Tachikawa Ki-55

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Tachikawa Ki-55
Tachikawa Ki-55.jpg
Role Military Advanced Training aircraft
Manufacturer Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd
First flight September 1939
Retired 1945 (Japan)
1953 (China)
Primary users Imperial Japanese Army Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
Produced 1940 - 1943
Number built 1,389
Developed from Tachikawa Ki-36

The Tachikawa Ki-55 was a Japanese advanced trainer.

Design and development[edit]

The excellent characteristics of the Tachikawa Ki-36 made it potentially ideal as a trainer. This led to the development of the Ki-55 with a single machine gun. After successful testing of a prototype in September 1939, the type was put into production as the Army Type 99 Advanced Trainer.

In all 1,389 Ki-55 were constructed before production ended in December 1943 with Tachikawa having built 1078 and Kawasaki 311.[1]

Both the Ki-55 and the Ki-36 were given the Allied nickname 'Ida.'

Variants[edit]

  • Ki-36 : Army cooperation aircraft.
  • Ki-72 : An evolved version with a 600-hp (447-kW) Hitachi Ha-38 engine and retractable undercarriage. Not built.

Operators[edit]

Tachikawa Ki-36 trainer at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum.
 Japan
  • Kumagaya Army Flying School
  • Mito Army Flying School
  • Tachiarai Army Flying School
  • Utsonomiya Army Flying School
 Manchukuo
Reorganized National Government of China
  • National Government of China Air Force received several from the Japanese.
 Republic of China
 People's Republic of China
 Republic of Korea
 Thailand

Francillon also mentions delivery to the Japanese satellite air force of Cochinchina, the southernmost third part of present Vietnam[2]

Specifications (Ki-55)[edit]

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 8.00 m (25 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.80 m (38 ft 8.5 in)
  • Height: 3.64 m (11 ft 11.25 in)
  • Wing area: 20 m2 (215.29 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1,292 kg (2,847 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,721 kg (3,794 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,721 kg (3,793 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hitachi Army Type 98 Ha-13a nine cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 380 kW (510 hp) at take-off

Performance

Armament

one fixed, forward-firing 7.7mm (0.303in) Type 89 machine gun

See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 254.
  2. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 252.
  3. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 253.
Bibliography
  • Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970 (2nd edition, 1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6.; 3rd edition 1987, Putnam Aeronautical Books. ISBN 0-85177-801-1.)