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View Full Version : Daimler Benz Brothers: Bf109, Ki-61, MC202/205 best airframe discussion



CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 09:12 AM
Title says it all - what is the best airframe of the front line fighters that used the DB-600 series powerplants and why?

Here are the choices:

Bf109F/G/K series:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/1055082.jpg

Ki-61 series:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/Ki-61.jpg

MC 202/205 series:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/Macchi_Mc_202.jpg

Please comment on, or add to, the following categories for each fighter:

Aerodynamics
Accomplishments
Adaptability of airframe
Armament loadout capability
Bombload (see above)
Cockpit - (layout, visibility, comfort etc.)
Cooling system
Duration of service
Ease of maintenance
Ease of production/production run
Ground handling
Perfomance - top speed, acceleration
Maneuverability - all speed ranges
Production quality
Range internal
Range external
Structural integrity

ETC.

What are your thoughts on the best airframe of the DB Brothers?

Freiwillige
11-24-2008, 11:27 AM
They are all pretty much in the same class, But I would say the 109 has one major advantage that neither the Italians or Japanese took advantage of. The ability to slip a cannon between the banks of the inverted V engine. So firepower in the nose is better than spred out in the wings. Also since the Germans made the DB series engines the 109's always got the best most powerfull first. I know that the italians made there own under contract but I think that they were a little behind as far as what sub model DB series.

stalkervision
11-24-2008, 11:39 AM
The third be sure... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

vladward3050
11-24-2008, 12:23 PM
How about the Fiat G.55 with the DB-605. The Germans liked the airframe so much that they thought of producing it themselves, albeit with a DB-603 engine. From what I've read, the airframe was the best of the Italian series 5 fighters at a high altitude and mounted an MG-151/20 motorcannon in addition to two in the wings. It's too bad we don't have this one in our sim. It would be an interesting addition.

JtD
11-24-2008, 12:30 PM
Personally, I like the Ki-61 best and I think there are enough points to justify this technically.
However, the 109 was by far the easiest to produce and the easiest to maintain, which would most likely make it the winner.

DIRTY-MAC
11-24-2008, 01:48 PM
whats the performance of the three different fighters, with the Daimler- Benz DB 601A? they all had it didnt they

Jaws2002
11-24-2008, 02:16 PM
Ki-61 wins by looks alone. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif


I bet Billfish agrees. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

TheCrux
11-24-2008, 02:19 PM
I think we need to clarify here. The Ki-61 and Mc 202 were limited to the DB601, whereas the '109 used the 601, 603, & 605, making this effectively an apples vs oranges comparison.

If we keep the engines all the same, the contest would be the Me-109E, the Mc202, and the Ki-61.

I'd say the Ki-61 overall was the best of the 1175 HP version of this engine, if one accounts for speed, handling ( including take-offs/landings ), firepower. Macchi is fastest, but has ****e firepower. 109E is slowest with best firepower, The Ki-81 cuts down the middle speed-wise, and handles better than both, and as most of were armed with the 4 X 12.7 package, has decent firepower.

Some may point to the Ki-61's difficulty of maintaining serviceablity in New Guinea, but the 109 and Macchi would fare no better there either ( though superior German logistics would have mitigated this, we're talking about the airplanes themselves here )

TheCrux
11-24-2008, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Jaws2002:
Ki-61 wins by looks alone. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif


I bet Billfish agrees. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I agree http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif but I wanted to keep this clinical so as to lend credibility to our arguments.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by TheCrux:
I think we need to clarify here. The Ki-61 and Mc 202 were limited to the DB601, whereas the '109 used the 601, 603, & 605, making this effectively an apples vs oranges comparison.

If we keep the engines all the same, the contest would be the Me-109E, the Mc202, and the Ki-61.




The Bf109F2 and Bf109F-4 used the DB601 series powerplants as well.

I did not include the Emil as it was in service much earlier than either the Ki-61 or the MC 202/205 series, and was not a front-line fighter by the time they were introduced.

I would include the DB605 powered 109s if the discussion focuses mainly on the airframe capabilities.

Buzzsaw-
11-24-2008, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by TheCrux:
I think we need to clarify here. The Ki-61 and Mc 202 were limited to the DB601, whereas the '109 used the 601, 603, & 605, making this effectively an apples vs oranges comparison.

If we keep the engines all the same, the contest would be the Me-109E, the Mc202, and the Ki-61.

I'd say the Ki-61 overall was the best of the 1175 HP version of this engine, if one accounts for speed, handling ( including take-offs/landings ), firepower. Macchi is fastest, but has ****e firepower. 109E is slowest with best firepower, The Ki-81 cuts down the middle speed-wise, and handles better than both, and as most of were armed with the 4 X 12.7 package, has decent firepower.

Some may point to the Ki-61's difficulty of maintaining serviceablity in New Guinea, but the 109 and Macchi would fare no better there either ( though superior German logistics would have mitigated this, we're talking about the airplanes themselves here )

DB-601 was used in the F2 and F4 as well.

And while the licence built Japanese version never had the hp of the later German 601's, it is still valid to consider the two F model 109's in this survey.

Personally I think the 109F4 was the best of the Messerschmidts, when compared to other aircraft of its day. Obviously the later model 109s had better guns, were faster and climbed better, but the F4 had the almost perfect blend of maneuverability, armament and speed for its time.

Many of the Experten point to the F4 as their favourite 109.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Freiwillige:
I would say the 109 has one major advantage that neither the Italians or Japanese took advantage of. The ability to slip a cannon between the banks of the inverted V engine. So firepower in the nose is better than spred out in the wings.

Good point, Tony Williams evaluation seems to also favor the centralised armament on fighters.

It is interesting though, that Adolph Galland always pushed for adding internal wing armament for the 109, even having a couple of "custom" 109F series modified and flown in combat with internal wing canons. He believe the dispersal of fire would give less experienced pilots a greater chance at making hits.

Tony Williams seems to favor the greater weight of fire that can be concentrated with centalised armament.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by vladward3050:
How about the Fiat G.55 with the DB-605. The Germans liked the airframe so much that they thought of producing it themselves, albeit with a DB-603 engine. From what I've read, the airframe was the best of the Italian series 5 fighters at a high altitude and mounted an MG-151/20 motorcannon in addition to two in the wings. It's too bad we don't have this one in our sim. It would be an interesting addition.


An absolutely gorgeous aircraft without a doubt, and certainly a worthy competitor from a design standpoint!

I didn't include the G55 however, simply due to service length, as I wanted to focus more on front line aircraft.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
Personally, I like the Ki-61 best and I think there are enough points to justify this technically.
However, the 109 was by far the easiest to produce and the easiest to maintain, which would most likely make it the winner.


Good points.

I would like to dig deeper into the design aspects of each plane, including production and maintenence that you touched on.


One advantage that jumps out to me WRT the Ki-61 and the MC202/205 series would be the wide track landing gear. Look at the wide stance of the Ki-61:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/09ki61b6wd.jpg

And the MC202/205 series:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/mc202_1_3v.jpg

Ba5tard5word
11-24-2008, 02:49 PM
I've never liked flying the Ki-61 because it seems really underpowered--pretty hard to get it over 500kph at least in low-level flying, but I don't have much experience with it. Kinda weak armament too.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 02:52 PM
The 109 landing gear has a jaded reputation to put it mildly.

This machine was the mount of none other than Heinz Knoke:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/109F41_JG1_V3050Gearcollapse.jpg


...and an interesting photo of a 109 with wide track gear:

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc335/CUJO_1970/DB%20Brothers/2210641508_542073b8ab.jpg

TheCrux
11-24-2008, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TheCrux:
I think we need to clarify here. The Ki-61 and Mc 202 were limited to the DB601, whereas the '109 used the 601, 603, & 605, making this effectively an apples vs oranges comparison.

If we keep the engines all the same, the contest would be the Me-109E, the Mc202, and the Ki-61.




The Bf109F2 and Bf109F-4 used the DB601 series powerplants as well.

I did not include the Emil as it was in service much earlier than either the Ki-61 or the MC 202/205 series, and was not a front-line fighter by the time they were introduced.

I would include the DB605 powered 109s if the discussion focuses mainly on the airframe capabilities. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Eliminate the E? I disagree. This would make the "comparison" as rigged as if one fitted a Ki-61 with a DB605 as some 1-off ringer. Though the potential intrigues me.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
I've never liked flying the Ki-61 because it seems really underpowered--pretty hard to get it over 500kph at least in low-level flying, but I don't have much experience with it. Kinda weak armament too.

In the sim, it is very lethal against it's historic opposition in a close-in, knife fight.

It is badly outclassed by the late war P-51 and P-47 that stick to high speed and vertical tactics.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by TheCrux:
Eliminate the E? I disagree. This would make the "comparison" as rigged as if one fitted a Ki-61 with a DB605 as some 1-off ringer. Though the potential intrigues me.

Duly noted,but it would also be "rigged" to revert back to the Emil and pretend it was a contemporary for comparison for a few reasons:

1. The Emil was in service MUCH earlier than both the Ki-61 and the MC202 and was no longer a front line fighter at the time of their introduction to service.

2. The 109F was already well into it's service life and also used the DB601 powerplant, so it is a much more logical comparison.

Again, the F/G series 109s are the contemporary airframes for comparison purposes.


You are always free to start a thread about the Emil if you like. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Again, I'm primarily interested in the overall airframe comparison in this discussion.

WTE_Galway
11-24-2008, 04:40 PM
From this thread ...



http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/macchi-mc-205-veltro-4014.html

Note that the 109 won out because it only took 5000 man hours to make, not because it was better.

The general tone of plane comparisons on these forums is more akin to comparing formula one racing cars as in current online gaming the production cost is irrelevant its just performance in the fight that counts. In reality there was a war on and higher production numbers more than make up for technical inferiority.


cut and paste *************************



In December 1942 a technical commission of the Regia Aeronautica was invited by Luftwaffe to test some German aircrafts in Rechlin. The visit was part of a joint plan for the standardization of the Axis aircraft production. In the same time some Luftwaffe officers visited Guidonia where they were particularly interested in the performances promised by the Serie 5's. On December 9 these impressions were discussed in a Luftwaffe staff meeting and rised the interest of Goering itself.

In February 1943 a German test commission was sent in Italy to evaluate the new Italian fighters. The commission was led by Oberst Petersen and was formed by Luftwaffe officiers and pilots nad by technical personnel, among them the Flugbaumeister Malz. The Germans carried with them also several aircrafts included a Fw190A and a Me109G for direct comparison tests in simulated dogfights.

The tests began February 20. The German commission, not without a certain surprise, was very impressed by the Italian aircrafts, the G55 in particular. In general, all the Serie 5's were very good at low altitudes, but the G55 was competitive with its German opponents also in term of speed and climb rate at high altitudes still maintaining superior handling characteristics. The definitive evaluation by the German commission was "excellent" for the G55, "good" for the Re2005 and "average" for the MC205. Oberst Petersen defined the G55 "the best fighter in the Axis" and immediately telegraphed his impressions to Goering. After listening the recommendations of Petersen, Milch and Galland, a meeting held by Goering on February 22 voted to produce the G55 in Germany.

The interest of the Germans, apart from the good test results, derived also from the development possibilities they was able to see in the G55 and in the Re2005. For the Re2005 the German interest resulted in the provision of an original DB605 with the new WM injection. This engine and a VDM propeller were installed on the MM495 prototype that was acquired by Luftwaffe and tested in Rechlin. The aircraft reached 700 km/h during a test with a German pilot, but the airframe was not judged sufficiently strong for these performances.

The G55 was bigger and heavier and was considered a very good candidate for the new DB603 engine. Other visits were organized in Germany during March and May 1943 in Rechlin and Berlin. The G55 was again tested at Rechlin at the presence of Milch. Gabrielli and other FIAT personalities were invited to visit German factories and to discuss the evolution of the aircraft. The specifications of the German G55/II included the DB603 engine, five 20 mm guns and a pressurized cockpit. The suggestion of weapons in the wings, limited to one 20 mm gun for each wing, originated the final configuration of the Serie I, while the 603 engine was succesfully installed in the G56 prototypes.

As a concrete results of the German interest in the G55, the Luftwaffe acquired three complete G55 Sottoserie 0 airframes (MM91064-65-66) for evaluations and experiments giving in change three DB603 engines and original machinery for the setup of other production lines of the DB605/RA1050 RC58 I. Two of the Luftwaffe G55's remained in Turin, at the Aeritalia plants, where they were used by German and Italian engineers to study the planned modifications and the possible optimizations to the production process. Later these two were converted to Serie I and delivered to the ANR. The third one was transferred to Rechlin for tests and experiments in Germany. The DB603 engines were used to build the G56 prototypes.

The interest in the G55 program was still high after the Armistice: in October 1943 Kurt Tank, who previously personally tested a G55 in Rechlin, was in Turin to discuss about the G55 production. However, war events and the not yet optimized production process were the reasons for which the G55 program was eventually abandoned by the Luftwaffe. Early produced G55's required about 15000 manhours; while there were estimations to reduce the effort to about 9000 manhours, the German factories were able to assemble a Bf109 in only 5000 manhours.

Jaws2002
11-24-2008, 05:23 PM
Wide track landing gear, good visibility from a roomy cockpit, cleaner airframe and kiler good looks. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/<FA>Jaws/ki61color38po.jpg

JtD
11-24-2008, 05:35 PM
The Ki-61 also had good low and high speed handling as well as a very good range.

sw25th
11-24-2008, 05:38 PM
the 109 is an excellent airframe. I've always dreamed of building one in my garage.

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 06:12 PM
^^WOW, nice picture Jaws^^!!

CUJO_1970
11-24-2008, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
Early produced G55's required about 15000 manhours; while there were estimations to reduce the effort to about 9000 manhours, the German factories were able to assemble a Bf109 in only 5000 manhours.


No doubt, given time, manhours required to produce the G55 would have been shortened. But...only 5000 manhours to produce the 109 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Wow.

I also would be interested in ascertaining the limitations put on 109 development by the "emergency fighter plan." What type of developments were shelved/delayed in order to produce aircraft in higher numbers?

JtD
11-24-2008, 06:39 PM
I all too often find myself alone in a Ki-61 on a DF server, with most of the folks going for the contemporary A6M's. Maybe we should at least once organize a little to get a whole flight of Ki-61's working together?

Btw, the Ki-61 allowed for both fuselage mounted and wing mounted 20mm guns. There also were late models powered by a DB605 derivate and models with a bubble canopy. Too bad they never put all that into one plane. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Freiwillige
11-24-2008, 08:27 PM
The wide tracked landing gear of the MC202 and the Ki43 give them a great advantage over the 109.

I whonder though what is the weight differance of these aircraft anybody have any specs?

The Japanese and Italian aircraft really do have very little to tell between them and they are both beautifull aircraft.

WTE_Galway
11-24-2008, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by CUJO_1970:

No doubt, given time, manhours required to produce the G55 would have been shortened. But...only 5000 manhours to produce the 109 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Wow.

I also would be interested in ascertaining the limitations put on 109 development by the "emergency fighter plan." What type of developments were shelved/delayed in order to produce aircraft in higher numbers?

What I found particularly interesting was this comment ...

".... the definitive evaluation by the German commission was "excellent" for the G55, "good" for the Re2005 and "average" for the MC205. Oberst Petersen defined the G55 "the best fighter in the Axis" and immediately telegraphed his impressions to Goering."


The Luftwaffe itself assessed the G55 as the "best fighter in the axis" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ElAurens
11-24-2008, 09:42 PM
If the 109 had the range of the Ki61 things would have been much different yes?

Also imagine a Ki61 with a DB605. That combination would have put the Ki61's reputation in a completely different light.

But even without the fun speculations, the Ki61 was a turning point for Imperial Japanese combat aircraft. The Japanese designs that came after it all were pointing towards a more western interpretation of the single seat day fighter. Faster, more robust, and with a realization that sacrificing everything for the turn was not good tactical doctrine. Thankfully they realized this too late, and did not have the manufacturing expertise to back up their good late designs.

Kurfurst__
11-25-2008, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
What I found particularly interesting was this comment ...

".... the definitive evaluation by the German commission was "excellent" for the G55, "good" for the Re2005 and "average" for the MC205. Oberst Petersen defined the G55 "the best fighter in the Axis" and immediately telegraphed his impressions to Goering."


The Luftwaffe itself assessed the G55 as the "best fighter in the axis" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I am not sure if this quote of Petersen did not take some liberties - I have the German test flight report of the Italian machines, and while its generally very positive about the G-55, its also critical about some aspects.

It can be read here (if you speak German, or can use some online translator) : http://www.kurfurst.org/Tactical_trials/109G-4_Guidonia...lle-Guidonia_de.html (http://www.kurfurst.org/Tactical_trials/109G-4_Guidonia/109G-4_vergl_Estelle-Guidonia_de.html)

CUJO_1970
11-25-2008, 03:43 AM
It looks like only 105 Fiat G55 were produced before the factories in Northern Italy were overrun by the Allies.

I love Italian planes, but this one was very limited in numbers so again - I would like to focus on the front-line contemporaries i.e. the Bf109F/G series, the Ki-61 series, and the MC202/205 series.

Does anyone have accurate range/fuel efficiency information for these aircraft with both internal and external fuel loads?

To get an accurate comparison, the aircraft would have to be tested under the same boost settings, altitude/atmosphere which will probably be difficult to calculate? But perhaps we could get a good approximation for comparison purposes.

How about internal fuel capacity for each?

DIRTY-MAC
11-25-2008, 05:22 AM
Dont forget the RE 2001 it also used the same engine.

DIRTY-MAC
11-25-2008, 12:59 PM
http://www.classicairframes.com/articles/images/re2001reviewbg_31.jpg

LEBillfish
11-25-2008, 01:22 PM
Well, I can't speak as to the German or Italian aircraft, yet I might of seen something about the Type 3 Fighter, or Ki-61 to you folks once or twice.

First off, as many said above you really need to pick out a DB601 series engined plane to be balanced. Now that seems simple enough, and as said I can't speak to the BF or MC, yet the Kawasaki really is a single aircraft with numerous minor adjustments......(which we do NOT have in the sim).

Armament, armor, fuel tank protection/bullet proofing, fire supression (the Hei had a very advanced/more then most planes of the era) tank extinguisher system, drop tank system, size of tanks, weight due to the above....etc. etc..

So you'd need to say at what point in the production s/n wise you want to check the mark.

What I can say is the Ki-61 really was a stunning performer. Stunning in that it was claimed to handle just shy of as well as a Ki-43-I, yet dive like a jug.

Yet in the end we're talking mid 1943 for its combat introduction, and production run to 1944. So though very advanced in many ways, some more so then the 109's or Macci(sp?), it was somewhat outdated by the time it was put to use.

Let me know what you're looking for, I can get you the info you need as to the Ki-61-I.

K2

CUJO_1970
11-25-2008, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by LEBillfish:
Let me know what you're looking for, I can get you the info you need as to the Ki-61-I.

K2


Thanks K2, interested in your contributions on the Ki-61 (or Type 3 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) fighter.

I would like to explore all of the airframe aspects listed in my initial post for each fighter for a comparative analysis. I'm interested in learning each Design Bureau's approach for designing an airframe around this powerplant.

For starters - can you supply range information for the Ki-61? Internal tankage/max external tankage ranges and at what boost settings/speeds these were achieved at?

TIA!

ElAurens
11-25-2008, 04:04 PM
The TAIC manual lists the fuel capacity and range for the "Tony 1" as follows...

Internal fuel capacity: 199 U.S. Gallons.

External fuel capacity: 100 U.S. Gallons.

Max range with 299 Gal. 2010 miles @ 148mph.

Max range with 299 Gal @75% VM (198mph) 1625 miles.

Max range on internal fuel. (199 gal.) 1520 miles @ 156 mph.

Max range, internal fuel @ 75%VM (215mph) 1195 miles.

I know the TAIC numbers are not totally gospel, but they do give some idea of the Ki61's capability.

Metatron_123
11-25-2008, 07:50 PM
Between the early Ki-61, Mc-202 and Me-109 F, i'd say the winner is clearly the Me-109.

Not only does it have a slight performance advantage over it's competitors, it has the added advantage of being upgradable and easier to produce.

The Japanese didn't have enough DB 601s and never upgraded to the DB 605, the Ki-100 being an improvisation that came about because of this problem (although supposedly a good aircraft.

The Italians would never reach the production levels of the Germans, not only did they not have the infrastructure but also the Macchis were much more difficult to produce. The Macchi 205 was probably rather better than it's contemporary Bf-109 G-6 but it was never to have a great impact on the air war after the defeat of Italy and the eventual stoping of it's production while it was being used by the ANR, leading to it's replacement by 109s towards the end.

That said the Ki-61 and Mc-202 have some advantages like the wide landing gear and in the japanese aircraft's case considerably better range.

But the Macchi and Ki-61 never progressed to the point of for example the Bf-109K-4 which was the equal of it's contemporaries just like the Bf-109 E-4 had been up to five years earlier. Anything else are just what ifs, should have would have beens. The Ki-61 was mostly obsolete by the last stages of the war and the Macchi family was simply virtually absent.

So practically speaking the Bf-109 is the king of the daimler benz family, for the simple reason that it's designers had the foresight to make it both upgradable and easy to produce thus making it's presence felt in the air throughout the war.

Edit: If we are talking strictly performance, the winner could be the Fiat G55 which it seems had a clear advantage over the 109s under the same power.

CUJO_1970
11-25-2008, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
The TAIC manual lists the fuel capacity and range for the "Tony 1" as follows...

Internal fuel capacity: 199 U.S. Gallons.



http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif I didn't realize the Tony carried that much fuel internally! No doubt with a view to it's role in the far-flung PTO.

The 109 didn't carry even half what the Tony did.

I have some "Still Air" range _calculations_ for the 109F/4 from a British wartime document.

It must be noted that these cannot be considered completely accurate, but just for comparison sake:

109F/4

Internal Fuel: 85 gallons

Range estimate:

@325 mph cruise - 360 miles
@200 mph cruise - 600 miles

Fuel load with 66 gallon DT, total 151 gallons:

@310 mph cruise - 650 miles
@200 mph cruise - 1030 miles

No doubt these numbers will need to be refined, but it provides a basis for comparison sake only.

LEBillfish
11-25-2008, 10:17 PM
Okie dokie....The following is just a small fraction of the points that can be made on the Type 3 Fighter / Ki-61-I. It is important to consider however that the Ko, Otsu, & Hei were all essentially the same plane with in production changes to weapons, armor, fuel, etc.. The Tei, or 1d was a bit more of a change, YET those changes still left it as a I model aircraft (as really the plane was just simplified, and cannon moved to the cowling vs. the wings forcing the aircraft to lengthen slightly).

Anywho......The Ki-61-I utilizing the Ha-40 or Db601 type of engine. The "unknowns" I can look up as needed (this an old write up).

Applicable statistics based on Kawasaki & Japanese army data...TAIU tests suspect.....(As a side note the plane used in the TAIU tests Initially was the captured 68th Hikousentai at Cape Gloucester coded S/N 263 (uncoded 163) manufactured roughly late April 1943, making it a Ki-61-I-Ko.........Meaning, it was lighter then the Otsu in many regards (except fluid capacities) so should have performed better BUT was a plane still full of bugs. Why it was captured, it was unserviceable by the Japanese (required shipping the engine to the Philippines for repair)).

TAIU Data:
Weight E/L/OL: 5010/6982/7682 pounds (2273/3167/3485 Kg.)
Fuel Capacity Internal: 199 U.S. Gal. (753 liters)

Ki-61 Potential Weight Differences Fuel Carried primarily highlighted. These statistics come from Airtell Research, original source decoded and translated captured Japanese document. Copyright all information J.I.Long, Airtell Publications & Research.

Type 3 Fighter, Ki-61-I Ko, coded s/n's 113-424
(TAIU original test plane s/n 263 HOWEVER also had in their possession later 1b & 1c versions)
Fuel Tanks: 2/190l. outer wing tanks, 1/170l. center wing tank, 1/200l. fuselage tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Oil capacity: 28l. main tank, 17l. Aux.
Pilot Armor: 10mm plates both head & body
Radiator Armor: None
Fuel Tank Protection: 3mm Rubber over 10mm silk felt
Fire Ext. System: None
Weapons: 2x 7.7mm type 89+500 r/g, 2x 12.7mm Ho.103+250 r/g

Type 3 Fighter, Ki-61-I Ko, coded s/n's 421-500
Fuel Tanks: 2/190l. outer wing tanks, 1/170l. center wing tank, 1/200l. fuselage tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Oil capacity: 28l. main tank, 17l. Aux.
Pilot Armor: 10mm plates both head & body
Radiator Armor: None
Fuel Tank Protection: 9mm Rubber top, 6mm sides
Fire Ext. System: None
Weapons: 2x 7.7mm type 89+500 r/g, 2x 12.7mm Ho.103+250 r/g

Type 3 Fighter, Ki-61-I Otsu, coded s/n's 501-1092
Fuel Tanks s/n 501-513: 2/190l. outer wing tanks, 1/170l. center wing tank, 1/200l. fuselage tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Fuel Tanks s/n 514-649: 2/190l. outer wing tanks, 1/170l. center wing tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Fuel Tanks s/n 650-1092: 2/170l. outer wing tanks, 1/160l. center wing tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Oil capacity: 28l. main tank, 17l. Aux.
Pilot Armor s/n 501-541: 10mm plates both head & body
Pilot Armor s/n 542-577: 10mm plate head & 12mm body
Pilot Armor s/n 578-1092: 16mm plate head & 12mm body
Radiator Armor s/n 501-513: None
Radiator Armor s/n 514-1092: 8mm plate
Fuel Tank Protection s/n 501-649: 9mm Rubber top, 6mm sides
Fuel Tank Protection s/n 650-1092: 12mm Rubber top, 12mm sides
Fire Ext. System: None
Weapons: 4x 12.7mm Ho.103+250 r/g

Type 3 Fighter, Ki-61-I Hei, coded s/n's 3001-3400
Fuel Tanks: 2/170l. outer wing tanks, 1/160l. center wing tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Oil capacity: 28l. main tank, 17l. Aux.
Pilot Armor: 16mm plate head, 12mm plate body(TAIU measured 17.5/12.7)
Radiator Armor: 8mm (TAIU measured 9.5mm)
Fuel Tank Protection: 12mm Rubber top, 12mm sides
Fire Ext. System: Yes, fire suppression for fuel tank fires.
Weapons: 2x 12.7mm Ho.103+250 r/g, 2x Mauser 151/20 cannon 120 r/g

Type 3 Fighter, Ki-61-I Tei, coded s/n's 4001-5358
Fuel Tanks: 2/170l. outer wing tanks, 1/160l. center wing tank, 1/95l. fuselage tank, 2/200l. drop tanks.
Oil capacity: 40l. total
Pilot Armor: 16mm plate head, 12mm plate body(TAIU measured 17.5/12.7)
Radiator Armor: 8mm (TAIU measured 9.5mm)
Fuel Tank Protection: 12mm Rubber top, 12mm sides
Fire Ext. System: Yes, fire suppression for fuel tank fires.
Weapons: 2x 20mm Ho-5 cannon+250 r/g, 2x 12.7mm Ho.103+250 r/g

Aircraft Weights in Kg (empty/loaded/loaded max.):
1a: 2,210/2,950/3,250
1b: 2,210/3,130/3,616
1c: unlisted (note: same as 1b +20 kg/cannon+2x ammunition weight)
1d: 2,630/3,470/unknown

Type 89 MG: 12.7Kg/gun, 7.7mm x 58 SR .024Kg/rd, .008Kg/link, 500 r/g = 16Kg
Type 1 MG Ho-103: 23Kg/gun, 12.7mm x 81SR 82g/rd, 250 r/g = 20.5Kg+link weight
Mauser 151/20 Cannon: 42Kg/gun, 20mmx82, 205g/rd, 120 r/g = 24.6Kg+link weight
Ho-5 Cannon: 35Kg/gun, 20mmx94,

92 Octane Fuel (est): 6#/gallon = .286Kg/liter
750l = 214.5Kg
550l = 157.3Kg
500l = 143.0Kg
400l = 114.4Kg (drop tanks)

Ki-61-1a-1c

Ki-61-1a
Weight Empty = 2,210kg
Weight Loaded = 2,950kg
Weight Loaded Max = 3,250kg
Max. Speed = 590 km/hr@5,000m
Cruising Speed = Unknown
Climb = Unknown

Ki-61-1b
Weight Empty = 2,210kg
Weight Loaded = 3,130kg
Weight Loaded Max = 3,616kg
Max. Speed = 592 km/hr@4,860m
Cruising Speed = 400 km/hr@4,000m
Climb = 5,000m/5min, 31seconds

Ki-61-1c
Weight Empty = unlisted
Weight Loaded = unlisted
Weight Loaded Max = unlisted
Max. Speed = Unknown
Cruising Speed = Unknown
Climb = Unknown
**Assumed the only difference between the 1b & 1c would have been weight due to added armor, Mauser cannons, fuel loadouts, fire extinguisher system....So performance should be between 1b & 1d

Ki-61-1d
Weight Empty = 2,630kg
Weight Loaded = 3,470kg
Weight Loaded Max = unlisted
Max. Speed = 580 km/hr@5,000m
Cruising Speed = unlisted
Climb = unlisted

From the Japanese Ki-61 handling manual captured at Hollandia:
Ki-61 Experimental Planes - maximum speed = 591km/hr at 6000 meters
Ki-61 Experimental Planes - weights: 2238 empty; 2950 loaded
Ki-61 Experimental Plane w/2 x 13mm and 2 X 7.5mm MGs** - maximum speed = 585 (altitude not stated)*
Ki-61 Experimental Plane w/2 x 13mm and 2 X 7.5mm MGs - cruising speed = 450 (altitude not stated)*
Ki-61 Experimental Plane w/2 x 13mm and 2 X 7.5mm MGs- climbing speed = 250 (altitude not stated)*
Ki-61 Experimental Plane w/2 x 13mm and 2 X 7.5mm MGs - rate of climb [sic] = 5000 meters in 5 minutes*

Ki-61-I Otsu Production Planes - maximum speed = 592 at 4860
Ki-61-I Otsu Production Planes - Cruising speed = 400 at 4000
Ki-61-I Otsu Production Planes - climb performance = 5000 meters in 5'31"
Ki-61-I Otsu Production Planes - weights: 2210 empty; 2950~3250 loaded

Ki-61-I Hei Production Planes - maximum speed = (not given)

Ki-61-I Tei Production Planes - maximum speed = 580 at 5000
Ki-61-I Tei Production Planes - climb performance = 5000 meters in 7 minutes
Ki-61-I Tei Production Planes - weights: 2630 empty; 3470 loaded

*NOTE: The other figures given in the official handling manual for the Ki-61s are as listed below. Be aware that the manual was a preliminary document, issued early in the Ki-61 program as a reference for use by the flight testing personnel at the Army Flight Test Department, for on the date that the manual was issued there were only about four experimental Ki-61s in existence.

Overall length = 8.765 m
Overall span = 12.000 m
Overall height = 3.700 m
Weight empty = 2210 kg
Weight expended = 2390 kg
Standard weight = 2790 kg
Overload weight = 2950 kg
Wing loading = 139.5 kg/m2
Wing span loading = 19.4 kg/m2
Power loading = 2.54 kg/HP
Wing area power = 55.0 HP/m2
Wing area = 20 m2 (including ailerons)
Mean aerodynamic Chord length = 1.820 meters
A text note from page 2 of the translated document: "This manual is based on the Experimental Ki-61. A certain amount of variations from the further experimental and service types must be expected."

**NOTE: The manual used 13mm and 7.5mm to identify the guns. Other references may use 12.7mm and 7.7mm.


I've "tried" to compile some data...HOWEVER, do not take it as correct as much of it I'm simply trying to cross match.

Japanese Type 3 Fighter, Ki-61-I-Otsu, Type 2 1100HP Engine, Ha-40 (Ha-60-22, joint army/navy designation) Shown
(the "Otsu" or incorrectly 1b was chosen as the performance standard as it was within this designation that fuel/oil/coolant/armor/armament capacities and degree's were most balanced and to a great degree finalized. Variences from this are assumed to be due to loaded weight differences)

Weight Empty: 2,210kg
Weight Loaded: 3,130kg
Weight Maximum: 3,616
Engine Type: Inverted V12
Displacement: 33.9 liter
Engine Weight to Power Ratio: 0.61kg/HP
Engine H.P. to Displacement Ratio: 32.5H.P./liter
"Designated" H.P.: 1,100
Take Off Rating: 1,175H.P. @ 2,500 R.P.M. @ +330mm/Hg
Rated H.P.: 1,100 @ 2,400 R.P.M. @ +240mm/Hg @ 4,200m.(13,780')
Cruising H.P.: 1,040 @ 2,400 R.P.M. @ +240mm/Hg @ 4,200m.(13,780')
War Emergency Power: 1,080 @ 3,500m.(11,484')
Max. Speed: 500-592km/hr(368m/h) @ 4,860m.(15,946'), 580km/hr(360m/h) @ 8,000m(26,248')
Cruising Speed: 400km/hr(249m/h) @ 4,000m(13,124').
R.O.C.: 5'31" to 5,000m(16,405'), 10'48" to 8,000m(26,248').
Service Ceiling: 11,600m.(38,060')

If these numbers "are" correct since "Time to Climb" as well as "Max. & Cruising Speeds" seem consistant........That would mean though the TAIU vs. in game tests were consistant, they are not with stated rates. This does NOT surprise me as TAIU would NOT have a fresh and in perfect "factory new & tweaked" condition Ki-61 nor would be willing to press it to breaking limits in fact the TAIU Ki-61's bearings failed after three (3) easy runs, & 1c would use as my guess the easiest to understand+most reliable source they could find to make the FM. TAIU figures/English easier to understand and translate then Japanese.

However, the reports I listed above have the Japanese factory and combat data contained (plus HOW to fly a Ki-61, it's limits and so on). Between the two my guess the truth.



Special aircraft features worth note:
1. Rearward sliding canopy with aerodynamic windscreen.
2. Monoquoque construction eliminating internal framework of aircraft yet most of all engine support (sides of cowling area supported engine) resulting in a stiffer airframe.
3. Engine support design also allowed for better sealing of the engine area. Rigid double walled engine covers top and bottom with all venting below eliminated possibility of windscreen oiling.
4. Oil tanks located behind the pilot in fuselage and between his knees. Again eliminating the chance of windscreen fouling.
5. Fuel tanks (up to 6) were selectable therefor insuring damage to one would not cost fuel of others.
6. External wing ordinance racks were removable and not to be left on aircraft if not being utilized.
7. External 200 liter drop tanks were of woven bamboo construction and independant in their feed.
8. External ordinance could be dropped independantly (either both or 1 at a time).
9. On mid models and up oil/coolant radiator was armored.
10. Pilot armor was standard and evolved through the model (thickening).
11. Fixed fuel tanks had either leak absorbtion initially, to finally bullet proofing which evolved (increased) through the model.
12. Centered gunsight for 2 eye aiming.
13. One of the cleanest cockpit layouts that existed, simple, to the point, gauge size dependant upon importance as was location.
14. The hei version and up had a rather exotic fire suppression system to extinguish fuel tank fires.
15. Gear, flaps, and radiator door were hydraulically actuated. All other controls were mechanical.
16. Had adjustable/in flight elevator trim only.
17. Manual prop pitch and mixture.
18. Automatic supercharger shift (typical).

Most of the above taken from the work of Jim Long.........IMLTHO "the" finest source in the world on this aircraft and many others. His work is the standard all others fall short of.


Could go on for pages.....let me know what you're looking for.

K2

JtD
11-25-2008, 10:44 PM
If you are looking for best airframe, you should be looking for models with similar or the same engines. No point in taking a 1944 DB601 Ki-61 and comparing the planes performance to a 1944 Bf109 with a DB605 at high boost with MW50.

I'm fairly certain that the Ki-61 would have profited from a BD605 to a bigger degree than the 109 did. The larger wing area should have helped to keep the excellent handling, which was somewhat lost with the 109G.

BilFish, if you can post more, please do so, I'll read everything. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif If you ask me for a specific thing I'd like to know about, then I have to ask if you know something about the DB605 adoption for the Ki-61 and the performance of these models? Second topic I'd like to know more about is the handling of the Ki-61. Do you of know handling tests or at least some (test) pilots comments?

LEBillfish
11-26-2008, 12:20 AM
I believe the Ki-61-II or Super Swallow was the Db605 version which was BUILT. Trouble was that though I believe only a handful made it to units (99 roughly finished, most converted to Ki-100)....They never quite got the Ha-140 engine's bugs out.....Next thing you know the engine plant gets bombed (all those pics of 100's of engineless fuselages in the trees), and so those aircraft without engines had their noses cut off and radial engines added. Some like what we have in the sim, some like the teardrop canopy also used (on the Ki-61-II).

As to handling tests I'll have to dig a bit...Though yet again don't trust TAIU's numbers for the reasons stated above.

Best annecdotal comparision however was that the Ki-61 could easily out turn anything going (including Bf-109's tested), and fell just a hair short of the Ki-43.....Yet, had all the abilities of a B&Z aircraft....Heck of a combination.

In the end though........The Ki-61 was beat for three reasons alone......Tactics, Teamwork, Numbers.

K2

LEBillfish
11-26-2008, 12:27 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
The TAIC manual lists the fuel capacity and range for the "Tony 1" as follows...

Internal fuel capacity: 199 U.S. Gallons.

External fuel capacity: 100 U.S. Gallons.

Max range with 299 Gal. 2010 miles @ 148mph.

Max range with 299 Gal @75% VM (198mph) 1625 miles.

Max range on internal fuel. (199 gal.) 1520 miles @ 156 mph.

Max range, internal fuel @ 75%VM (215mph) 1195 miles.

I know the TAIC numbers are not totally gospel, but they do give some idea of the Ki61's capability.


btw....those numbers are quite a bit off the mark. See my previous post. TAIU's findings based off of crude data.

K2

zardozid
11-26-2008, 04:17 AM
A fine post deserves another fine picture...
http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/attachments/aircraft-pictures/72980d1223532323-ww-2-axis-color-ki61color4ui.jpg

...or two.
http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/attachments/aircraft-pictures/72981d1223532323-ww-2-axis-color-ki61color224df.jpg

JtD
11-26-2008, 05:18 AM
I like this one. Then add DB605, some 20mm cannons and - perfect.

http://www.ferozhouse.hpg.ig.com.br/ki61newguinea43.jpg

JG53Frankyboy
11-26-2008, 06:08 AM
ti call the Ha-140 of the Ki-61-II KAI a DB605 derivative is propably (-> http://www.tarrif.net/cgi/production/all_engines_adv.php ) a bit too far. As it has the same capacity as the Ha-40 and the DB601.

LEBillfish
11-26-2008, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
ti call the Ha-140 of the Ki-61-II KAI a DB605 derivative is propably (-> http://www.tarrif.net/cgi/production/all_engines_adv.php ) a bit too far. As it has the same capacity as the Ha-40 and the DB601.

Rgr, I'd agree with that (sorry for the misinformation as the Ki-61-II I don't even spend time studying)....at that point I believe the Japanese had begun to design and build more on their own so was more a growth on their part........However, that's the closest they had to the Db605 in terms of H.P. and so on.

In the end it's of little matter, though a new redesign with high hopes, the Ki-61-II was really never to be....They never could work out the bugs in the engine, so in the end the destruction of the factory IMO did them a favor forcing the Ki-100 to be built.

K2

LEBillfish
11-26-2008, 09:00 AM
Oh and as a by the by....The color photos here are "colorized"....IOW, B&W photos painted.

K2

JtD
11-26-2008, 01:15 PM
So more like a DB601E?

I like that one best, anyway. But it is not powerful enough after mid 1944.

LEBillfish
11-26-2008, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
So more like a DB601E?

I like that one best, anyway. But it is not powerful enough after mid 1944.

No, as the Ha-140 even beat out the DB605A-B as far as H.P..

JtD
11-26-2008, 02:45 PM
The late 605's delivered 1800 to 2000HP. Up to mid 1944 1500 is fine, but thereafter I think it is not quite enough.

zardozid
11-26-2008, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by LEBillfish:
Oh and as a by the by....The color photos here are "colorized"....IOW, B&W photos painted.

K2

ya I know...but they look cool. They where taken by the Japanese photographer Shunkichi Kikuchi, and where "colorized" at that time... so you can assume that the colors are close to historical reality.

Jaws2002
11-27-2008, 09:28 AM
I think the Ki-61 airframe was/could have been the best for the DB600 series engines.

Let's just think about the Ki-61 built in Germany instead of the F/G/K serie Bf 109's, with all the engines that the BF got.

All the complains you hear and read about the 109's would have been history with the Ki61 airframe replacing the Messerschmitt airframe.

Some of the major compplains about the 109:


-extremely bad take off and landing characteristics due to narrow and weak landing gear that killed many pilots--- wide stable on the Ki-61
-cramped cockpit with poor visibility-------------- great in the Ki61
-very short range-------------------------- ----long range and great fuel tank placement in the 61
-too narrow fuselage, and wings that barely contained the engine and many parts, like guns and in later versions even the gear, had to extrude outside the airframe in all kind of drag creating bulges and bumps.------non existent problem in the Ki. Very clean airframe with room for upgrades. They even placed 20mm cannons on top of the engine without them sticking out in the airflow.
-poor maneuverability at higher speed -----ki-61 was extremely maneuverable at all speeds, would have most likely outturn everything in the west.
-poor weapons platform with no room in the wings and fuselage for some decent extra guns. To improve the lacking firepower gunpods had to be straped under the wings, messing the aerodinamics and handling of the plane.--------------Ki-61 had plenty room for both wings and in later versions for fuselage cannnons. The plane could easily carry 4x20mm cannons or 2x20mm+2x30mm inside the airframe without messing the aerodynamics of the airframe.
Better bomb load in the Ki as well, making it better ground attack machine as well.


Just think of the possible high performance ki-61G2, Ki-61G6_AS, Ki-61K armed with four cannons roaming the skies of Europe. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif



Now I'm gonna run. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

ElAurens
11-27-2008, 02:36 PM
Excellent synopsis Jaws.

It is fashionable for many in the West to berate Japanese designs as flimsy, old fashioned, made of paper, slow, etc...

We need to remember that in the case of the early Japanese aircraft, the designers were giving the IJN and IJAFC what just they asked for. Very lightly wing loaded aircraft that excelled in close in dogfighting and with long range, good rates of climb, and relatively low powered engines. The A6M was really a master stroke considering all the seemingly divergent specifications given by the IJN.

The later Japanese designs, particularly those of the Army, were all sound, some even excellent (Ki84 for example). Like I have said, the Japanese aero industry had many very clever designers and designs, that were let down either by inadequate industrial capabilities, or pilot tactics/training.

It's also a pity that the Ki61 we have in the sim is not up to it's proper performance levels, either in speed or maneuvering capabilities.

Kurfurst__
11-27-2008, 03:59 PM
Actually the 109 and Ki 64 are pretty much the same size 'cept for their wings, maybe the 109 is even a tad bit larger.

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e133/Kurfurst/109-Ki64_top.jpg

5 feet tall guys working on a big winged aircraft can be deceiving to the eye. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

LEBillfish
11-27-2008, 05:42 PM
Kawasaki ~ Type 3 Fighter ~ Kitai 61 ~ Model I ~ Otsu:
Messerschmitt ~ Bf-109-F2:

Ki-61: Span 12.0m.~Length 8.75m.~Height 3.70m.~Wing Area 20.00sq.m.~Wt.Empty 2,210kg.
109F2: Span 9.86m.~Length 8.74m.~Height 3.40m.~Wing Area 16.16sq.m.~Wt.Empty 2,014kg.

Size is rather close except the wins so much like you show in your overlay......6'2" guys wouldn't make it look any different http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

K2

zardozid
11-27-2008, 07:32 PM
This seemed relevant for some reason. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53DQQzlPWE4)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff22/proton45/vlcsnap-2674860.jpg?t=1227839157 http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff22/proton45/vlcsnap-2675063.jpg?t=1227839194
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff22/proton45/vlcsnap-2674919.jpg?t=1227839229

Thanks again Tochy (http://www.k4.dion.ne.jp/%7Esuppon/) ...

Jaws2002
11-28-2008, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Actually the 109 and Ki 64 are pretty much the same size 'cept for their wings, maybe the 109 is even a tad bit larger.

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e133/Kurfurst/109-Ki64_top.jpg

5 feet tall guys working on a big winged aircraft can be deceiving to the eye. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


The nose of the 109 is longer in that pic because that is a K4.http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Can you pls do another one using the side view and the F2/F4 (same engine as ki61).
The Ki 61 fuselage is thicker in vertical with more room for the guns.

Or maybe comparing sections. I'd do it but i don't have anything usefull with me on this laptop.

JtD
11-28-2008, 08:40 AM
The 20mm in the Ki-61 fuselage were upgraded 12.7mm machine guns and smaller than other 20mm cannons.

LEBillfish
11-28-2008, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
The 20mm in the Ki-61 fuselage were upgraded 12.7mm machine guns and smaller than other 20mm cannons.

Actually, once released they started off with Ho-103 12.7mm MG's in the fuselage, and at the tei version switched to Ho-5 20mm cannon. Both weapons were essentially Browning M2 guns simply scaled up for the 20mm. Hence with the larger/longer rounds is why the Tei fuselage had to be lengthened out. First to make room for the ammo, then balance.

http://gunsight.jp/b/english/data/ja-gun-e.htm

K2

ElAurens
11-28-2008, 09:23 AM
http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/2467/ho155zg7.jpg

The Ho 155 in the collection of the National Museum Of The United States Air Force, Wright Field, Dayton Ohio.

The Japanese aircraft cannon were not "upgraded" 12.7s but rather significantly upscaled versions of it.

I live about 2 hours by car from the Museum, if further photos are necessary I can get there during the month of December, as my schedule allows.

TX-Gunslinger
11-28-2008, 09:58 AM
Excerpt from page 223 "Fire in the Sky" by Eric M. Bergerud.

"When operating correctly the Tony proved a fine aircraft, much superior to the Zero. When it appeared in New Guinea in mid-1943 it proved a tough opponent for U.S. fighters. It was reasonably fast, had decent high-altitude performance, and could dive faster than a P-39 and very nearly as fast as a P-40. It was no longer an easy matter for an Allied fighter pilot to get out of Dodge with a high-speed dive, a most unwelcome discovery. Although not as tough as a U.S. fighter, the Tony carried armor for the pilot and self-sealing fuel tanks that were unreliable but far better than nothing. It's maximum range (650 miles)was far less than the Zero's, but as events were proving Japan needed defenders, not attackers. Armed with four .50-caliber machine guns, the Tony was undergunned for an intercepter but adequately armed for combat against fighters. When Americans captured a Tony during a landing at Cape Gloucester in western New Britan in December 1943, evaluators were impressed with its very well balanced performance. The Tony did not quite match the second-generation U.S. fighters like the F4U Corsair and P-38 Lightning in most catagories of performance, but the differences were slight, and a good pilot could make the Tony a dangerous weapon indeed.

Unfortunately for the JAAF the development of the Tony illustrated vividly everything that was wrong with the Japanese aviation industry. Although Kawasaki had been given permission to prepare for production in 1941, the numbers of aircraft produced proceeded at a sluggish pace. As we shall see, the JAAF soon confronted disaster in New Guinea and needed more planes desperately. However, from April to October 1943 production averaged barely 50 planes a month, nowhere near the number required to keep up strength in New Guinea, much less to replace Oscars with the more advanced plane. It was not until November that production reached 100 per month. By that time the JAAF in New Guinea was beginning to collapse.

So it was that the Oscar (sic-not the Tony) fought and lost the battles of New Guinea.

Numbers were not the only problem. Despite having German blueprints and German aircraft to study, Japanese factories could not produce a reliable aircraft. A very high percentage of Tonys recieved from the plant failed inspection and had to be delivered to the large JAAF depot at Kagamigahara in Japan, to be repaired. As mentioned, many Tonys were lost during deployment, and many others arrived suffering mechanical difficulties. There were however, only a handful of well-trained Tony mechanics, and spare parts were always terribly short. Repair equipment was in short supply or nonexistent in New Guinea. The closest Tony supply depot was 1,000 miles away in the Indies. An engine change required the plane to be shipped to Clark Field near Manila. Problems with engine-cooling and hydraulic systems plagued the warplane and frustrated the inexperienced ground crews in the field.

Still, Kawasaki continued to work on the Tony. Late in the war it became one of the most effective aircraft to defend Japan against bomber attack.

Yet when the Tony was needed it was a failure. No wonder the Zero and Oscar remained in production until the end. Although obsolescent at the war's conclusion, they were far preferable to nothing."

S~

Gunny

joeap
11-30-2008, 04:49 AM
One of the best threads in ages here. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif