Nakajima Ki.27 "Nate" Timeline
July 1936: Nakajima rolled out a prototype designated P E (Pursuit Experimental)
with an air cooled radial engine and fixed spatted undercarriage.
15 October 1936: 1st flight of the prototype Ki.27 (P E) at Ojima Airfield.
Wing Area: 16.4 sq. m. (176.527 sq. ft.), Wing Span: 10.4 m. (34' 1 7/16")
December 1936: 1st flight of the second prototype with a new wing.
Wing Area: 17.6 sq. m. (189.44 sq. ft.)
Speed: 291 mph./9,000 m.
Climb: 5,000 m./5' 10"
Engine: Nakajima Ha-1a: 710 hp./T.O., 650 hp./2,000 m.
Early 1937: The design was designated Ki.27 and began tests at the JAAF
Technical Air Research Institute at Tachikawa. It was pitted against:
Mitsubishi Ki.33: 485 km/h (301 mph.)/4,000 m., 3,000 m./3' 16", 5,000 m./5' 56"
Kawasaki Ki.28: 474 km/h (295 mph.)/3,000 m., 3,000 m./2' 54", 5,000 m./5' 35"
Ki.27: 468 km/h (291 mph.), 3,000 m./3' 2"
The Ki.27 was the slowest of the three but had superlative maneuverability.
Spring 1937: The Koku Hombu ordered ten pre-production Ki.27. At this time
it was decided to increase the wing span to 11.31 m. (37' 1 1/4"). Wing area
was increased to 18.56 sq. m. (199.777 sq. ft.).
Note: The Ki.27 was a balance between performance, potential reliability, simplicity,
ease of operation and maintenance.
Note: Armament of all Ki.27s was the license-built Vickers Class E machine gun
produced by Tokyo, Kokura & Nagoya Army Arsenals. 2 x Type 89 7.7 mm./
500 rpg./900 rpm./ 2,690 fps. velocity.
June-December 1937: Ten Pre-production Ki.27s were constructed and Nakajima
tooled up for series production at its Factory No.1 in Ota.
December 1937: The Koku Humbu approved the series production of the Ki.27
and production began as the Army Type 97 Fighter Model A (Ki.27).
Engine: Nakajima Ha-1b: 710 hp./T.O., 780 hp./2,900 m.
March 1938: The first Ki.27s were sent to Northern China.
3 April 1938: The first Ki.27kos to become operational were with the 1st Chutai of
the 2nd Hiko Daitai. The Ki.27 supplemented their Ki.10s
1 July 1938: The 59th Fighter Sentai becomes the first unit to be exclusively equipped
with the Ki.27 at Kagamigahara, Gifu Profecture.
December 1938: Production began on the Ki.27b (Otsu). The Cowling and oil cooler
were more streamlined. A new canopy with all-round vision made the Ki.27b the
first fighter in WW2 to have a 'bubble' canopy. A two-way radio with tall radio
aerial mast was installed on some aircraft.
July-August 1940: Progress of the Ki.43 was slow so Nakajima designed a lightweight
version designated Ki.27Kai. Two were constructed. Maximum speed reached 295
mph. Wing Loading had dropped to 80 kg./sq. m. (16.4 lb./sq. ft.).
Loaded Weight was 3.276 lb.
Mid-1942: Allied code name identification came into use. The "I-97" of China-Burma-India
fame became "Abdul", while "Type 97" fighters met elsewhere, gained the name "Nate".
November 1942: The last production Ki.27 model was completed at Ota, with most of the final
examples remaining in Japan for Home Defence or training.
19 January 1943: The 97-Kai modification lead to the acceptance for the trainer production of
the Ki.79. The Ki.79a was the single-seat version and the Ki.79b was the two-seater.
Spring 1945: Special Attack forces were formed specifically for the Okinawa campaign. The
97 Sen and Ki.79 became one of the most widely used suicide types in JAAF service.
July 1946: The Peoples Liberation Army (PLAAF) was the airforce of the Chinese communist.
The Ki.79 became the standard trainer for the PLAAF in Manchuria and remained in active
service well into the Korean War period.
Edited by CORSNING, 12 November 2017 - 01:53 PM.