The Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi ("Sword") was a one-man kamikaze aircraft developed by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in the closing stages of World War II in late 1945. The Imperial Japanese Navy called this aircraft Tōka ("Wisteria Blossom"). The aircraft's intended purpose was to be used in kamikaze attacks on United States shipping and the invasion fleet expected to be involved in the invasion of Japan, Operation Downfall, which in the end did not take place. Because the Japanese High Command thought that Japan did not have enough obsolete aircraft to use for kamikaze attacks, it was decided that huge numbers of cheap, simple suicide planes should be constructed quickly in anticipation for the invasion of Japan. The aircraft was very simple, being made from "non-strategic" materials (mainly wood and steel). To save weight, it was to use a droppable take-off gear, as there was to be no landing. After testing the first production aircraft were fitted with the improved undercarriage and two rocket units, which were designed for the final acceleration towards the target. The aircraft could carry up to an 1,760 pound bomb, enough to split a warship in two. However, it had no weapons to defend itself on the way, so would have been an easy target for the enemy fighter aircraft. The controls were crude, the visibility terrible, and the performance abysmal. Tsurugi had very poor take-off and landing performance and could not be safely flown by anyone other than experienced pilots. There were fatal crashes during testing and training. However new, better versions with improved controls and better visibility were under intensive development. The Japanese High command had plans to construct some 8,000 per month in workshops all across Japan. The war, however, ended before they could be used. Individually, they would have been rather inefficient weapon, but used in waves of hundreds or thousands they could have been quite destructive. A further development of the Ki-115 was designated the Ki-230, but it never left the drawing boards. (info from Wikipedia)
Nakajima Ki.115a Tsurugi
Type: Suicide Attack Aircraft Service: Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) Crew: Pilot Armament: one 551 lb (250kg) bomb or one 1764 lb (500kg) bomb Reference: Francillon: 243 Specifications: Length: 28' 0.5" (8.55 m) Height: 10' 9.9" (3.3 m) Wingspan: 28' 2.5" (8.6 m) Wing area: 133.472 sq. ft (12.4 sq. m) Empty Weight: 3616 lbs (1640 kg) Loaded Weight: 5688 lbs (2580 kg) Max Weight: 6349 lbs (2880 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Nakajima Ha-35 23 14-cylinder radial Horsepower: 1130 hp Performance: Range: 745 miles (1200 km) Cruise Speed: 186 mph (300 km/h) Max Speed: 342 mph (550 km/h) at 9,185 ft (2800 m) Ceiling: n/a
Production: 105 Ki-115s 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 Nakajima page)
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