Tachikawa Ki-9

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Tachikawa Ki-9 - Aircraft.jpg
A former Japanese Tachikawa Ki-9 "Spruce" pictured at airfield K-1 in South Korea in 1951
Role Training aircraft
Manufacturer Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd
First flight 7 January 1935
Introduction 1935
Retired 1945
Primary user IJA Air Force
Produced 1934-1945
Number built 2,618[1]
Side view
A Ki-9 of the Reorganized National Government of China Air Force

The Tachikawa Ki-9 (九五式一型練習機, Kyūgo-shiki ichigata renshuki) was an intermediate training aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force built by Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd in the 1930s. It was known to the Allies under the nickname of "Spruce" during World War II.

Design and development[edit]

The Ki-9 was a two-seat unequal wingspan biplane design. Tachikawa originally planned to use the same basic airframe for both basic training and intermediate training, differentiating the two models by the use of different engines. The prototype Ki-9 flew on 7 January 1935, powered by a 261 kW (350 hp) nine-cylinder Hitachi Ha-13a radial engine. The second prototype was identical, and the third prototype was powered by a 112 hp (80 kW) Nakajima NZ seven-cylinder radial engine. The third prototype exhibited stability problems due a center of gravity issue, and as a result the primary trainer model was abandoned and the Ki-9 was developed only for the intermediate trainer. Tachikawa subsequently developed the Ki-17 for the primary trainer role. The first production aircraft were delivered in 1935.

Operational history[edit]

The Ki-9 was introduced to service as the Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model A under the former aircraft naming nomenclature system. The first version had a complex split-axle landing gear with fairings over the top of the wheels. In 1939 this was modified and simplified, the fuselage slightly shortened and total weight reduced. The resulting Army Type 95-1 Model B or Ki-9-kai had improved maneuverability and flight characteristics. This version was quickly superseded by the Army Type 95-1 Model C, or Ki-9-otsu in full production.

Both versions were used widely for blind-flying training with a folding hood over the rear cockpit, and several were modified with a glazed canopy over the rear cockpit for use as a staff officer transport plane.

Some were pressed into service for use as "special attack" (kamikaze in American terminology) aircraft in the closing days of the war, fitted with either a 100 kg anti-ship bomb or an oil drum filled with explosives or fuel in the rear cockpit.[2]

Production by Tachikawa totaled 2,395 aircraft, ending in 1942. At least another 220 Ki-9s were constructed by Tokyo Gasu Denki (also known as Gasuden) from 1943-1945.

The Ki-9 was also flown in wartime by Japanese satellite countries and postwar by the fledgling government of Indonesia, and captured units by the Republic of China.


  • Ki-9 (Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model A): Initial version two-seat intermediate trainer aircraft.
  • Ki-9-ko (Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model B): Improved version.
  • Ki-9-otsu (Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model C): Standard production version.


(World War II)[edit]

Flag of the Republic of China-Nanjing (Peace, Anti-Communism, National Construction).svg China-Nanjing


 Republic of China
 South Korea
 North Korea

Specifications (Ki-9 Model A)[edit]

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7.9 m (25 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.32 m (33 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 24.5 m2 (264 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,120 kg (2,469 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,580 kg (3,483 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hitachi Ha13a (Army Type 95 350hp Air Cooled Radial) 7-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 195 kW (261 hp) for take-off
  • Propellers: 2-bladed wooden fixed-pitch propeller


  • Maximum speed: 240 km/h (149 mph; 130 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 150 km/h (93 mph; 81 kn)
  • Endurance: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 5,800 m (19,000 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 4 minutes 55 seconds
  • Wing loading: 58.2 kg/m2 (11.9 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.1826 kW/kg (0.1111 hp/lb)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. ^ a b Francillon 1979, p. 248.
  2. ^ Miranda, Justo (2017). Axis Suicide Squads: German and Japanese Secret Projects of the Second World War. England: Fonthill Media Limited. p. 110. ISBN 9781781555651.
  • Francillon, Ph.D., René J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-30251-6. (new edition 1987 by Putnam Aeronautical Books, ISBN 0-85177-801-1.)