The third prototype of the Ki-9, intended as a primary trainer, was flown in early 1935 but exhibited poor handling qualities because of its smaller, lighter engine and the consequent displacement of the centre of gravity. The Ki-9 was therefore abandoned as a primary trainer, and the army air force asked Tachikawa to produce, later that year, two prototypes of a new primary trainer biplane, the Ki-17.
The Tachikawa Ki-17 biplane had a slimmer fuselage, more square-cut equal-span wings and a redesigned tailplane, engine uncowled and a simplified landing gear.
The first of two prototypes was flown in July 1935 powered by a 150-hp Hitachi Ha-12 seven cylinder radial engine driving a two-blade propeller. Trials were successful and the only major change made to subsequent production aircraft was the deletion of the upperwing ailerons to eliminate oversensitive control inputs.
Between 1936 and 1943 Tachikawa completed 658 series Ki-17s and the type was used at four major flying schools and the Army Air Academy. The Ki-17 bore the official designation Army Type 95 III Primary Trainer, Allied codename 'Cedar'. Some Ki-17s were later transferred to liaison or communications duties.
Engine: 1 x Hitachi Ha-12, 112kW
Max take-off weight: 914 kg / 2015 lb
Loaded weight: 639 kg / 1409 lb
Wingspan: 9.82 m / 32 ft 3 in
Length: 7.85 m / 26 ft 9 in
Height: 2.95 m / 10 ft 8 in
Wing area: 26.2 sq.m / 282.01 sq ft
Max. speed: 170 km/h / 106 mph
Ceiling: 5300 m / 17400 ft
Tachikawa Ki-17 CEDAR