|The mock-up of the Kawasaki Ki-88 in 1943.|
|Manufacturer||Kawasaki Aircraft Industries|
|Primary user||Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (intended)|
The Kawasaki Ki-88 was a proposed Japanese World War II fighter aircraft intended for use by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. Its anticipated performance was disappointing, and only a mock-up was completed.
Design and development
Faced with delays in development of the Kawasaki Ki-64 fighter, the Imperial Japanese Army was open in 1942 to alternative fighter designs that might reach combat units more quickly. Kawasaki proposed the Ki-88, a design inspired by the Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter then in service with the United States Army Air Forces.
Kawasaki began design work on the Ki-88 in August 1942. The Ki-88 was to have a 1,117-kW (1,500-hp) Kawasaki Ha-140 engine behind its cockpit, driving a tractor propeller through an extension shaft. It was to mount a 37-mm cannon in its propeller shaft and two 20-mm cannon in its lower nose.
When design work had progressed far enough to allow it, Kawasaki built a full-scale mock-up of the Ki-88, which bore a strong resemblance to the P-39. After inspection of the mockup, the Japanese calculated a maximum speed for the aircraft of 600 km/hr (373 mph) at an altitude of 6,000 m (19,685 feet). This was only slightly faster than the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien fighter, which already was in production. As a result, Kawasaki discontinued design work on the Ki-88 less than a year after beginning it.
Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War
- Crew: 1
- Length: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
- Wingspan: 12.4 m (40 ft 8 in)
- Gross weight: 3,900 kg (8,598 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Kawasaki Ha-140 18-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 1,117 kW (1,498 hp)
- Maximum speed: 600 km/h (373 mph; 324 kn) at 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
- Francillon, Rene J. (1979). Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. pp. 483. ISBN 0-87021-313-X.
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