Kawasaki Army Type 92-1 / KDA-5

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Kawasaki Army Type 92-1 / KDA-5




Kawasaki initiated the development of a new single-seat fighter, the KDA-5, in June 1929. This project was funded by the company and led by Dr. Richard Vogt, with assistance from Takeo Doi. The design, which featured equi-span biplane wings covered in fabric and a metal-skinned fuselage, was finalized in April 1930. The aircraft was powered by a 500 hp BMW VI engine and incorporated unique structural elements, including the M-12 aerofoil, simplified interplane strut configuration, and a combination of different metal and fabric skins.

The first prototype underwent testing by Kambei Tanaka, achieving speeds of 321.9 km/h (200 mph) and altitudes of 10,000 m. Subsequent modifications were made to the second and third prototypes, completed in January and March, respectively, to enhance their speed. In January 1932, the Army approved the KDA-5 as the Army Type 92 Fighter and ordered its series production.

Meanwhile, two additional prototypes were already in progress, each featuring variations in engine, radiator type, contour, control surfaces, and undercarriage details. The Type 92-1 was completed between January and December 1932, resulting in a total of 180 fighters produced during that period.

Production shifted to the Type 92-2 in January 1933, with a total of 200 units manufactured. Although the Type 92 exhibited superior climb and speed, Army pilots were dissatisfied with its unstable take-off and landing characteristics. Consequently, it was primarily deployed in interceptor roles in Manchuria and northern China from 1932 to 1935, which contributed to its unpopularity among crews.

Prior to the war, China had acquired 20 KDA-5 aircraft for the Northeast Airliner. Additionally, a few examples were captured by the Chinese during the conflict. Most likely the Chinese KDA-5 were regulated to training and eventually scrapped. (Not much is known about KDA-5 in Chinese hands)

Technical Data


Crew - 1

Length - 7.05 m

Height - 3.1 m

Wingspan - 9.55 m

Empty Weight - 1,280 kg

Gross Weight - 1,700 kg

Powerplant - 1 x BMW VI Inline Engine (470 kW)

Max Speed - 320 km/h

Range - 850 km


2 x 7.7mm Machine Guns (Unknown Type)




(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft, Vol.1 - Page 8

Kawasaki Army Type 92 Fighter - Wikipedia