In 1939, the Imperial Japanese Army called for the design of a prototype eight-to-ten passenger light transport monoplane to meet its urgent requirement for a light transport and liaison aircraft, and instructed Nippon Koku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha to develop the design as the Ki-59. The Ki-59 was a high-wing cantilever monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear and conventional single vertical tail surfaces. It was ordered into production in 1941 with the designation "Army Type 1 Transport", and a total of 59 units were produced. After the start of World War II, the aircraft was given the Allied code name "Theresa". Despite the more powerful engines and modifications sponsored by the Japanese Army, the Ki-59 remained a poor performer and saw little service before being replaced by the more capable Tachikawa Ki-54. Near the end of 1941 one Ki-59 was modified into a glider with the removal of the engines and the landing gear replaced by underfuselage skids. It was designated the Ku-8-I or "Army Experimental Glider". This was further developed as the Ku-8-II or "Army Type 4 Large Transport Glider" which became the only operationally-used Japanese assault glider. The Ku-8 was code named 'Gander' by the Allies.
Kokusai Ki.59 Type 1
Type: Light Personnel Transport Service: Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) Crew: crew of 2-3, plus eight passengers Armament: none Reference: Francillon: 145 Specifications: Length: 41' 0.15" (12.5 m) Height: 10' 0" (3.05 m) Wingspan: 55' 9.3" (17 m) Wing area: 413.333 sq. ft (38.4 sq. m) Empty Weight: 6349 lbs (2880 kg) Loaded Weight: 9083 lbs (4120 kg) Max Weight: 9348 lbs (4240 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 2 Powerplant: Hitachi Ha-13 9-cylinder radial engine Horsepower: 450 hp each Performance: Range: 497 miles (800 km) Cruise Speed: 186 mph (300 km/h) at 6560 ft (2000 m) Max Speed: n/a Climb to/in: n/a Ceiling: n/a
Production: 59 Ki-59s total
Additional information on this aircraft can be
found at Wikipedia
For a very nice scale color drawing of this aircraft, see here.
(go to Kokusai page)
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