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Kawasaki Ki-100

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft [ 1945 ]

The Kawasaki Ki-100 was the definitive high-performance fighter for Imperial Japan, oft-regarded as the best fighter the country fielded by the end of the war in 1945.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/29/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Despite being produced in severely limited numbers (thanks in large part to the Allied bombing campaigns in the Pacific), the Kawasaki Ki-100 is often regarded as one of the best Japanese production fighters available in the closing months of the war. The system was designed as an off-shoot of the semi-successful Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien yet it offered up better high-altitude performance that allowed for the interception of the high-flying American B-29 Superfortresses. The Ki-100 proved to be a valued and capable performer, which in itself was a triumph considering the series did nothing more than attach a successful powerplant to an existing airframe (Ki-61-II models) done in initially by its own engine shortage.

The Ki-100 would have not been a development had the Allied bombing campaign put an end to the factory supplying a new-breed Kawasaki engine powering the Ki-61 series. As a result, Kawasaki found itself with a bounty of empty airframes in need of a powerplant and it was decided to mate the airframes with a proven Mitsubishi-type albeit with a little modification to the Ki-61 design. The result was the Kawasaki Ki-100 fighter series with the Mitsubishi Ha-112-II of 1,500 horsepower. With three such examples produced, the aircraft tested positively and forced the conversion of over 270 airframes of equal design. Combat results were equally favorable, earning the Ki-100 a grand reputation and offering the Japanese Army a true performer in equal terms with American aircraft ingenuity.

Externally, the resulting Ki-100 shared little in resemblance to the preceding Ki-61 design. Still of a low-monoplane wing layout, the noticeable difference was in the enlarged fuselage, particularly at forward, where room was made to accommodate the larger Mitsubishi powerplant. The cockpit was situated high and above the wings, offering up a tremendous view from all sides and to the rear. the cockpit, incidentally, was of an original design related to the proposed Ki-61-III but never executed until the need for the Ki-100 arose. Armament consisted of a pair of 12.7mm machine guns mounted in the fuselage with a single instance of 20mm cannon in each wing. The armament combination offered up good bomber-destroying capabilities that were lacking in most of the earlier Japanese designs. Two under-wing hardpoints provided the system with an optional pair of 551 pound drop bombs for ground attack duties or drop tanks for increased operational range.©MilitaryFactory.com
Performance from the Mitsubishi Ha-112-II 14-cylinder radial piston engine offered up tremendous capabilities in top speed, ceiling limit and range. Top speed was reported at some 367 miles per hour while, more importantly, the ceiling limit was tabbed at nearly 33,000 feet. maximum range topped out at over 1,200 miles beating out both of the other favorable Japanese fighter designs in the Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden and the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien. The success of the Ki-100 necessitated an improved offering that sought to mate a more powerful Ha-112-II in the form of the Ha-112-IIru engine to the design with an integrated turbocharger. The resulting mix would have made for a more capable high-altitude performer but, alas, only three such prototypes (with the series designation of Ki-100-II) were produced before war's end.

The Allied bombing campaign - as it was in Europe - proved successful to derailing further development and improvement to most Axis aircraft creations. Such was the case with the exceptional Ki-100 which, had it been produced in greater numbers, might have provided Japan with a much-needed interceptor to curtail the Allied bombing effort. As it was, however, the Kawasaki Ki-100, though not limited in performance or capability, was done in by the fact that it simply appeared too late in the Pacific Theater to make much of a difference in the outcome that was 1945.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Imperial Japan national flag graphic
Imperial Japan

Not in Service.


National flag of modern Japan Imperial Japan
(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.

28.9 ft
(8.80 m)
39.4 ft
(12.00 m)
12.3 ft
(3.75 m)
Empty Wgt
5,952 lb
(2,700 kg)
8,091 lb
(3,670 kg)
Wgt Diff
+2,138 lb
(+970 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Kawasaki Ki-100-Ib production variant)
Installed: 1 x Mitsubishi Ha-112-II 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,500 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Max Speed
367 mph
(590 kph | 319 kts)
35,007 ft
(10,670 m | 7 mi)
772 mi
(1,243 km | 2,302 nm)
1,640 ft/min
(500 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Kawasaki Ki-100-Ib production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
2 x 12.7mm Ho-103/Type 1 machine guns.
2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons in wings.

2 x 551lb bombs OR 2 x external drop tanks for increased operational ranges.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2

Ki-61-II - Base Airframe Models on which the design of the Ki-100 is based on; three initial prototypes converted for testing; fitted with Mitsubishi Ha-112-II engines.
Ki-100-Ia (Army Type 5 Fighter Model 1A) - New Series Designation; 272 examples converted from Ki-61-II airframes.
Ki-100-Ib - Second Production Offering with subtle design changes; shortened fuselage; redesigned canopy; 99 examples produced before war's end.
Ki-100-II - Proposed "Improved" Ki-100 Series; only three prototypes produced; fitted with Mitsubishi Ha-112-IIru engines plus turbocharger for improved high-altitude performance capabilities.

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