Hayabusa is the Japanese name of the Peregrine falcon. This was a suitable name for this fast and highly maneuverable fighter, which came to be a rude shock to the Allied units that first encountered it in combat. The Ki-43 was the first modern Japanese fighter to appear in the Pacific theater of operations, and was a replacement for the earlier Ki-27 "Nate". Specifications for the Ki-43 were given in 1937, and by 1940 the first models were being tested. The Ki-43 quickly gained a reputation for high maneuverability, thanks to the innovative "butterfly flaps" on its wings. More Ki-43s were built than any other Japanese army combat plane. The Hayabusa was on front-line duty from the very beginning of the war, and it ended its career in desperate suicide missions and fruitless attempts to protect the home islands from American heavy bombing raids. For a time in the China-Burma-India theater of war the Allies gave the Ki-43 the codename of "Jim", though this was later replaced by the codename of "Oscar" which was already in use for the Ki-43 in other theaters.
Type: Fighter / Fighter-bomber Service: Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) Crew: Pilot Armament: two 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns two 551 lb (250 kg) bombs externally Reference: Francillon: 213, Mondey: Specifications: Length: 29' 3.25" (8.92 m) Height: 10' 8.75" (3.27 m) Wingspan: 35' 6.75" (10.84 m) Wing area: 230.367 sq. ft (21.4 sq. m) Empty Weight: 4211 lbs (1910 kg) Loaded Weight: 5710 lbs (2590 kg) Max Weight: 6450 lbs (2925 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Nakajima Ha-115 Type 1 14-cylinder radial Horsepower: 1150 hp Performance: Range (normal): 1095 miles (1760 km) Range (max): 1990 miles (3200 km) Cruise Speed: 273 mph (440 km/h) Max Speed: 329 mph (530 km/h) at 13,125 ft (5000 m) Climb to/in: 16,405 ft (5000 m) in 5 min 49 sec Ceiling: 36,750 ft (11,200 m)
Production: approximately 5919 Ki-43s total
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia HERE.
For several very nice scale color drawings of this aircraft, see here (14 versions available on left).
Additional color schemes for this aircraft can be found
(go to Nakajima page)
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