Kawasaki Ki-100b only one in existance, Mitsubishi KI-46 'Dinah', Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka on display at the RAF Museum's UK.
One of the most elegant aircraft of World War Two, the 'Dinah' was so successful that Germany tried (in vain) to acquire manufacturing rights from Japan. Although fighter and ground attack versions were developed, it was in the high-altitude photographic reconnaissance role that the Ki46 excelled. Given allied codename 'Dinah', this aircraft combined high speed with long range and was able to cover the entire Pacific theatre of operations with little opposition.
Having first flown in November 1939, performance trials showed the prototype Ki46-I's top speed to be 64kph (40mph) lower than the requirement, although at 540kph (336mph) it was still faster than the latest Japanese fighters! Ki46s were first used operationally over China, their speed enabling them to avoid interception by the few fighters available to the Chinese.
Before the highly successful Japanese campaign against the British in Malaya, detailed reconnaissance of the area was carried out by a Ki46 unit. Detachments of Japanese Army Air Force Ki46s were soon deployed to cover most of South-east Asia and their success led to the Japanese Navy operating a small number of Dinahs.
Although Dinahs became vulnerable to fast-climbing Allied fighters towards the end of the war, they still managed to make many reconnaissance flights over the large, well-defended airbases in the Mariana Islands that the Americans were using for massed bomber raids against Japan in 1944 and 1945.
Initially conceived as a stop gap design, the Kawasaki Ki 100 Ib was one of the finest Japanese fighters of the Second World War although not introduced until 1945.
One consequence of the American 'island hopping' campaign across the Pacific was to expose Japan to air attack by long range bombers. In response, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force urgently sought fighters with improved high altitude performance.
To meet this need in the short term, Kawasaki produced a high altitude version of the Ki61 Hien (Swallow) fighter. However, problems with its liquid cooled engine resulted in large numbers of airframes being placed in storage awaiting serviceable engines. In an attempt to overcome this bottleneck, three airframes were modified to accept a Mitsubishi radial engine. Redesignated the Ki100, the first prototype made its maiden flight on 1 February 1945.
Following an accelerated and highly successful flight test programme, 272 of the stored airframes were rebuilt to Ki100 Ia standard between February and June 1945 and pressed into service as Army Type 5 fighters. An additional 118 new airframes with bubble canopies designated Ki100 1b were manufactured before the Japanese surrender.
Fast, manoeuvrable, rugged and reliable, Allied pilots found the Ki 100 a formidable opponent.
This is the only one to survive.
'A design born of utter but faithful desperation' the Yokosuka MXY7 Model 11
(Japanese Ohka or 'Cherry Blossom' , allied code name 'Baka') shows the desperate Japanese attempts to defend the home islands as the allies advanced through the Pacific from late 1944. It was a rocket powered piloted aircraft to be carried and launched from a 'Mother' aircraft, glide as far as possible before making a final rocket powered approach to impact on its target.
Unpowered prototypes were tested in October 1944; 755 were built by March 1945. Its disastrous first mission saw all 16 vulnerable and highly inflammable Mitsubishi G4M2e 'Betty' Mother bomber aircraft destroyed by allied fighters and the Ohkas released short of their intended targets. A few later successes included the sinking of an American destroyer on 12 April 1945, by which time production had ceased due to the vulnerability of the mother aircraft. A turbojet-powered development and two-seat trainer variant were also built.