Known as "Dinah" to the Allies, this elegant two-engine plane was the best high-altitude long-range reconnaissance plane that the Japanese put into the field in World War II. Its high speed allowed it to frequently avoid Allied interceptors for most of the war, making it a well-respected thorn in the Allies' side. The Ki-46 was kept in production continually from July, 1941 until the end of the war. A total of 1,742 aircraft were built. Mitsubishi began the Ki-46 project in December, 1937 at the request of the Japanese army authorities. The first prototype began flight tests in November, 1939. The first version was known as the Ki-46-I, which was superseded by the Ki-46-II (the main difference being more powerful engines). The next version, which came out in December 1942, was the Ki-46-III, and had markedly improved speed and performance, as well as a noticeable external design change that extended the pilot's canopy from the stepped version shown in the drawing above all the way to the tip of the nose (see the color drawings page for examples). Additional versions were designed, including the Ki-46-III Kai which was armed for the role of a home defense interceptor. Results for this version were disappointing, however, and despite further enhancements in the Ki-46-IV versions (one as a Command Reconnaissance plane, and one as an interceptor) both versions were eventually deleted from the production priority lists. All in all, the Dinah earned its place in aviation history as one of the more graceful looking and one of the fastest planes of its type during the war.
Type: Reconnaissance aircraft / trainer / fighter Service: mostly JAAF, a few by the JNAF Crew: two Armament: none, but some carried one flexible rear-firing 7.7mm machine gun Reference: Francillon: 176, Mondey: 210 Specifications: Length: 36' 1" (11.00 m) Height: 12' 8.75" (3.88 m) Wingspan: 48' 2.75" (14.70 m) Wing area: 344.46 sq. ft (32.0 sq. m) Empty Weight: 8444 lbs (3830 kg) Max Weight: 14330 lbs (6500 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 2 Powerplant: Mitsubishi Ha-112-II 14-cylinder radial Horsepower: 1500 hp each Performance: Range: 2485 miles (4000 km) Cruise Speed: n/a Max Speed: 391 mph (630 km/hr) at 119685 ft (6000 m) Climb to/in: 26250 ft (8000 m) in 20 min 15 sec Ceiling: 34450 ft (10500 m)
Production: approximately 1742 Ki-46s
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia HERE.
For several very nice scale color drawings of this aircraft, see here (4 versions available on left).
Additional color schemes for this aircraft can be found here.
(go to Mitsubishi page)
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