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Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate'

Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate'



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Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate'

The Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate' was the first monoplane fighter to enter service with the Japanese Army Air Force, and was still numerically the most important fighter in Army service in December 1941.

Development

During the 1920s and 1930s the Japanese Army used a series of competitions to decide which aircraft to order. Kawasaki and Nakajima were the main competitors in the fighter contests. Nakajima dominated at first, with the Type A-4 Kosen and Type 91 Fighter, but Kawasaki then took over, winning two fighter contests in a row with the KDA-5 Type 92 and Ki-10 Type 95 biplane fighters. Mitsubishi also entered most of these design contests, but without success.

In June 1935 the Japanese Army issued the specifications for a new generation of fighter aircraft. Nakajima, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi were each asked to submit two prototypes of a fighter aircraft with equal or better performance than any fighter known to be under development overseas.

In the aftermath of its failure in the Type 95 fighter contest Nakajima decided to set up separate design teams for Navy and Army projects, appointing Dr. Hideo Itokawa to head the Army team. They also decided to work on a private-venture monoplane fighter, the Type P.E. (Pursuit Experimental).

This decision gave Nakajima a head start in June 1935, and theirs was the first design to be submitted to the Army, where it was given the designation Ki-27. Kawasaki responded next, with the Ki-28, while Mitsubishi was last to submit the design for the Ki-33, a modified version of the A5M2.

The Nakajima Type P.E. was generally forward looking design, although with some increasingly out-dated features. It was a low-wing cantilever monoplane, with an open cockpit (on production aircraft a closed canopy was provided, but many pilots flew with it open). It had a fixed undercarriage, and carried two 7.7mm machine guns, the standard fighter armament until the mid 1930s, but much more heavily armed aircraft were under development elsewhere in the world. The Type P.E. and the prototype Ki-27s were powered by the 650hp Nakajima Ha-1a, and the production versions would use a similar engine, leaving the Ki-27 somewhat underpowered compared to the 1,000hp fighters being developed in the west. Finally the aircraft had a fixed, spatted undercarriage.

The single Type P.E. was completed in July 1936, and was followed in October by the first prototype Ki-27. This aircraft, Ki-2701, made its maiden flight on 15 October 1936, several months after the Mitsubishi Ki-33 prototype, but one month ahead of the Kawasaki Ki-28. The second Ki-27 prototype followed next, with a larger wing to improve manoeuvrability, and all three companies had completed both prototypes by the end of the year.

The competitive trials began early in 1937. The Ki-27 was slightly slower than its competitors, came second on climb rate, but won hands-down on manoeuvrability. The Kawasaki design was faster and had a better climb rate, but not by a big enough margin to make up for its poor manoeuvrability.

The Nakajima Ki-27 was the clear winner, and received the only order for pre-production aircraft. These ten machines, with enclosed cockpits and larger wings were completed between June and December 1937. On 28 December 1937 the Ki-27 was ordered into production as the Army Type 97 Fighter.

Kawasaki and Mitsubishi both complained about this result, arguing that Nakajima must have had advance notice of the contest. The two companies helped convince the Army not to hold any more open design contests, but instead to ask a single company to produce each future design. Kawasaki may have been hoping that they would be that company, but instead they handed dominance of Army fighter production to Nakajima, who were awarded the contracts to develop the Ki-43, Ki-44 and Ki-84.

Production

Nakajima

Nakajima produced one Type P.E. and two Ki-27 prototypes in 1937 and ten pre-production aircraft between June and December 1937. Full production of the Ki-27a began at Ota in December 1937, and between then and 1942 Nakajima produced 2,005 of the Ki-27a and Ki-27b. They also produced two prototypes of the Ki-27 Kai in 1940.

Mansyu

Some sources suggest that the Mansyu Aircraft Company of Manchuria produced around 1,379 Ki-27s, but this is suspiciously similar to the number of Ki-79 trainers that they produced. The Ki-79 was directly based on the Ki-27, possibly explaining the confusion.

Service Record

The Ki-27 entered front line service just as the JAAF was in the process of a major reorganisation. Until 1937 the Army Air Force had been organised into Air Regiments, each of which contained a mix of fighters, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft and transports. Combat experience in China suggested that this structure wasn't satisfactory. The Air Regiments were split up into Sentai, generally translated as squadrons or battalions. The fighter sentai were made up of three companies of 12 aircraft, making them almost the direct equivalent of a USAAF fighter group of three squadrons.

The Ki-27 entered service with the 59th Sentai, on 1 July 1938 at Kagamigahara, Japan. It was followed by the 77th Sentai at Nanking on 27 July and the 64th Sentai in Manchuria and the 33rd Sentai at Kyoju in China on 1 August, and by an increasingly large number of units after that.

In the late summer of 1938 the Ki-27 entered combat in northern and central China, where it soon helped the Japanese gain air superiority, defeated the Curtiss Hawk IIIs of the Chinese Air Force. The Ki-27 continued to control the skies into 1939.

The Ki-27 also saw combat against the Soviet Air Force. The first border clash came in the summer of 1938 and saw small scale losses and large scale claims on both sides. It was followed in May 1939 by a more serious conflict, on the border between Outer Mongolia and the Japanese puppet stake of Manchoukuo. The end result of the conflict was decided by the Soviet victory at Khalkin Gol (although a Soviet advance into Manchuria was less successful), but at the same time massive air battles developed. The Ki-27 proved to be greatly superior to the Polikarpov I-15bis biplane, although the I-153 with its retractable undercarriage caused some problems. The Polikarpov I-16 monoplane was a more serious threat, but the Japanese probably scored more victories than the Soviets even in these clashes. The fighting over Manchuria helped provide many of the most successful Japanese pilots of the Second World War with their first real combat experience. Both sides made wildly exaggerated claims during this conflict, with the Japanese claiming to have shot down 1,340 Soviet and Mongolian aircraft for the loss of only 120 of their own. The Soviets claimed that they had only deployed 450 aircraft to the area, and had achieved 215 victories.

Second World War

By December 1941 the Ki-27 was obsolescent by world standards, but it was still the most important fighter in Japanese Army service. A handful of Nakajima Ki-43s and Ki-44s had already reached the front, but the majority of the Japanese Army fighters that crushed the Allies in Malaya, Burma and the Philippines were the older Ki-27s.

At first the Ki-27 had two Allied code-names - 'Abdul' in the China-Burma-India theatre and 'Nate' in the south-west Pacific. After 1943 'Nate' was used almost exclusively.

Most Allied aircraft in the area were equally obsolescent - Malaya was defended by a force of Brewster Buffaloes, while the more modern P-40s in the Philippines were overwhelmed by superior numbers and many were destroyed on the ground.

Events in Burma were a little different. Here the Allies started with RAF Buffaloes and Curtiss P-40Cs of the American Volunteer Group. They were eventually joined by a small number of Hurricanes, but the Allies were outnumbered by at least five-to-one. Despite this the Allied pilots were able to more than hold their own against the Ki-27, which was soon found to be very vulnerable to battle damage. Once Allied pilots learnt to avoid dogfights the Japanese were in trouble, and at least 137 Japanese aircraft were destroyed. The Allies were less successful on the ground, and were forced to retreat from Rangoon all the way to the Indian border. Their resistance in the air came to an end after the Japanese managed to destroy most of the Allied aircraft on the ground at Magwe in late March.

The Ki-27 was phased out of front line service after the initial Japanese victories and was replaced by the Nakajima Ki-43, Nakajima Ki-44 and later the Kawasaki Ki-61. The large number of surviving Ki-27s were used as training aircraft, before returning to the front line late in the war when they became one of the most widely used kamikaze aircraft.

Variants

Ki-27a

The Ki-27a had the larger wings of the pre-production aircraft, but the cockpit had a conventional windshield, replacing the original long streamlined version, and the rear part of the cockpit was metal covered. The Ki-27a was armed with two 7.7mm machine guns and powered by the Nakajima Ha-1b radial engine.

Ki-27b

The Ki.27b entered production during 1939. It retained the same engine, wings and guns as the Ki-27a, but with a completely glazed cockpit.

Ki-27 Kai

The Ki-27 Kai was produced in 1940 when the new Ki-43 was not living up to expectation. It was a lighter, slightly faster version of the Ki-27, with a top speed of 295mph. Two were built in 1940, but the project was cancelled after the Ki-43 overcame its problems.

Stats (Ki-27b)
Engine: Nakajima Ha-1b (Army Type 97) nine-cylinder air-cooled radial
Power: 710hp at take-off, 780hp at 9,515ft
Crew: 1
Wing span: 37ft 1 1/4in
Length: 24ft 8 7/16in
Height: 10ft 7 15/16in
Empty Weight: 2,447lb
Loaded Weight: 3,946lb
Max Speed: 292mph at 11,480ft
Cruising Speed: 217mph at 11,480ft
Range: 390 normal, 1,060 maximum
Armament: Two 7.7mm machine guns
Bomb-load: Four 55lb bombs or two 28.6 imperial gallon drop tanks


Nakajima Ki-27 NATE

When in mid-1935 Kawasaki, Mitsubishi and Nakajima were instructed by the Imperial Japanese Army to build competitive prototypes of advanced fighter aircraft, Nakajima responded with a single-seat monoplane fighter derived from the company's Type P.E., which it had started to develop as a private venture. Service trials proved, the Kawasaki Ki-28 to be fastest of the three contenders, but the Nakajima Ki- 27 was by far the most manoeuvrable and, on that basis, 10 pre-production examples were ordered for further service evaluation. Following further testing m late 1937 the type was ordered into production as the Army Type 97 Fighter Model A (Nakajima Ki-27a). Late production aircraft which introduced some refinements, including a further improved cockpit canopy, had the designation Ki-27b.

Nakajima could not have guessed that 3,399 aircraft would be built, by Nakajima (2,020) and Mansyu (1,379), before production came to a halt at the end of 1942, but the type's entry into service over northern China in March 1938 gave an immediate appreciation of its capability, the Ki-27s becoming masters of the airspace until confronted later by the faster Soviet Polikarpov I-16 fighters. At the beginning of the Pacific war the Ki-27s took part in the invasion of Burma, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines. Allocated the Allied codename 'Nate' (initially 'Abdul' in the China- Burma-India theatre), the Ki-27 had considerable success against the Allies in the initial stages before more modern fighters became available. When this occurred they were transferred for air defence of the home islands, remaining deployed in this capacity until 1943 when they became used increasingly as advanced trainers. As with many Japanese aircraft, their final use was in a kamikaze role.

Have a picture of my friend Mitsuharu Nagase at age 17 standing in front of his "Nate" while a member of the "Young Cherry Blossoms" kamikaze squadron near Nagoya. I am glad that the war ended before he had his opportunity to die for his emperor. He always told me "I did not want to die". I am proud to have known him. Lost him last year.

this is soooo lumpin lame

As with other Jap planes, I have this worthy aponent hanging from my ceiling! This was truly a worthy aponent & was the end of many stupid american pilots who didn't listen to the wisdom of Claire Lee Chennault!!

As usual, the Chinese don't want to admitt that the American AVG, saved thier yellow Asian Asses from TOTAL EXTINCTION. Now thanks to that Democratic asshole Franklin Delano Roosevelt China belongs to the Commie Chinks now!! All the Nationalist Chinese (Chinese friendly to the US) are now crammed on the island of Taiwan!! No thanks to the damned Democrats!!

I am going to build a replica of this plane! I cannot think of a more desirable warbird! Fabulous little aeroplane!

I also forgot to add that Chennault, warned American officials that quote "It climbs like a skyrocket & menuevers like a squirrel. Chennaults doctrine of NEVER turn with Jap planes." Saved many an AVG pilots life. Chennault was brilliant but, like General Billy Mitchel, he was never taken seriously. America had to find out the hard way that trying to turn with Nates & the immortal Zero, was suicide!

Those "chinese" guys need to get their facts strait! All during the Japanese invasion /assault of China, the Japanese exacted terrible losses of the fledgling Chinese Air Force. The Chinese were flying obsolete aircraft against a better trained, & more modern Japanese Air Force. They have also forgot, & /or just don't want to admitt that it was not until Claire Lee Chennault, creator of the famed AVG in China, that the Chinese didn't have a chance in Hell against the Japanese. The "Chinese" comentators would do well with reading up on their history!

I have seen the Ki.27 listed as THE most manueverable modern fighter ever produced. I have seen statements from ex-AVG pilots saying that it was respected. The Ki.27 was a full generation ahead of the P-26 in performance.

THE CHINESES WAGED THE BATTLES TO DESTROY THE EVIL FORCE OF THE JAPS!

The P26 Peashooter was a much beloved airshow fighter of the thities. They were based in the Phillipines in 1941. they were no longer there in 1942. The I-16's didn't fare well against the KI27. Chennault's tactics was bounce 'em out of the sun, shoot and run. Don't stick around. Dogfighting the nate was suicide. That worked because the P40 had speed & dive. I too have an unknown Scottish laird, tinsnips and a rivet gun.

Ki-27(Type 97) was the main fighter of the JAAF in the beginning of the invasion in China.But our heroic Chinese pilots can also shot down them.Our heroic Army soldiers can even capture their airbase.
tw.youtube.com /watch?v=WWt7irSIr2Q&feature=related

I would love to have seen a duel between this little number and a Nationalist Chinese Boeing P-26, roughly its contemporary in preformance. Both were potent little aircraft!

When my (as yet unkown) distant relative Scottish Lord falls off his perch and leaves me his HUGE fortune, I am going to build a replica of this plane! I cannot think of a more desirable warbird! Fabulous little aeroplane!

I'm doing research on this plane, but the only piece we have acquired is the propeller. I need to know the spec's of it and the attachment housing to the hub.


Ki-27 “Nate”, Japanese Fighter


"Nate" was the standard Japanese Army fighter at the time of Pearl Harbor, though it was slated to be replaced by the Oscar. It was the chief fighter in use in China and Burma early in the war. The Allies in Burma initially gave it the code name "Abdul" before it was realized that this was the same aircraft.

The design came out of a failed bid by Nakajima to fill an Army requirement in 1934. Nakajima decided to take their data from the competition and design an advanced monoplane fighter as a private venture. (There were rumors that the Army tipped the company off to an upcoming call for designs and provided them with the specification requirements.) The prototype first flew on 15 October 1936 and did well in competitive Army trials. When the Japanese Army Air Force found itself lagging behind the Navy at the start of the "China Incident" in 1937, the opportunity was taken to put the "Nate" into immediate production. The aircraft entered combat in March 1938 and quickly won air superiority over northern China. It did less well at Nomonhan, where it proved superior to the Russian I-15 but not the I-16.

A peculiarity of the design was that the guns were mounted in the cockpit floor and fired from beneath the engine. The Aldis gun sight was awkward to use and hindered the pilot's situational awareness.

Though possibly the most maneuverable fighter ever built, "Nate" was not particularly fast, was grossly undergunned, and was as fragile as most other Japanese fighters. It was particularly prone to vibration, engine stalling, and even breaking up if dove too steeply for too long. This made it relatively easy prey for Chennault’s Flying Tigers, who flew P-40Es and had been trained in hit-and-run tactics. The aircraft was relegated to second-line and training duty as quickly as it could be replaced by better designs, such as the Ki-43 "Oscar", but production continued in Manchuria for the puppet air force. Second-line Nates of 5 Air Regiment were the chief air defense against the Doolittle raid, but were unable to inflict significant damage on the raiders.


Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate' - History

Nakajima Ki-27

The Nakajima Ki-27 (Type 97 Fighter, Allied designation: 'Nate' or 'Abdul' in the CBI (China Burma India theatre) ) was the first monoplane fighter to enter service with the Japanese Army Air Force, and was still numerically the most important fighter in Army service in December 1941. When placed into combat service over northern China in March 1938, the Ki-27 enjoyed air superiority until the introduction of the faster Soviet-built Polikarpov I-16 fighters by the Chinese.

In June 1935 the Japanese Army issued the specifications for a new generation of fighter aircraft. Nakajima, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi were each asked to submit two prototypes of a fighter aircraft with equal or better performance than any fighter known to be under development overseas. The design came out of a failed bid by Nakajima to fill an Army requirement in 1934. Nakajima decided to take their data from the competition and design an advanced monoplane fighter as a private venture. The prototype first flew on 15 October 1936 and did well in competitive Army trials. The Ki-27 was designed by Koyama Yasushi to have an air-cooled radial engine and fixed landing gear and the Nakajima wing with a straight leading edge and tapered trailing edge. Although it had a slower top speed and worse climb performance than its competitors, the Army chose the Nakajima design for its outstanding turning ability granted by its remarkably low wing loading. The preference of Japanese fighter pilots for the Ki-27's high rate of turn caused the Army to focus excessively on manoeuvrability, a decision which later handicapped the development of faster and more heavily armed fighters. The Army ordered 10 pre-production samples (Ki-27a) for further testing, which featured an enclosed cockpit with sliding canopy and larger wings. On 28 December 1937 the Ki-27 was ordered into production as the Army Type 97 Fighter.

The Ki-27 entered service with the 59th Sentai, on 1 July 1938 at Kagamigahara, Japan. It was followed by the 77th Sentai at Nanking on 27 July and the 64th Sentai in Manchuria and the 33rd Sentai at Kyoju in China on 1 August, and by an increasingly large number of units after that. The Ki-27 saw combat against both the Chinese and Soviet Air Forces. The first border clash with the Soviets came in the summer of 1938 and saw small scale losses and large scale claims on both sides. It was followed in May 1939 by a more serious conflict, on the border between Outer Mongolia and the Japanese puppet stake of Manchukuo. In the initial phase of the conflict, its performance was a match for the early model I-16s, and was considerably superior to the I-153 biplane. With better trained Ki-27 pilots, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service (IJAAS) gained aerial superiority. Japanese losses numbered 120 (including Ki-10s) while the Russians claimed 215 vs. a peak Japanese strength of 200 fighters. This was 'incident' was referred to as the 'Nomonhan Incident' or 'Khalkin Gol'.
Back to Top
The Ki-27 served until the beginning of World War II in the Pacific, escorting bombers attacking Malaya, Singapore, Netherlands East Indies, Burma and the Philippines. Events in Burma were a little different. There the Allies started with RAF Buffaloes and Curtiss P-40Cs of the American Volunteer Group. They were eventually joined by a small number of Hurricanes, but the Allies were outnumbered by at least five-to-one. Despite this the Allied pilots were able to more than hold their own against the Ki-27, which was soon found to be very vulnerable to battle damage. The Ki-27 was phased out of front line service after the initial Japanese victories and was replaced by the Nakajima Ki-43, Nakajima Ki-44 and later the Kawasaki Ki-61.
Though possibly the most maneuverable fighter ever built, the Ki-27 was not particularly fast, was grossly undergunned, and was as fragile as most other Japanese fighters. The aircraft was relegated to second-line and training duty as quickly as it could be replaced by better designs, such as the Ki-43, but production continued in Manchuria for the puppet air force. In the final months of the war, a desperate lack of aircraft forced the Japanese to utilize all available machines and the Ki-27 was no exception. Some were equipped with up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) of explosives for kamikaze attacks, where they became one of the most widely used kamikaze aircraft. Some were redeployed as fighters, but they suffered terrible losses in action. In addition to Nakajima, the Ki-27 was also manufactured by Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd and Manshukoku Hikoki Seizo KK, with a total of 3,368 built before production ended in 1942.


Nakajima Ki-27 Nate

The Army Type 97, better known as the Nakajima Ki-27 – or “Nate” under Allied nomenclature – was the first modern fighter to serve with the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF). This all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane featured classic fuselage lines, an enclosed cockpit and fixed landing gear. It proved its excellent qualities during combat service in China and along the Khalkhin-Gol river area.

At the outbreak of the Pacific war, it was the basic IJAAF fighter, seeing service in Indochina, Malaya, the Philippines, and Burma, as well as in defense of the Japanese Islands. On being superceded in first line units by more state-of-the-art successors, it continued in service until the end of the war in training units and pilot schools. Outside Japan, it served with the air forces of Manchukuo and Thailand. Origins
The first fighter aircraft competition
It is necessary to go back to the mid-twenties in order to trace the origins of the Nakajima Ki-27. In March 1927, Koku Hombu (Army Headquarters) invited bids from Mitsubishi, Nakajima, Kawasaki and Ishikawajima to design a Japanese fighter aircraft which could replace the basic fighter currently in service, the Nakajima Type Ko 4 (Ko-Shiki Yon-Gata Sentoki – in the IJAAF designation scheme, the Ko stood for Nieuport-produced aircraft, while the number 4, i.e. yon, the successive type number). The Ko 4, a license-based variety of the French Nieuport 29C1, was the first fighter to be manufactured in quantity by Japan for her IJAAF. A total of 608 machines left the Nakajima assembly line between December 1923 and January 1932. The Ko 4 was a replacement for the Type Hei 1 fighter (imported SPAD XIII) and Type Ko 3 (licensed Nieuport 24C1 and 27C1). However, the origin of the Ko 4, like the older Hei 1 and Ko 3, can be traced as far back as WW1, the French progenitor having been first flown in June 1918. There was thus an urgent requirement to replace it with a more advanced construction.

The Ishikawajima company very quickly withdrew from the project, the first such competition announced by Koku Hombu. The very early stage of the design work showed that their aircraft would not be up to the requirements specified by Koku Hombu. The remaining three competitors completed their designs and built prototypes, which subsequently underwent comparison tests.
Mitsubishi’s two prototypes of an aircraft named Hayabusa-go (Type Hayabusa, factory designation 1MF2) were built in 1928, the first one being ready in May. It was designed by a team led by Germany’s Professor Alexander Baumann and Japan’s Nobushiro Nakata, with the help of engineers Jiro Horikoshi and Jiro Tanaka. The initial assumption was for the ­aircraft to be a low-wing monoplane, but the Army requested a strutted high-wing monoplane with a parasol-type wing (interestingly, without a single bracing wire). The Hayabusa was of mixed construction (metal fuselage and wooden wings) with fabric covering. The power plant was the liquid-cooled twelve-cylinder V-type Mitsubishi Hispano-Suiza rated at 450 hp and delivering a maximum of 600 hp for takeoff. (450/600 hp)
Kawasaki’s construction, designated KDA-3 (Kawasaki Dockyard, Army, Model 3 – many ­Japanese aircraft of the ‘20s and ‘30s were designated using English abbreviations), was designed by one of the factory’s German employees, Dr Ing. Richard Vogt. It was a strutted high-wing parasol-type monoplane of metal-and-wood wing construction with fabric covering the fuselage was all metal, modeled on the German Dornier Do H “Falke”. In March 1928 the factory built the first of three prototypes, powered by the BMW VI 6.3 engine of 450/630 hp. This machine was soon lost in a landing accident at Kagamigahara. The two following prototypes were completed in May. These were propelled by Hispano-Suiza engines of the same power rating both plants were liquid-cooled twelve-cylinder V-type units.
May and June 1928 also saw the completion of two fighter prototypes from the Nakajima factory designated NC. This aircraft was the brainchild of a team of Japanese engineers headed by Shigejiro Ohwada and Yasushi (Yasumi?) Koyama, in cooperation with French engineers of the Dewoitine company, André Marie and Maxime Robin. This was also a strutted high-wing parasol monoplane, but of all-metal construction with fabric covering. Unlike both competitors, it was propelled by the air-cooled nine-cylinder Bristol Jupiter VI radial engine delivering 450/520 hp, later built under license by Nakajima as the Kotobuki. The NC’s construction was undoubtedly influenced by the French designers, inspired by the Nieuport Delage and Dewoitine aircraft.


Nakajima Ki-27 'Nate' - History

History
First flown in 1936, the Nakajima Ki-27 became the standard Japanese Army single seat air superiority fighter, designated Ki-27, Type 97, in 1937. Its designers were trying to design a fighter with superior maneuverability, even at the expense of maximum speed, heavier armament, and protection for the pilot and vital aircraft components. Although designers in other nations were building fighters with higher gross weights and wing loadings, resulting in better speed and more effective armament, the Japanese Army persisted in following the agility route, resulting in a fighter that was a supreme "dogfighter", but which also was generally slower and had smaller caliber weapons than its usual adversaries. Japanese planners actually rejected a more advanced Nakajima prototype, the Ki-12, which featured a liquid cooled 610 hp. Hispano Suiza engine, a retractable landing gear, and a 20 mm. cannon armament. The Ki-12 was designed by a pair of French engineers who had worked for Dewoitine, and was rejected mainly because the aircraft lacked the agility that the General Staff required.

The Ki-27 was an extremely light and clean all metal low wing fighter monoplane with a fixed landing gear and an armament of two 30 caliber Type 89 machine guns firing through the prop arc. The fighter first entered service with the 1st Chutai of the Second Air Battalion, replacing the ageing Kawasaki Ki-10 biplanes they had operated in China for over a year. Major opposition during this time period were Chinese flown but Russian built Polikarpov I-15 biplanes, which the Ki-27 mastered with ease. Unfortunately for the Japanese, this success led their planners to believe that agility and maneuverability were more important than speed and armament, a policy that was to prove disastrous to Japanese air operations during the course of World War II. The design of the Ki-43 "Oscar" was the result of this policy, and this aircraft was the major Japanese Army fighter for most of the war, providing Japanese Army pilots with a decidedly inferior mount compared with the P-38's, P-51's, Hellcats, and Corsairs which would eventually oppose it.

In service, the KI-27 was popular with its crews, and was initially successful against second rate Allied fighters and minimally trained aircrews which opposed it. However, against Chennault's AVG pilots, using more modern P-40's and superior tactics, the Ki-27 did not do so well, resulting in their withdrawal from service and use as trainers and eventually Kamikazes towards the end of the war. The trainer version continued to be produced throughout the war, and some were sold to Thailand. At least one Ki-27 survives intact, having been raised from a Japanese lake in the past few years.

Assembly Process
The assembly begins with the seat, which is in two pieces. Next comes the engine and firewall assembly, which amounts to 11 parts, with a carburetor air intake coming later. The engine consists of the crankcase and cylinders, crankcase facing, engine back, with magnetos and ignition harness, exhaust collector ring (two halves), and a crankshaft. The shaft is a little long, and must be trimmed slightly. The firewall and engine mount must be assembled separately, and also prepainted, which is logical. I did all of this, and set the engine assembly aside for the later assembly stages.

The cockpit is well detailed. The floor must be glued to the lower wing section. The seat, control stick, and rudder pedals can then be attached. The instrument panel must be glued to one of the fuselage halves. When I glued the fuselage halves together, the vertical fin assembly seemed to be straight, but later, I discovered that it was twisted off to one side, requiring some bending and straightening.

At this point I was ready to join the lower wing section to the fuselage, and that was when the problems began. The cockpit floor was too wide, and I had to trim half of it off in order to get the wing section to fit flush with the bottom of the fuselage. This was done with wire cutters, and wasn't too much of a problem. When assembled, you can't see inside that part of the cockpit anyway. At this point, I discovered that the vertical fin needed straightening, as it was cocked off to one side. Once this was dry, I attached the upper wing sections. The dihedral angle came out right on the money. Now for the engine and firewall.

This was where the problems really became apparent. With the engine fully assembled, the firewall must first be inserted into the forward fuselage, and this was a very tight fit, and I only got it in by trimming off part of the lower part of the firewall, but once in place, I was ready for the engine. This is supposed to slip in over the firewall, with the exhaust stacks protruding through two small holes in the bottom of the cowling. There was no way this was going to happen, and nothing seemed to fit. Besides, unless you are going to leave a cowling or engine cover open, there is no way you could see this detail anyway. I ended up removing the collector ring behind the engine, planning to reinstall the tips of the stacks later, which eventually worked out. The engine didn't fit too well on the mount, and the outside diameter was too large for the forward section, so I ended up filing down the edges of the cylinders so that the thing would fit inside. The little carburetor air intake was eventually installed. Then the cowling covers and front cowling sections were attached, and it was beginning to look a little like an airplane. The whole thing reminded me of trying to put two pounds of fertilizer in a one pound bag.

At this point, I added the horizontal tail plane. This took a little trimming, but eventually this was accomplished. A small tail cone must be added after the rudder and tailskid (one unit) were installed, and this took some serious trimming. Also, the ailerons needed to be attached to the wings, and these also need some trimming, and they still didn't fit quite right. I then filled a couple of seams in the fuselage. The landing gear is a very strangely engineered unit, with small tubes sticking up into the upper wing surfaces. These attach to little stubs on the wing lower surfaces. The tubes are a little long, and need to be trimmed slightly. Once the struts are in place, the wheel pants, which consist of two halves, are attached to the strut legs. The wheels, when painted, are to be pushed into the recesses inside of the wheel pants. More on this later. The canopy was then installed, and all necessary masking was done prior to painting.

Painting and Finishing
Four aircraft are provided for in the instruction sheet and decals. Three are one-color aircraft, while one has a multi-colored three tone camouflage scheme on top, with IJA light grey underneath. I opted for one of the one-color schemes, although I wanted to do one with the white "bandages" on the wings are fuselage. After painting the white "bandages", and masking off and spraying the wing leading edges and fuselage band in RML 04 yellow, I sprayed the entire aircraft IJA light grey. I then tried to insert the wheels into the wheel pants, and discovered that the wheels were too thick to fit properly, the rear portion of the wheel pants separating outward in the process. I merely filled in the cracks and painted them over.

Decals
I opted for decal combination No. 4, which is a Ki-27b operated by the 244th Sentai, defending the Japanese homeland in 1944, although how such an aircraft was going to intercept a B-29 or P-51 is beyond my comprehension. They must have really been scraping the bottom of the barrel, using these aircraft for first line combat duties at that stage of the war. The hinomarus on the wings are fuselage went on with no problems, but the tail trim, which is fairly intricate, was a surprise, as the decal disintegrated according to color, and I had to attach each separate piece and line everything up. My suggestion would be to coat the decals with a decal film solution before attempting to use them.

The last details include the radio mast, gun camera, and a couple of little protrusions on the trailing edge of the right wing that turn out to be magnesium flare dispenser chutes. The oil cooler can then be attached to the front of the engine, and the gun sight can be installed ahead of the windshield. With the prop in place, the model is essentially finished. It looks very good.

Recommendation
This is a good kit, but overly complicated. It would have been better had everything fitted together correctly. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend this kit to anyone except a fairly experienced modeler. However, if you plan to do a "teardown" version, with open panels, the additional detail will be welcome. It probably is better than the older Hasegawa kit, but it is debatable whether the kit is a real improvement. Have a shot at it. Build one.


Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate"

Together with the Pete, the Nakajima Ki-27, know by the allieds as the "Nate", by Japanese soldiers as the "Otsu", although it was called "Abdul" in the "China Burma India" theater by many post war sources, is the oldest Japanese aircraft used in FHSW. It was monoplane figter bomber. We can thank you Forgotten Honor for this wonderfull classis aircraft. When in mid-1935 Kawasaki, Mitsubishi and Nakajima were instructed by the Imperial Japanese Army to build competitive prototypes of advanced fighter aircraft, Nakajima responded with a single-seat monoplane fighter derived from the company's Type P.E., which it had started to develop as a private venture. Service trials proved, the Kawasaki Ki-28 to be fastest of the three contenders, but the Nakajima Ki- 27 was by far the most manoeuvrable and, on that basis, 10 pre-production examples were ordered for further service evaluation. Following further testing m late 1937 the type was ordered into production as the Nakajima Ki-27a. Late production aircraft which introduced some refinements, including a further improved cockpit canopy, had the designation Ki-27b.

Nakajima could not have guessed that 3,399 aircraft would be built, by Nakajima (2,020) and Mansyu (1,379), before production came to a halt at the end of 1942, but the type's entry into service over northern China in March 1938 gave an immediate appreciation of its capability, the Ki-27s becoming masters of the airspace until confronted later by the faster Soviet Polikarpov I-16 fighters. At the beginning of the Pacific war the Ki-27s took part in the invasion of Burma, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines. Allocated the Allied codename 'Nate' (initially 'Abdul' in the China- Burma-India theatre), the Ki-27 had considerable success against the Allies in the initial stages before more modern fighters became available. When this occurred they were transferred for air defence of the home islands, remaining deployed in this capacity until 1943 when they became used increasingly as advanced trainers. As with many Japanese aircraft, their final use was in a kamikaze role.


Tag Archives: Nakajima Ki-27

By the end of the war, the Japanese were using any aircraft that they could find to use as kamikazes. As author Robert Stern points out in his fascinating book “Fire from the Sky”, this was the moment when the Japanese accidentally invented the stealth aircraft. They were forced to go right to the back of the disused hangar and dig out some of the oldest and most infrequently used training aircraft to use as kamikazes. These included the “Spruce” and “Willow” trainers, which were biplanes apparently made from bits of wood, canvas, knotted string and bits of old wallpaper. For this reason they did not show up on radar very much at all, something which puzzled the Americans enormously and which the Japanese never found out about.

Here is a “Willow” aka a Yokosuka K5Y :

And here is a “Spruce” aka a Tachikawa Ki 9 :

The Japanese used a variety of aircraft for kamikaze attacks. The single engined ones were mainly the naval “Zeke” or the army’s “Oscar”, the two often being misidentified. Here’s the “Zeke” aka the Mitsubishi A6M Zero:

And here is the “Oscar” aka the Nakajima Ki 43 :

Use was also made of the “Tony”, the “Frank” and the twin engined “Dinah”.

Here’s the “Tony” aka the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Swallow). When it first came into service, Allied pilots thought they were Messerschmitt Bf 109s, perhaps built under licence.:

And here is a “Frank” aka the Nakajima Ki 84 Hayate. This photograph is by yours truly, taken at Hendon. Can you see the Mosquito, about to shoot it down?:

And this is my even more splendid photograph of a backlit “Dinah” aka Mitsubishi Ki-46 :

There was a welter of single engined torpedo bombers used by the Japanese as kamikaze planes. They included the “Jill” aka the Nakajima B6N Tenzan. “Tenzan” means “Heavenly Mountain”, and is under no circumstances ever to be used as a term of endearment for the woman in your life. Perhaps worth trying with the man, though:

The “Kate” was aka the Nakajima B5N. It seems to have been painted on occasion in the most vomit provoking luminous green ever used:

The “Judy” was aka the Yokosuka D4Y Suisei (Comet):

Perhaps the most frequent mount for the would-be suicide jockey was the Aichi “Val” or the Aichi D3A. This photograph is the one most frequently used:

I first saw it in the “Hippo Book of Aircraft of the Second World War” when I was nine or ten :

The list goes on. Twin engined bombers were mainly the “Betty” and the “Sally”. Here’s a “Betty” which the Japanese called the Mitsubishi G4M1 :

And this is a “Sally” or a Mitsubishi Ki 21. It was actually possible to cultivate a decent crop of tomato plants in the long greenhouse behind the cockpit :

That’s enough photographs for now. Other aircraft types to be used, but much less frequently, are listed below:

“Claude”, Mitsubishi A5M, carrier based fighter

“Frances”, Yokosuka P1Y, navy land-based bomber

“Hamp”, Mitsubishi A6M3, navy carrier fighter

“Irving”, Nakajima J1N, navy land reconnaissance aircraft

“Jake”, Aichi E13A, navy reconnaissance seaplane

“Myrt”, Nakajima C6, navy carrier reconnaissance aircraft

“Nate”, Nakajima Ki-27, army fighter

“Nick”, Kawasaki Ki-45, army two-seat fighter

“Pete”, Mitsubishi F1M, navy observation seaplane

“Sonia”, Mitsubishi Ki-51, army light/dive bomber

Here’s a “Pete”, but its very easy to find the rest on “Google Images” :


Nakadžima Ki 27 [Nate]

Nakajima Ki-27a
1936 the first takeoff, there was a competition, in which Nakajima was compared with machines of other companies, and the Ki-27 came out as the winner.

Nakajima Ki-27b
in the arsenal since march, 1939, was extended the range of installing auxiliary fuel tanks, improved view from the cab towards the rear, the installation of radio stations and the adjustment of the engine cover were the main changes on this type of

Nakajima Ki-27a Kaizo
aging aircraft are being used to pokračovacímu training in flight schools. The removal of the covers of bogie wheels to facilitate traffic at the airports

Nakajima Ki-27 KAI
only two prototypes made, the pursuit of output growth to hit the fragility of the structure

On the basis of the licensed production and self-development for the production of the Ki-27 has established production practice Mashyu Ki-79

It produced a total of 3 999 aircraft like the Ki-27.
The production involved:
Nakajima Hikoki Kabushiki Kaisha. - made 2 020 aircraft.
Mansyu Hikoki Seizo Kabushiki Kaisha. - made 1 379 aircraft.

History:
• Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun Kōkū Hombu (Imperial army air force) in 1935, to urge its supplier of aviation equipment, to each designed and built two prototypes of modern fighter aircraft, Rikugun Kōkū Hombu is tested and the winning type will become the standard army fighter. The idea of a truly modern self-supporting cantilever monoplane gave the japanese army the company 三菱飛行機株式会社 – Mitsubishi Hikōki Kabushiki Kaisha (hereinafter referred to as Mitsubishi), which is already in 1934, tried to offer the army air force prototype jednoplošného fighter aircraft with the designation Ki-18, because this company didn't have the spare development capacity in the development of a completely new fighter for the army, occurred on the denavalizaci prototype navy fighter 9-Shi (later famous A5M Claude). Prototype Ki-18 he was, however, the army air force, refused for a little maneuverability. We must remember that agility has been in the japanese air force then the most basic requirement, which has been subject to almost everything and biplanes the Kawasaki Ki-10 that were Ki-18 compared, were really more skilled. In this respect, it was the japanese naval air force more progressive than the air force of the army. Finally, therefore, even in the air force, it was decided to equip its fighter units with modern jednoplošníkem, of course there was a condition on the agility, that should be only slightly worse than the u Ki-10.

• Mitsubishi now for the fulfillment of military requirements modified serial naval fighter A5M2a prototype Ki-33 and applied it to the competition, the machine was of course lightened by the naval gear.

• The company 川崎航空工機業株式会社 - Kawasaki Kōkūki Kōgyō Kabushiki Kaisha (hereinafter Kawasaki) built a low-wing very curvy shapes. Kawasaki was true to its tradition and used to drive the inline engine of its own production Kawasaki Ha-9-II, two prototypes had indications the Kawasaki Ki-28.

• The company 中島飛行機株式会社 - Nakajima Hikōki Kabushiki Kaisha (hereinafter referred to as Nakajima) and its engineers were in the design of the jednoplošníků newcomers, recall prototypes Nakajima Ki-11 and japan-French beauty Nakajimu Ki-12, but that was for Rikugun Kōkū Hombu too modern, but on the other hand its construction has influenced the design of the experimental airplane Nakajima PE (Pursuit Experimental. This aircraft was the private initiative of the company Nakajima, was simpler and particularly lighter than the Ki-12, the engine was a radial, Nakajima Kotobuki 2 Kai and had fixed landing gear. Interesting was far ahead stretched the cover to open the cabin, which surely everyone interested. Its purpose was to cover the telescopic sights. Nakajima, however, feared that the plane PE fails to meet the requirements for agility. The first prototype, the designers have modified it so that the increased bearing area and already 15. 10. 1936 presented as the prototype of the Ki-27.01. The second prototype was more edited, swelled up again, the wing span and also has changed his profile, the cabin was stretched forward, but already closed. This prototype flew in February 1937, he was skillful and to use and that meet the main criterion for the new fighter jet.

• At the beginning of the year 1937 began comparative tests of all the prototypes at the Army aero-technical research institute in the city of Tachikawa. Tests it has been shown that the most powerful aircraft was the Kawasaki Ki-28, that was his maximum speed of 485 km/h 17 km/h faster than the Nakajima Ki-27. Agility however, was not the strong suit of this powerful machine, the most skilful was the Ki-27 and behind him only slightly lagged Ki-33. For example, třistašedesátistupňovou turn carried out the Ki-27 in 8.1 seconds with a turning circle of 86 m, while the Ki-28 needed a 9.5 with and a diameter of 111 m and Ki-33 of 9.8 s on 97,5 m. if we Compare the soviet fighters Polikarpov I-16 type 5 he could rotate for 15 s, I-152, in 11 with and finally-153 in 12.5 s. On the basis of the successful tests was the Nakajima invited for the construction of ten pre-series machines, these differ from the prototypes of the cover of the cockpit, shape of the tail and especially the installation of a more powerful engine Nakajima Ha-1b, the powered two-position two-blade propeller, which she set on the ground. Last, the closing speed, the aircraft took over the army air force in December 1937 and in Tachikawě two more weeks then there were the army tests. The aircraft was accepted into the armaments of the army air forces under the designation "Army fighter, Type 97 Model And"

• Nakajima was preparing mass production in advance, even before he was declared the winner of the competition, whether it was the foresight of the leadership, or something else. what is Certain is that around of the contest was filed several complaints. Serial production will be launched in December 1937, in a factory in Life. Several of the pilots-veterans from China could have a new machine to try out and lavished with praise and enthusiasm. Japanese army air force received the most manoeuvrable aircraft and many pilots claimed that it is the most skilful in the world, said to outmaneuver even biplanes.
In the spring of the following year 1938 the first machines were shipped to China. The fighting came as the first three serial machine 10.April 1938 in 1.Chutai 2.Hiko-Daitai, when kpt.Takeo Kato shot down three fighter aircraft Polikarpov I-15 the chinese air force. It happened already during the first operating flight. Devadesátsedmička recorded immediately achievements, it was a really great maneuverable aircraft and the japanese pilots were among the best on this battlefield, only a small activity of the chinese air force was the cause, that the further kills have already been rare.

• Too light construction of the aircraft had one significant drawback and that was the inability to perform a major modernization, which could increase the performance, range or amplification equipment. On the other hand, I have to say that the Rikugun Koku Hombu so far not even considered over higher performances, or bulkier the armor, this route was promoted in Europe and the japanese design school she went her way extremely light fighters, but just a small range was the essence of slight modernisation. Since 1939, after the completion of about 300 aircraft Ki-27a, started the production line leaving the next version of the Nakajima Ki-27b. The most significant adjustment was fully glazed cabin and the possibility to hang under the centroplán four small bombs or two drop tanks of a total capacity of 266 liters (2x 133 l) that allow to extend the range to 1 100 km. Were tested two prototypes of the Ki-27 KAI, you should be in the pilot seat trupovou tank, but this arrangement was unsuccessful because the machine was unbalanced, likewise were the attempts of the installation of protective packaging, fuel tanks or projects on the amplification equipment.

• Meanwhile, there has been a resurgence of fighting in the chinese sky when 7 aircraft Ki-27b from 64.Sentai at the end of April 1939 got into fights with twenty polikarpov-type construction of the I-152 over the Nanchangem. Occurred on the first loss, the two Ki-27 had been shot down, but managed to shoot down also 11 I-152, it was just a prelude to the big fight at the river Khalkhin gol. Here devadesátsedmička met for the first time with I-16, which was a more advanced type of coming from a completely different design school. Just better trained japanese pilots and their previous combat experience has allowed the japanese supremacy in the air. For the Japanese it was . unpleasant discovery that the I-16 carried in its arsenal velkorážné machine guns or cannons and these guns have lightweight construction devadesátsedmiček completely devastating effect. Two machine guns the Type 89 the caliber of 7.7 mm, which were armed with japanese fighters were not effective enough to shoot down fighters with sealing covers of fuel tanks. It was an unpleasant knowledge, and Rikugun Koku Hombu to them could react, it took quite a long time is already a thing second, and this procrastination has cost Japan many experienced pilots. Meeting with the I-16 but eventually led to the formation of the fighters Nakajima Ki-44 or Kawasaki Ki-61. Intentionally skip reported losses and victories by the two parties and their nevěrohodnost. Battle over khalkhin gol-the golem ended up 16. September 1939, then here Ki-27 were used for patrol flights until 1943.

• One more modification of this fighter was the important machine of the last production blocks were no longer used as a fighter, stripped of it's various training centers and flight schools, combat units have already received a successor - a much more powerful aircraft Nakajimu Ki-43 Hayabuza. Devadesátsedmičky, which were used for training have been disarmed, or has been left one machine gun, always have removed the aerodynamic wheel covers and the tires were a balloon, it was open to traffic on grassy airports. It also helped the tail wheel, which was replaced by a solid foot. Sometimes there are so modified machines labeled as Ki-27a/b KAI Kaizo or more commonly: "a practice fighter plane Type 97 model a/B". The main distinguishing feature were the wide tires with the fender, because on wet airports mechanics sometimes remove wheel covers to nezacpaly mud, then but the tires remained narrow and no fenders.

• A separate issue is whether, in the manchurian Chabrinu at the factory Manshu was a license production of the Ki-27, the british sources say 1 379 made in July 1942, however, there is the possibility of confusion with the practice Manshu Ki-79, which emerged from the type of the Ki-27. Nakajima produced a total of 2 017 aircraft and again there is no match between the strands to where production was taking place, somewhere is given the end of production in 1942, and somewhere October 1940 (personally this date I consider more likely).

• Ki-27 got allocated two code names both in China Abdul and on other battlefields Nate, later to unite to Nate. He participated in the fighting in China, Indochina, Burma, Malaya, the Dutch east Indies and the Philippines, the longest hold on the chinese battlefield, the other was from 1942 deployed only rarely.

• Very interesting events is the deployment Ki-27b against B-29 nalétávajícím on the manchu city. With regard to the big difference in the performance was perhaps the only tactic and it ascend, in advance, to a height of 8 000 metres, wait for the bombers and then attack head-on. On a repetition of the attack wasn't thought, for even a loaded B-29 flew away. There is no known record of the victory of either side..