Mitsubishi Ki-83

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Ki-83
Ki-83-6s.jpg
An Ki-83 in American markings after the war.
Role Long-Range Heavy Fighter
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
Designer Tomio Kubo
First flight 18 November 1944
Status Prototype
Number built 4

The Mitsubishi Ki-83 (キ83 (航空機)) was a Japanese experimental long-range heavy fighter designed near the end of World War II. It did not reach production status.

Design and development[edit]

The Mitsubishi Ki-83 was designed as a long-range heavy fighter. It was designed and built by a team led by Tomio Kubo, the designer of the highly successful Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah". The design was a response to a 1943 specification for a new heavy fighter with great range. The first of four prototypes flew on 18 November 1944.[1] The machines displayed remarkable maneuverability for aircraft of their size, being able to execute a 671 m (2,200 ft) diameter loop in just 31 seconds at a speed of over 644 km/h (400 mph).[2] The Ki-83 carried a powerful armament of two 30 mm (1.18 in) and two 20 mm cannon in its nose.[3]

Despite the bomb-ravaged Japanese manufacturing sector, plans for the Ki-83 to enter production within were underway when Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945.

Both the existence and performance of the Ki-83 were little known during the war, even in Japan. It was completely unknown in Allied military aviation circles – as demonstrated by the fact that the Ki-83 had not been given a reporting name. Most early photographs of the type were taken during the post-war occupation of Japan, when the four prototypes were seized by the United States Army Air Forces and re-painted with USAAF insignia. When they were evaluated by US aeronautical engineers and other experts, a Ki-83 using high-octane fuel reached a speed of 762 km/h (473 mph), at an altitude of 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). [1][2][4][5]

A Ki-83 during a postwar USAAF evaluation flight.

Versions[edit]

  • Ki-83 experimental long-range heavy fighter, four prototypes built.
  • Ki-95 projected reconnaissance version, none built.[6]
  • Ki-103 projected development, none built.[6]

Specifications[edit]

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[7]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) and 2× 20 mm cannon mounted in the fuselage nose

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b Francillon 1979, p. 192.
  2. ^ a b Green 1961, p. 58.
  3. ^ Pearce, William. "Mitsubishi Ki-83 Heavy Fighter". oldmachinepress.com. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Green and Swanborough 1976, pp. 53, 56.
  5. ^ FAOW 1976, p. 50.
  6. ^ a b Francillon 1979, p. 193.
  7. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 194.
Bibliography
  • Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London, Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970. second 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 Gordon Swanborough. WW2 Aircraft Fact Files: Japanese Army Fighters, Part 1. London: Macdonald & Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1976. ISBN 0-356-08224-5.
  • Unknown Author(s). Famous Aircraft of the World, first series, no.76: Japanese Army Experimental Fighters (1). Tokyo, Japan: Bunrin-Do Co. Ltd., August 1976.

External links[edit]