Kawasaki ki.45 Type 2 Toryu (Dragon Slayer) "Nick" Timeline
March 1937: An official specification for a twin-engine heavy fighter was issued
to Japanese aircraft manufacturers. In answer three projects were submitted,
to the Koku Hombu, Nakajima Ki.37, Kawasaki Ki.38 and Mitsubishi Ki.39.
Nakajima and Mitsubishi were allowed to withdraw owing to previous more
October 1937: Under the leadership or Isamu Imashi a Ki.38 mock-up was
constructed. but was shelved to give the JAAF time to formulate performance
and handling requirements.
December 1937: The Japanese Arm instructed Kawasaki to initiate work on the
Ki.45, a development of the Ki.38, to meet a new specification for a twin-engine
two-seat fighter; maximum speed: 540 km./h @ 3,500 m. Endurance of 4 hrs.
40 minutes @ 350 km./h in 2,000 to 5,000 m. plus 30 minutes at combat rating
Armament to be two forward firing guns and one flexible rear-firing machine gun.
January 1939: Experimental Ki.45 (4501) emerged from the Gifu plant. It had semi-
elliptical wings. The engines were unable to reach full power at this time. Though
not stated, I believe this was the time of the first prototypes first test flights.
Engines: 2 x Nakajima Ha-20b: 790 hp./T.O., 820 hp./3,900 m.
Landing gear was hand-operated and difficult to retract.
May 1939: The landing gear became electrically operated with the 3rd prototype.
November 1939: At a conference of Imperial Army Air Force engineering test pilots &
service evaluation test pilots at the Akeno Flying School, the Ki.45 was pronounced
"incapable of performing the missions considered necessary for a two-seat fighter."
In mock combat and enjoying the advantage of altitude at the beginning of the
exercise, the Ki.45 proved incapable of besting the Ki.10 fighter biplane. The rear
gun was virtually useless at high speeds. (Or during maneuvering fights).
December 1939: The Ki.45 prototype managed 480 km/h @ 4,000 m. The JAAF
decided to stop flight trials pending review of the project. Six Ki.45 prototypes,
numbers 4504 - 4509, were left uncompleted.
April 1940: Kawasaki was instructed to fit two Nakajima Ha 25 engines with single-
stage superchargers to one of the uncompleted airframes.
July 1940: First flight of Ki.45 No.4507 with the more powerful Nakajima Ha.25:
Ha.25 Sakae: 970 hp./T.O., 1,050hp./2,542 m. The opening of full cowl flaps
and one tearing off on take-off caused a violent engine stall causing damage
to propellers, landing gear and wing tips.
October 1940: Koku Hombu (Imperial Japanese Army Aviation Bureau) to the
redesigned Ki.45 Kai proposed by Takeo Doi (chief project engineer)
1. Slimmer and redesigned tail surfaces.
2. Straight tapered wings which increased span and wing area by 3 sq. m.
3. Smaller diameter engine nacelles mounted lower on the wings.
4. 2 x 12.7 mm Type 1 Ho-103 & 1 x rear-firing 7.9 mm Type 98 machine gun.
5. Reflector gun sight replaces the telescopic sight.
May 1941: The first Ki.45 Kai prototype was completed.
September 1941: Flight trial began on the Ki.45 Kai prototype. The aircraft was
accepted as the Army Type 2 two-seat Fighter Model A Toryu (Dragon
Killer), Ki.45 Kai-Ko (a).
August 1942: The 5th Sentai at Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture became the first unit
to receive the Ki.45 Kai-Ko. The 21st Sentai in Burma and the 16th Sentai in
China received their Ki.45 Kai-Kos soon after.
October 1942: The 21st Sentai becomes the first Ki.45 unit to reach a combat area.
Pilot armor, heavy armament and fuel tank protection made the Ki.45 popular
with its flight crews. Ease of maintenance made it popular with it ground crew.
Late 1943: The Ki.45 Kai-Otsu entered service.
Engines: 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-102: 1,080 hp./2,700 rpm./T.O., 1,050 hp./2,600 rpm/
2,800 m., 950 hp./2,600 rpm./5,800 m.
Armament: 1 x 20 mm. Ho.3 cannon + 1 x 37 mm. Type 98 cannon forward firing.
1 x 7.9 mm. Type 98 flexible machine gun firing to the rear (later deleted).
Normal Loaded Weight: 12,081 - 12,125 lbs.
July 1945: The last of 1,691 Ki.45s rolled off the assembly line.
The following information applies to the various models using military engine rating.
Ki.45 Kai-Ko, Heavy Fighter, August 1942:
Engines: 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-25: 970 hp./T.O., 1,050 hp./2,542 m.
Combat Weight: 5,276 kg. (11,632 lbs.)
Maximum Speeds: 467 km/h (290 mph.)/S.L., 547 km/h (340 mph.)/7,000 m. (22,965 ft.)
Climb: 5,000 m./6' 17"
Service Ceiling: 35,200 ft.
Range: 2,260 km./260 km/h (1,404 mls./161 mph.)
Armament: 2 x 12.7 mm + 1 x 20 mm. forward + 1 x 7.92 mm. flexible rear.
Ki.45 Kai-Otsu, Anti-shipping & Attack, Late 1943:
Engines: 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-102: 1,080 hp./2,700 rpm./T.O., 1,050 hp./2,600 rpm./2,800 m.
950 hp./2,600 rpm./5,800 m. (Early production had Ha-25
Armament: 1 x 20 mm. cannon + 1 x 37 mm. cannon forward firing.
Ki.45 Kai-Hei, Interceptor:
Engines: 2 x Mitsubishi Ha-102
Combat Weight: 5,500 kg. (12,125 lbs.)
Maximum Speeds: 462 km/h (287 mph.)/S.L., 540 km/h (335.5 mph.)/6,000 m. (19,685 ft.).
Climb: 5,000 m./6.2 - 7.0 minutes.
Service Ceiling: 10,000 m. (32,810 ft.)
Range: 2,000 km. (1,243 mls.)
Armament: 1 x 37 mm. + 2 x 20 mm. Oblique dorsal + 1 x 7.92 mm. rear m.g.
Ki.45 Kai-Tei, Anti-Shipping:
Engines: 2 x Mistubishi Ha-102
Armament: 1 x 37 mm. Ho.203 cannon + 2 x 2 mm. cannon forward + 2 x 250 kg. (551 lbs.)
Edited by CORSNING, 17 May 2017 - 03:30 PM.