Kokusai Ki-76

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Kokusai Ki-76.jpg
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, or Liaison Aircraft Type 3 (in Japanese: 三式指揮連絡機), 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[edit]

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[edit]

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]



Specifications (Ki-76)[edit]

Ki-76 Stella three-view

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

General characteristics



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

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  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.
  • 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.