Mitsubishi Ki-51

The Mitsubishi Ki-51 was a light bomber/dive bomber in service with the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

It first flew in mid-1939.

Initially deployed against Chinese forces, it proved to be too slow to hold up against the fighter aircraft of the other Allied powers.

However, it performed a useful ground-attack role in the China-Burma-India Theatre, notably from airfields too rough for many other aircraft.

As the war drew to a close, the Japanese began using them in kamikaze attacks.

Total production was around 2,385 units.

Variants

Prototypes

Two built

Service trials

11 built

Ki-51

2,372 built (Manufacturers: Mitsubishi (1,462), Tachikawa Army Air Arsenal (913)) until March 1944

Ki-51B

Assault version with armour and bomb racks to carry 441 lbs of bombs.

It could be fitted with an aerial camera.

Mansyu Ki-71

Three prototypes built by Mansyu with retractable landing gear, did not enter production.

Reconnaissance Version Ki-51A

Specifications

Crew

2

Length

9.21 m (30 ft 3 in)

Wingspan

12.1 m (39 ft 8 in)

Height

2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)

Wing area

24 m2 (260 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,873 kg (4,129 lb)

Gross weight

2,798 kg (6,169 lb)

Max take-off weight

2,920 kg (6,437 lb)

Powerplant

1 × Mitsubishi Ha-26-II 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 710 kW (950 hp)

Propellers

3-bladed variable-pitch propeller

Performance

Maximum speed

424 km/h (263 mph, 229 kn) at 3,000 m (9,843 ft)

Range

1,060 km (660 mi, 570 nmi)

Service ceiling

8,270 m (27,130 ft)

Time to altitude

5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 9 minutes 55 seconds

Wing loading

117 kg/m2 (24 lb/sq ft)

Power/mass

0.24 kW/kg (0 hp/lb)

Armament

Guns

2× fixed, forward-firing 7.7 mm (.303 in) Type 89 machine guns

(replaced with 2× 12.7 mm (.5 in) Ho-103 machine guns in later models)

1× 7.7 mm (.303 in) Te-4 Machine gun rearward-firing machine gun.

Bombs

200 kg (441 lb) bombs (normal operations); 250 kg (551 lb) for suicide attacks.

 

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