Mitsubishi Ki-46-III Otsu+Hei "Dinah" Killer Scout

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Ki-46-III_16_Chutai_2
Mitsubishi Ki-46-III Otsu+Hei
The Ki-46 was a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft that became an interceptor due to its unique characteristics. At the time of its creation, it was the best aircraft in its category and was a precursor of strategic reconnaissance.That’s it for the introduction, now it’s time for the rest of the suggestions.
History
Ki-46-I
On December 27, 1937, Mitsubishi began work on the successor to the Ki-15 aircraft on behalf of the Japanese Army. The requirements of the army were as follows:

  • Practical ceiling between 4000m and 6000m
  • Speed 600km/h at 4000m
  • It was to have proven engines (Ha20, Ha25 or Ha26)
  • Crew of 2 people.

In addition, they wanted the aircraft to be easy to fly and manoeuvrable. Due to the fact that these were the only requirements, there was no question about the appearance of the aircraft, the number of engines and how it should be armed. Therefore, Mitsubishi designed a twin-engine low-wing aircraft with a metal structure, with landing gear retractable in flight. It was powered by 925 horsepower Ha26 engines, which was a well-known and reliable Mitsubishi product. The first prototype of the Ki-46 (“4601”) was completed in November 1939 and made its first flight at Kagamihara Military Airfield by a Mitsubishi Eguchi test pilot.The tests were carried out until 10 August 1940. During the tests, its maximum speed was 540 km/h/4100 m, which was below the requirements of the military, but it turned out that this aircraft was very maneuverable and easy to fly. For this reason, the military agreed to allow this aircraft to enter service on the condition that it be modernized in the future to increase its performance. This is how the Ki-46-I version was created.

Ki-46-I

Ki-46_cropped

Ki-46-II
In March 1941, work began to improve the performance of the Ki-46-I, and for this purpose, the Ha26 engine was replaced by the Ha-102 engine. In addition, an additional fuel tank was installed and the radio and apparatus were replaced. The 1025 horsepower Ha-102 engine allowed the Ki-46-II to reach a top speed of 604 km/h/5800 m in flight tests, meeting the initial requirements while refuting the theory that 600 km/h was impossible with an air-cooled engine.On the other hand, due to the increase in wing loading, the landing speed was also increased, and the landing runway from 606 m to 706 m for the Type 1 (Ki 46-I), and the practical climb limit was reduced by 110 m.This version entered service in June 1942.

Ki-46-II

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Ki-46_76_Chutai_Gasmata

Ki-46-II Dinah flight tests at Patuxent River 1945
Ki-46-II_and_Ki-54a

Ki-46-III
In May 1942, due to the growing superiority of Allied fighters, work began to improve the performance of the Ki-46. It was given the name Ki-46-III and was required to reach a top speed of 650 km/h or more, and wanted to increase the cruising time by one hour and make take-off and landing easier than the Ki-46-I/II.To achieve this, a high-performance Ha 112-II engine (1500 hp) with direct fuel injection and water/methanol injection was used.This necessitated a change in the design of the engine nacelle, as this engine is 1.4 times larger than the Ha-102 engine and has a 100 mm larger diameter. The nose of the machine has been redesigned to be more aerodynamic. A 200-liter fuel tank was added to the nose to increase the amount of fuel loaded in the cabin to 1,895 liters, and a 400-600 liter dump tank can be installed on the bottom of the fuselage, which solves the problem of cruise time.The fuel tanks are sealed and their structures are reinforced. Radio and photographic equipment were also replaced to increase its effectiveness. The first prototype was ready in March 1943 and entered service in March 1944, with a top speed of 630 km/h / 6,000 m during testing, making the Ki-46-III the fastest Japanese aircraft to be used in WW2.However, the aircraft had drawbacks due to a change in design. The pilot’s visibility was impaired by the extension of the windshield, and there were also problems with the occurrence of internal diffuse reflection during night flight, as well as a faulty autopilot and oxygen system. In addition, there were problems with the strength of the chassis.

Ki-46-III






Ki-46_III

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Ki-46-III-Kai
In August 1943, the Japanese Army learned about the development of the B-29 aircraft, so it began to consider how to combat this threat. After much deliberation, it was decided that the best platform to counter the B-29 would be the Ki-46 aircraft in its latest variant, which has been tested at altitude.At high altitudes, it had better performance than most Army aircraft (Ki-43, Ki-44, Ki-45, Ki-61), and these were similar to the Ki-84 and the prototype Ki-102.In May, modifications were made to the aircraft to carry two 20mm cannons in the nose. And in June, a prototype of this version, called by the Japanese Type 3 B, was ready. The nose and cabin of the aircraft were redesigned, which looks very similar to the Ki-46-II version.Then, due to the intensification of night air raids, in July 1944 the Army ordered the installation of an upward-pointing 37mm Ho-204 cannon. It was facing upwards and forwards. The Japanese called this aircraft Type3 B+B, and the Allies called it Ki-46-III-Kai.75 aircraft were built in the Ki-45-III Type 3 B version, and 15 in the Type 3 B+B version.

Ki-46-III-Kai

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Ki-46-III_16_Chutai_2
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OIP (1)
OIP 23

Comparison of different versions

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Armament
This aircraft was armed with two Ho-5 cannons in the nose with a supply of 400 rounds. It also had a 37mm Ho-204 cannon with a supply of ammunition from 15 to 60 rounds, the crew decided how many rounds they wanted to take with them. This cannon was mounted under the cat 70 degrees in place of the fuselage fuel tank.This aircraft could also carry Type 2 No. 6 No. 21 “TA-DAN” bombs .

Ho-5


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Ho-204

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Type 2 No. 6 No. 21 “TA-DAN” bombs


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 3.88 m (12 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 32 m2 (340 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 3,831 kg (8,445 lb)
  • Gross weight: 6,228 kg (13,730 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Mitsubishi Ha-112-II 1500hp
  • Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed metal propellers

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 629 km/h (390 mph, 339 kn) at 6,000 m (19,000 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 425 km/h (264 mph, 229 kn) at 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
  • Range: 2,000 km (1,242 mi, 1,079 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 10,500 m (34,448 ft)
  • Maximum Rate of Climb: 450 m/s (1476 ft/s)

Summary
The Ki-46-III-Kai was a very interesting makeshift way for the Japanese to counter American air raids on Japan. After the Americans changed their tactics, these planes suffered heavy losses and were eventually disarmed and returned to their original function, i.e. reconnaissance. This aircraft would be a very interesting interceptor for Japan, providing high speed at altitude and good maneuverability at lower altitude.Its armament would be very effective against enemy bombers, especially the Ho-204 cannon and the Type 2 No. 6 No. 21 “TA-DAN” anti-aircraft bombs (suggestion is on the old forum). It would be a nice extension of the Ki-45 aircraft line or a very interesting premium aircraft.I encourage you to give me your opinion in the comments.
Finally, I apologize for the linguistic and logical errors because unfortunately English is not my main language and I had to use google translator.

Additional photos, sketches and art

ki46-3_small
ki46-c3_small
ki46-c4_small
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Source

IJAAF “TA-DAN” Air-To-Air Bombing: Tactics, Weapon Systems, & Units PICS (j-aircraft.org)
Japanese Type 2 1/3kg H.E.A.T. Cluster Bomb - Inert-Ord.net
Mitsubishi Ki-46 Dinah with cluster bombs TYPE 2 “TA-DAN” and droptanks. (sas1946.com)
Type 2 Ta-Dan Heat bomb - Japan - War Thunder - Official Forum
大日本帝国海軍航空爆弾一覧 - Wikipedia
Mitsubishi Ki-46 ‘Dinah’ - RAF Museum
Mitsubishi Ki.46 Dinah (aviadejavu.ru)
二次大戰傑作機[36]: 三菱一〇〇式司令部偵察機三型甲 (キ46-III甲) - Mobile01
Mitsubishi Ki-46 — Lotnictwo od A do Z — Encyklopedia lotnictwa światowego. Samoloty i helikoptery XX wieku (cofe.ru)
Kącik nieba ¦ Mitsubishi Ki-46-III Kai (airwar.ru)
Micubiši Ki 46-III KAI [Dinah] : Micubiši (valka.cz)
Mitsubishi Ki-46 Dinah | World War Photos
Mitsubishi Ki-46 (airvectors.net)
Mitsubishi Ki-46 - Coletti’s Combat Aircraft (colettiscombataircraft.com)
Mitsubishi Ki-46 (Dinah) Reconnaissance / Heavy Fighter / Bomber Interceptor Aircraft Specifications and Pictures (militaryfactory.com)
Mitsubishi Ki-46 - Wikipedia
瑞星 (エンジン) - Wikipedia
Mitsubishi Zuisei – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia
ホ204 - Wikipedia
Mitsubishi Kinsei - Wikipedia

3 Likes

Doing the good work! ヽ(~~~ )ノ One of the fighters I’ve been wanting for a while

Btw the Ki-46-III B only had the two 20 mm cannons. The Ki-46-III B+B had the Ho-204. And only the Hei could carry the bomb racks.

Additionally, I think we should get the fighter version of the IV variant, as it did fly

4 Likes

+1 always wanted to see these