|Role||Twin engine Heavy Fighter|
|First flight||September 1943|
|Developed from||Kawasaki Ki-45|
The Kawasaki Ki-96 was a single seat, twin-engine Japanese heavy fighter of World War II. It was intended to replace the Kawasaki Ki-45s of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. However, it was not adopted and only three prototypes were built.
Design and development
The success of the Kawasaki Ki-45 led Kawasaki to start development of an evolved version, on Kawasaki's own authority, in August 1942. Like the Ki-45, the proposed design was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter, but larger and using more powerful engines. In December 1942 the Koku Hombu (Imperial Japanese Army Aviation Bureau) showed interest, but asked Kawasaki to complete the aircraft as single-seat fighters. The first prototype, which was converted while being produced and which retained the larger cockpit canopy intended for the two-seater, flew in September 1943. The two remaining prototypes were built from the start as single-seaters and were fitted with a smaller canopy. Despite demonstrating performance exceeding estimates and excellent handling, the Army's requirements had changed back to a two-seat fighter, so further development of the Ki-96 was stopped. The wings and tail unit of the Ki-96 would however form part of the structure of the Ki-102 two-seat fighter.
Specifications (Kawasaki Ki-96)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 11.45 m (37 ft 6¾ in)
- Wingspan: 15.57 m (51 ft 1 in)
- Height: 3.7 m (12 ft 1⅝ in)
- Wing area: 34 m² (366 ft²)
- Empty weight: 4,550 kg (10,031 lb)
- Loaded weight: 6,000 kg (13,228 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Mitsubishi Ha112-II 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 1,125 kW (1,500 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 600 km/h (373 mph, 324 kn) at 6,000 m (19,700 ft)
- Range: 1,600 km (994 mi, 864 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 11,500 m (37,730 ft)
- Wing loading: 176 kg/m² (36.1 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 0.38 kW/kg (0.22 hp/lb)
- Climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 6 min
- Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970 (2nd edition 1979). ISBN 0-370-30251-6.
- Green, William. Warplanes of the Second World War, Volume Three: Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1961 (seventh impression 1973). ISBN 0-356-01447-9.
- Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. WW2 Aircraft Fact Files: Japanese Army Fighters, Part 1. London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1976. ISBN 0-356-08224-5.
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