Nakajima Ki-44-IIIa

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Nakajima Ki-44-IIIa
This aircraft was created to be able to compete with American aircraft. Probably about 6 copies were made, but the aircraft did not enter mass production due to the creation of a better Ki-84.
History and description of the structure
From the moment the fighting with the Americans began, it became obvious that the current Japanese aircraft were too weak and had too weak armament, so work began on improving the Ki-44 interceptors. Thus, in June 1943, the prototype of the heaviest armed Ki-44 was put into service.The changes in this aircraft compared to its predecessor are:

  • Replaced the Ha109 engine with the more powerful Ha145 (Ha45-43) engine
  • Replacing half of the Ho-103 rifles with more powerful Ho-5 cannons
  • Replacement of a three-blade propeller with a four-blade propeller
  • The wing area has been increased to 19m2
  • The shape of the wings was changed and the wingspan was increased by 70 cm.
  • The surface area of the vertical and horizontal tail stabilizer has been increased.

The tests lasted until December and during the tests all Ho-103 rifles were replaced with Ho-5 cannons.About 5 Ki-44-IIIa aircraft were produced, which were armed with four 20mm cannons. This aircraft proved to be much better in flight than the Ki-44-II, but its production was abandoned in favor of the much better Ki-84.
Improvement Proposal
There was also a version of the Ki-44-IIIb, which was to have two Ho-5 cannons in the nose and two Ho-203 guns. Some sources say that it could have been created, others deny it. This does not change the fact that this modification would require either a radical modification of the wings or a deep modification of the Ho-203 cannons.
General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 8,75 m
  • Wingspan: 9,44 m
  • Height: 3,24 m
  • Wing area: 19 m2
  • Empty weight: 2,886 kg
  • Powerplant: 1x Ha145 2000hp
  • Propellers: 4-bladed constant-speed metal propellers

Unfortunately I’m not able to find any information about the speed, you can find it on the old forum, but they are also estimated.

  • Maximum speed: probably around 600 km/h (?)
  • Cruise speed: ?
  • Range: ?
  • Service ceiling: 11,200 m (36,700 ft)
  • Maximum Rate of Climb: ?
Suggestion in the old forum

Ki-44-IIIa Kou - Demon Slayer - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum


  • 4 x 20mm Ho5 cannons (two in the wings, two in the nose)
  • 200kg bombs

This aircraft is the last evolution of the Ki-44 and is very similar to the Ki-43-III, both were built in a similar period and have similar armament to help fight the Americans.Adding it would be good for the fighter aces of the Ki-44 aircraft, which would then be a preparation for the use of the Ki-84. I encourage you to discuss in the comments and share additional information if you have any.
Finally, I apologize for the linguistic and logical errors because unfortunately English is not my main language and I had to use google translator.

Internet Sources

Ki-44-IIIa Kou - Demon Slayer - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum
鐘馗 (
二式単座戦闘機 - Wikipedia
Nakajima Ki-44 – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia
Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki / TOJO - interceptor (
Nakajma Ki-44-III? | Forum Tajnych Projektów (
Ki-44 Shoki Nakajima (
(PDF) FlugRevue - Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki - DOKUMEN.TIPS
(PDF) Bunrindo - Famous Airplanes of the World 16 - Nakajima Ki-44 ‘Shoki’ Army Type 2 Fighter - DOKUMEN.TIPS
Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft Specifications and Pictures (
Уголок неба ¦ Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (
Nakajima Ki 44-IIIa Shoki [Tojo] : Nakajima (
Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo): Photos, History, Specification (
Ki-44 (

Book source
  • Japanese Aircraft of Wolrld War II : 1937-1945 ,Thomas Newdick, Edition 2 2017, page 40