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Tachikawa Ki-9

The Tachikawa Ki-9 was an intermediate training aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force during the 1930s.

It was known to the Allies under the nickname of “Spruce” during World War II.

The Ki-9 was a two-seat unequal wingspan biplane design.

Tachikawa originally planned to use the same basic airframe for both basic training and intermediate training, differentiating the two models by the use of different engines.

The prototype Ki-9 flew on 7 January 1935, powered by a 261 kW (350 hp) nine-cylinder Hitachi Ha-13a radial engine.

The second prototype was identical, and the third prototype was powered by a 112 hp (80 kW) Nakajima NZ seven-cylinder radial engine.

The third prototype exhibited stability problems due a centre of gravity issue, and as a result the primary trainer model was abandoned, and the Ki-9 was developed only for the intermediate trainer.

Tachikawa subsequently developed the Ki-17 for the primary trainer role.

The first production aircraft were delivered in 1935.

The Ki-9 was introduced to service as the Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model A under the former aircraft naming nomenclature system.

The first version had a complex split-axle landing gear with fairings over the top of the wheels.

In 1939 this was modified and simplified, the fuselage slightly shortened and total weight reduced.

The resulting Army Type 95-1 Model B or Ki-9-kai had improved manoeuvrability and flight characteristics.

This version was quickly superseded by the Army Type 95-1 Model C, or Ki-9-otsu in full production.

Both versions were used widely for blind-flying training with a folding hood over the rear cockpit, and several were modified with a glazed canopy over the rear cockpit for use as a staff officer transport plane.



(Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model A)

Initial version two-seat intermediate trainer aircraft.


(Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model B)

Improved version.


(Army Type 95-1 Medium Grade Trainer Model C)

Standard production version.





7.9 m (25 ft 11 in)


10.32 m (33 ft 10 in)


3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)

Wing area

24.5 m2 (264 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,120 kg (2,469 lb)

Max take-off weight

1,580 kg (3,483 lb)


1 × Hitachi Ha13a (Army Type 95 350hp Air Cooled Radial)

7-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,

195 kW (261 hp) for take-off


2-bladed wooden fixed-pitch propeller


Maximum speed

240 km/h (150 mph, 130 kn)

Cruise speed

150 km/h (93 mph, 81 kn)


3 hours 30 minutes

Service ceiling

5,800 m (19,000 ft)

Time to altitude

1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 4 minutes 55 seconds

Wing loading

58.2 kg/m2 (11.9 lb/sq ft)


0.1826 kW/kg (0.1111 hp/lb).



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