (meaning "Swallow" and codenamed "Tony" by the Allies) was another of the oft-forgotten yet impressive Japanese-brand fighter designs of the Second World War, joining the equally impressive Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden - in this author's opinion. Not without its developmental problems early on, the Ki-61 nonetheless forged into a well-oiled killing machine with a potent armament, sufficient armor for pilot and fuel alike and impressive performance numbers to rival anything offered up by the Allies at the time.

The Ki-61 became a design reality by 1940 and was the brainchild of Shin Owada and Takeo Doi. Their previous design experiences saw them working under German aircraft designer Richard Vogt and the German influence in the Ki-61 could readily be seen to the aviation-educated eye. Additionally, the German mark on this series of aircraft was made ever moreso with the inclusion of a license-produced Daimler-Benz DB 601A which were being fielded under the recognizable Japanese label of Ha-40 under the Kawasaki brand. The prototype would be ready to fly by 1941 with full production beginning in 1943.

From an external design standpoint, the Ki-61 featured a sleek and slender fuselage design. The engine was placed well ahead of the cockpit, with the latter being situated in the center-forward position of the upper fuselage. The wings were of a monoplane low-mounted type with rounded edges, as were the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces adorning the empennage. Power was derived form a single Kawasaki V-12 piston engine, offering up performance statistics including a 367 miles per hour top speed, a 16,404 foot ceiling limit and an equally impressive 1,118 mile operational range. To the trained observer, the Ki-61 definitely shared some similarities to other nation aircraft designs, almost always compared favorably as a meshing of the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the American North American P-51 Mustang. The nose design could easily be associated with either design, as can the placement of the cockpit, smallish tail section and the under-fuselage scoop.

The Ki-61 proved a worthwhile platform in service through to the end of the war. The system was actually one of the few Japanese aircraft to be able to engage the Boeing B-29 Superfortress at its normal operating altitude and was capable of handling it with some power thanks to the Hien's powerful 4 x 20mm cannon array. Joining the ranks of capable fighters in World War 2, the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien certainly is a worthy mention in any discussion - at the very least earning the title of one of the better Japanese-branded fighters of the conflict. Some 3,000 Hiens in various forms were produced.

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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-61-1 KAIc Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft.
1 x Kawasaki Ha-40 V-12 piston engine developing 1,180 horsepower.
Propulsion
367 mph
590 kph | 319 kts
Max Speed
32,808 ft
10,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,118 miles
1,800 km | 972 nm
Operational Range
2,343 ft/min
714 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-61-1 KAIc Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
29.3 ft
8.94 m
O/A Length
39.4 ft
(12.00 m)
O/A Width
12.1 ft
(3.70 m)
O/A Height
5,798 lb
(2,630 kg)
Empty Weight
7,650 lb
(3,470 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-61 Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft .
STANDARD:
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons in nose
2 x 12.7mm Type 1 machine guns in wings
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony) family line.
Ki-61 - Base Series Designation
Ki-61-I - Initial Production Aircraft; fitted with 4 x 12.7mm machine guns.
Ki-61-I KAIc - Fitted with 2 x 20mm cannons in nose in addition to the standard 4 x 12.7mm machine gun array in the wings.
Ki-61-I KAId - Limited Production Model; fitted with 2 x 30mm cannons in place of 4 x 12.7mm wing guns.
Ki-61-II - "Improved" Ki-61-I Model; fitted with Kawasaki Ha-140 engine at 1,500 horsepower; fitted with 4 x 20mm cannons.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 3,028 Units

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

[ Imperial Japan ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (367mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
3028
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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1 / 1
Image of the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
INTERCEPTION
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-61 Hien (Tony) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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