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The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (飛燕, "flying swallow") was a Japanese World War II fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. The first encounter reports claimed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109s: further reports claimed that the new aircraft was an Italian design, which led to the Allied reporting name of "Tony", assigned by the United States War Department.[1] The Japanese Army designation was "Army Type 3 Fighter" (三式戦闘機).[2] It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced, first initially prototypes have seen action over Yokohama during the Halsey-Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, and continuing to fly combat missions throughout the war.[3][4]

Difficulties with engine supply towards the end of the war led to the design being modified to use a radial engine, resulting in production of the Kawasaki Ki-100.

References[]

  1. Ethell, Jeffrey L. Aircraft of World War II. Glasgow: Collins/Jane's, 1995. ISBN 0-00-470849-0. Page 82
  2. Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. London: Bounty Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7537-1460-4. Page 144
  3. Bueschel, Richard M. Kawasaki Ki.61/Ki.100 Hien in Japanese Army Air Force Service, Aircam Aviation Series No.21. Canterbury, Kent, UK: Osprey Publications Ltd, 1971. ISBN 0-85045-026-8. Pages 6 & 7
  4. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/rep/Doolittle/Report.html (Halsey-Doolittle Raid, April 1942)

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