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Kokusai Ki-76
Nippon Ki-76
In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force ordered the Nippon Kokusai Koku Kogyo to produce an artillery spotting and liaison aircraft. The resulting Ki-76, or Liaison Aircraft Type 3 (in Japanese: 三式指揮連絡機), was inspired by, and similar to, the German Fieseler Fi 156 "Storch", although not a direct copy. A high-winged monoplane with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage, the Ki-76 used Fowler flaps, and was powered by Hitachi Ha-42 radial engine.
First flying in May 1941, the Ki-76 proved successful when evaluated against an example of the Fi-156, and was ordered into production as the Army Type 3 Command Liaison Plane in November 1942. 937 including a single prototype were built.
The Ki-76 remained in service as an artillery spotter and liaison aircraft until the end of the war. Ki-76s were also used as anti-submarine aircraft, operating from the Japanese Army's escort carrier, the Akitsu Maru, being fitted with an arrestor hook and carrying two 60 kg (132 lb) depth charges
Kokusai Ki-76 spotter planes on deck of Imperial Japanese Army landing vehicle carrier Akitsu Maru
The Allied reporting name was "Stella".
Some were used by the Royal Thai Air Force.
Engine: 1 × Hitachi Ha42, 231 kW (310 hp)
Propeller: 2-bladed fixed-pitch
Wingspan: 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
Wing area: 29.4 m2 (316 sq ft)
Length: 9.65 m (31 ft 8 in)
Height: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Empty weight: 1,110 kg (2,447 lb)
Gross weight: 1,530 kg (3,373 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 1,623 kg (3,578 lb)
Maximum speed: 178 km/h (111 mph, 96 kn) at sea level
Range: 750 km (470 mi, 400 nmi)
Service ceiling: 5,630 m (18,470 ft)
Guns: 1× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun in rear cockpit
Bombs: 2× 60 kg (132 lb) depth charges (some variants)
Crew: 2

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