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Ki-76
Role Liaison/observation
Manufacturer Kokusai
First flight 1941
Introduction 1942
Retired 1945
Primary user IJA Air Force
Number built 937 including a single prototype

The Kokusai Ki-76 was a Japanese high-wing monoplane artillery spotter and liaison aircraft that served in World War II. The Allied reporting name was "Stella".

Design and development[]

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 was inspired by, and similar to, the German Fieseler Fi 156 "Storch", although not a direct copy.[1] Like the Storch, it was a high-winged monoplane with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage. However, rather than the slotted flaps used by the German aircraft, the Ki-76 used Fowler flaps, while it was powered by Hitachi Ha-42 radial engine rather than the Argus As 10 inline engine of the Storch.

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.[2]

Operational history[]

Ki-76 in the Akitsu Maru.

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.[3]

Operators[]

 Japan

Specifications (Ki-76)[]

Data from Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft;[4] Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[5]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two (pilot & observer)
  • Length: 9.65 m (31 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.0 m (49 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 29.4 m² (316 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,110 kg (2,447 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,530 kg (3,373 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,623 kg (3,571 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hitachi Ha-42 nine cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 231 kW (310 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 178 km/h (96 knots, 111 mph) at sea level
  • Range: 750 km (405 nm, 466 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,630 m (18,470 ft)

Armament

  • 1× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun in rear cockpit
  • 2× 60 kg (132 lb) depth charges (some variants)
  • See also[]

    References[]

    Notes
    1. Francillon 1979, p. 147.
    2. Francillon 1979, p. 148.
    3. Francillon 1979, pp. 148–149.
    4. Jackson 2002, p. ?.
    5. Francillon 1979, p. 149.
    Bibliography
    • Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6.
    • Jackson, Robert, The Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, Parragon, 2002. ISBN 0-7525-8130-9.

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