×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)


Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft


Imperial Japan | 1941



"As capable as the Nakajima Shoki series of interceptors were, the aircraft were relegated to the defense of the Japanese homeland."



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 Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (meaning "Demon Queller" and codenamed "Tojo" by the Allies) was a single engine monoplane interceptor appearing in production throughout the war years. The system was designed with performance in mind and, as such, design focused more on a superior rate-of-climb and overall speed leaving other factors such as vision and maneuverability something to be desired. Despite their impressive fighter performance statistics, the Ki-44 was relegated to defense of the Japanese homeland as the Allied continually shrank Japanese territorial gains throughout the Pacific. Their heavy caliber armament did, however, proved mightily effective against the Boeing B-29 Superfortresses.

Development of the Ki-44 began in 1940 as a dedicated interceptor designed to a Japanese Army Air Force specification for a high speed platform with a good rate-of-climb. The design centered around the large Nakajima Ha-41 engine that had its origins as a bomber powerplant. The large engine was fitted into a streamlined fuselage design with a distinctly shortened and smallish tail assembly. The pilot's cockpit was positioned about midway on the upper portion of the fuselage. The engine sat some distance ahead of the pilot, offering some limitations to forward visibility particularly when taxiing the aircraft. The wings were low-mounted and positioned just forward of the cockpit and were designed with a small area making the Shoki a handful of an aircraft to land due to its high landing speeds. The initial prototype was airborne by August of 1940 and was showcased against an imported Messerschmitt Bf 109E model - the mainstay German Luftwaffe fighter in Europe - and proved superior to the German design in performance figures.

Trials for the Ki-44 were conducted in late 1941 with the first air group forming in December of that year. Homeland and territorial defense groups were formed thereafter in an attempt to protect vital industrial and oil positions from the aggression of Allied bomber groups attempting to cripple Japan from within. Suicide groups near Tokyo were also formed to combat B-29 Superfortresses. In all, some 12 air groups were allocated the Ki-44 Shoki in various defensive roles with the Japanese Air Force.

Power for the Ki-44-IIb was sponsored by a single Nakajima-brand Ha-109 radial engine delivering 1,519 horsepower. Performance specs included a top speed of 476 miles per hour with a service ceiling of 36,750 feet. A range of 1,060 was reported as was a rate-of-climb nearing 3,940 feet per minute. In all, these were impressive specifications for a dedicated single-seat interceptor of the time.

Standard armament of the Ki-44-IIb model centered around 4 x 12.7mm Ho-103 series heavy caliber machine guns. Two were mounted into the cowl and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blade, forcing this pair to have a lower rate-of-fire - reported at about 657 rounds-per-minute. Conversely, a second pair of 12.7mm machine guns of the same type were mounted one to a wing and offered up to 900 rounds-per-minute. Some 760 rounds of total 12.7mm ammunition were afforded to all guns.

Notable variants in the Shoki series included the base Ki-44 prototype, the Ki-44 Type I, the Ki-44 Type II, the Ki-44 II, Ki-44 IIc, the Ki-44 IIIa and the Ki-44 IIIb models. The ki-44 was the base prototype while the Ki-44 Type I was powered by the Nakajima Ha-41 series engine. The latter had a performance speed of 363 miles per hour and was armed with 2 x 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns and 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns. The Ki-44 Type II was fitted with the Nakajima Ha-109 engine and delivered up to 378 miles per hour performance. This version was fitted with 4 x 12.7mm Type I machine guns. he Ki-44 II was another prototype model, this fitted with a Nakajima Ha-109 engine of 1,520 horsepower. The Ki-44 IIc was the first variant that showcased heavy-duty firepower, these armed with 4 x 20mm Ho-3 series cannons or coupled as 2 x 40mm Ho-301 cannons with 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns. Cannon armament proved most effective against the high-altitude, well-defending Boeing B-29 Superfortresses. The Ki-44 IIIa sported 4 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons and an engine delivering up to 2,000 horsepower. The Ki-44 IIIb was fitted with 2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons and 2 x 37mm Ho-203 cannons.

Manchukuo and Imperial Japan were wartime operators of the Shoki whereas China and Indonesia became operators of the type in post-war Asia. Production of the Ki-44 spanned from 1940 into 1944 to which some 1,225 examples were produced in total. The Ki-44 was eventually replaced by the Nakajima Ki-84 "Hayate" by the closing months of the war.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Nakajima Ki-44-IIb Shoki (Tojo) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft.
1 x Nakajima Ha-109 air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,520 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose in puller fashion.
Propulsion
376 mph
605 kph | 327 kts
Max Speed
36,745 ft
11,200 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
1,056 miles
1,700 km | 918 nm
Operational Range
3,940 ft/min
1,201 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 Nakajima Ki-44-IIb Shoki (Tojo) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
28.9 ft
8.80 m
O/A Length
31.0 ft
(9.45 m)
O/A Width
10.7 ft
(3.25 m)
O/A Height
4,641 lb
(2,105 kg)
Empty Weight
6,603 lb
(2,995 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 Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft .
Ki-44 Type I:
2 x 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns
2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns in wings

Ki-44-IIb:
2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns in engine cowl synchronized with propeller.
2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns in wings (1 to a wing).

Ki-44-IIc:
4 x 20mm Ho-3 cannons OR 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns and 2 x 40mm Ho-301 cannons.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) family line.
Ki-44 - Used for both prototype designation and preproduction evaluation models.
Ki-44 Type I - Fitted with Nakajima Ha-41 engine of 1,250 horsepower; 2 x 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns and 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns.
Ki-44 Ia
Ki-44 Ib
Ki-44 Ic
Ki-44 Type II - Fitted with Nakajima Ha-109 engine of 1,440 horsepower; 4 x 12.7mm Type I machine guns.
Ki-44 II - Prototype Model; fitted with Nakajima Ha-109 engine of 1,520 horsepower.
Ki-44 IIa - Mark 2a Series Designation
Ki-44 IIb
Ki-44 IIc - Fitted with 4 x 20mm Ho-3 cannons OR 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns and 2 x 40mm Ho-301 cannons.
Ki-44 IIIa - Mark 3a Series Designation; fitted with 2,000 horsepower powerplant; armament of 4 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons.
Ki-44 IIIb - Fitted with 2 x 20mm Ho-5 cannons and 2 x 37mm Ho-203 cannons.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,225 Units

Contractor(s): Nakajima Aircraft Company - Japanese Empire
National flag of China National flag of Indonesia National flag of modern Japan

[ Manchukuo; China; Imperial Japan; Indonesia ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (376mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1225
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
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 5
Image of the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 5
Image of the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)
3 / 5
Image of the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)
4 / 5
Image of the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)
5 / 5
Image of the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)

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 Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
WWII AIRCRAFT
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)