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

Ki-83
Ki-83-6s.jpg
An Ki-83 in American markings after the war.
Role Long range heavy fighter
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
First flight 18 November 1944
Status Prototype
Number built 4

Contents

Design and developmentEdit

The Mitsubishi Ki-83 was designed as a long range heavy fighter. It was designed and built by a team led by Tomio Kubo, designer of the highly successful Mitsubishi Ki-46. 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 repainted with USAAF insignia. When they were evaluated by U.S. 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.

VariantsEdit

  • 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]

SpecificationsEdit

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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  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.

BibliographyEdit

  • 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 linksEdit