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Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu

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To take the place of the Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally' and the Nakajima Ki-49 'Helen', the Air Office (Koku Hombu) issued specifications for a new bomber to the Mitsubishi concern in November 1940. The work was led by Chief Engineer Ozawa on an aircraft based on the beautiful Japanese lines and powered by the new generation of Ha-100 double-row 18- cylinder radial engines.

Three prototypes of the Ki-67-I were completed between December 1942 and March 1943, the first making its initial flight on 27 December 1942. The Ki-67-I proved to be fast (though not as fast as originally specified), and extremely manoeuvrable with loops and barrel-rolls being carried out with ease in an unloaded configuration.

Although adopted for service as the Army Type 4 Heavy Bomber, such was the promise of the Ki-67-I that even the Imperial Japanese Navy was impressed, and made early representations to Mitsubishi. On 5 January 1943 Mitsubishi received an order to convert 100 Ki-49s as torpedo-bombers, with internal racks capable of handling the standard 450mm Navy Type 91 Model II aerial torpedo. These saw service with the 762nd Kokutai (air group) from the autumn of 1944 onwards. The Ki-67- I was issued in small numbers to the 7th, 14th, 16th, 61st, 62nd, 74th, 98th and 110th Hikosentais (air regiments) and saw limited action over China, Biak and Sansapor in north western New Guinea, and Sumatra in the summer of 1944.

The type was recognized as such for the first time by the Allies in October 1944, code named ‘Peggy”, during the US 3rd Fleet's attacks on Formosa and the Ryukyus where the Hiryu served in the 8th Hikoshidan (air division) based on Formosa under navy control. Thereafter Ki-67-Is were encountered over the Philippines, off Iwo Jima, in the strikes on the US 20th Air Force's bases on Saipan and Tinian, and in the Okinawa campaign where it was used as a suicide aircraft.

For suicide missions the JAAF used modified Peggys known as the Ki-61-I KAI with armament removed and a solid nose packed with explosive. Only two of the more powerful Ki-67-II variant were made, production of army and navy Ki-67-Is amounting to 696.

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Ki-67
Engines: 2 x Mitsubishi HA-104 18-cyl radial, 1425kW
Max take-off weight: 13765 kg / 30347 lb
Empty weight: 8649 kg / 19068 lb
Wingspan: 22.5 m / 73 ft 10 in
Length: 18.7 m / 61 ft 4 in
Height: 7.7 m / 25 ft 3 in
Wing area: 65.85 sq.m / 708.80 sq ft
Max. speed: 537 km/h / 334 mph
Cruise speed: 400 km/h / 249 mph
Ceiling: 9470 m / 31050 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 3800 km / 2361 miles
Range w/max.payload: 2800 km / 1740 miles
Armament: 1 x 20mm cannon, 4 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 500-800kg of bombs

Ki-67-Ib

Engines: 2 x 1900hp Mitsubishi Ha-104
Wing Span: 22.50m
Length: 18.70m
Height: 7.70m
Wing Area: 65.85sq.m
Empty Weight: 8650kg
Max.Weight: 13765kg
Speed: 537km/h
Ceiling: 9470m
Range: 2800km
Armament: 1 x 20mm, 4 x mg12.7mm
Bombload: 800kg
Crew: 6-8

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Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu

 

 

 


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