|An Ki-83 in American markings after the war.|
|Role||Long range heavy fighter|
|First flight||18 November 1944|
Design and development
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. 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). The Ki-83 carried a powerful armament of two 30 mm (1.18 in) and two 20 mm cannon in its nose.
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).
- Ki-83 experimental long-range heavy fighter, four prototypes built.
- Ki-95 projected reconnaissance version, none built.
- Ki-103 projected development, none built.
Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War
- Crew: 2
- Length: 12.50 m (41 ft 0⅛)
- Wingspan: 15.50 m (50 ft 10¼ in)
- Height: 4.60 m (15 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 33.5 m2 (361 ft2)
- Empty weight: 5,980 kg (13,184 lb)
- Loaded weight: 8,795 kg (19,390 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 9,430 kg (20,790 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Mitsubishi Ha-43 Ru (Ha-211) 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 1,544 kW (2,070 hp) at 1,000 m (3,284 ft) each
- Maximum speed: 705 km/h (381 kn, 438 mph at 32,180 ft) at 9,000 m (29,500 ft)
- Cruise speed: 450 km/h (243 kn, 280 mph)
- Range: 1,953 km (1,054 nmi, 1,213 mi)
- Service ceiling: 12,600 m (41,500 ft)
- Wing loading: 263 kg/m2 (53.7 lb/ft2)
- Power/mass: 0.35 kW/kg (0.21 hp/lb)
- Climb to 10,000 m (32,800 ft): 10 min
- Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) and 2× 20 mm cannon mounted in the fuselage nose
- de Havilland Hornet
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- 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.
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