Tachikawa Ki-36 Ida

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Tachikawa Ki-36 Ida (九八式直接協同偵察)
The Tachikawa Ki-36 was a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft that was able to provide support to the fighting allied troops.It entered service in 1938, served in the Japanese Air Force until 1945, and in the Chinese Air Force until 1950. It was also used by the Thai and Indonesian Air Forces.
The Japanese army needed to replace obsolete reconnaissance planes, Mitsubishi 2MR8 and Ki-4. In 1937, Koku Hombu (Japanese Ministry of Aviation) issued a competition for a new reconnaissance aircraft for the army. The requirements were heavily inspired by Western designs from that period. STOL capability, a 1500 hp engine, and easy piloting and easy servicing were required.In addition, the plane was to be a metal low-wing aircraft. It was also wanted that the aircraft could conduct offensive operations in addition to reconnaissance missions.Two companies entered the competition: Mitsubishi and Takachiwa. Mitsubishi had extensive experience in building metal-framed aircraft, but in 1937 it was involved in a large project of aircraft for the Navy and the Amii. Takachiwa was a small company that produced successful training biplanes and had no experience in producing metal-framed aircraft. Work on the future Ki-36 was led by Endo Ryokichi. The Military Aviation Research Institute was delegated to help the Takachiwa plant. One of the engineers working there, named Andô, noticed that a 1500 hp engine was unnecessary for this project. Ando’s idea was to create a very small low-wing cantilever with an engine at least three times weaker than planned.In late 1937, Takachiwa’s proposal (Ki-36) and Mitsubishi’s proposal (Ki-35) were sent to Koku Hombu for verification. The winner was the Ki-36 aircraft. As a result, additional financial and logistical resources were sent to the Ki-36 project, which allowed the construction of a fully functional prototype in just 4 months.As a result, additional financial and logistical resources were sent to the Ki-36 project, which allowed the construction of a fully functional prototype in just 4 months. On April 20 or 22, 1938, the first prototype of the Ki-36, piloted by test pilot Kamata Zenjiro, took to the air. The first tests consisted mainly of landing and take-off on various surfaces (sandy beach, river bank, rocky plateau), and a very short landing with a landing hook was also tested.In mid-July 1938, an order was received from the Army Command to improve the maneuverability of the aircraft in terms of speed and turning radius, as well as equipping the aircraft with reconnaissance photographic equipment and armament. In the same month, an order was received to produce two additional prototypes by September. During testing, there were small problems with the airflow at the wingtips.This was fixed by installing small slotted strips, fixed at a 2 degree angle.The first two prototypes were equipped with a Tempu No-13 engine with a capacity of 300 hp, On the third and fourth prototypes, an improved Na-13a was installed, the power of which was increased to 480 hp.In October 1938, the aircraft underwent final tests and was accepted into service. The Ki-36’s capability was ideal for frontline requirements, so it was received with great enthusiasm.Serial production of Ki-36 reconnaissance aircraft by Japanese standards was quite massive. From November 1938 to January 1944, when production of the Ki-36 aircraft began, production of 1334 aircraft was stopped, of which 872 were built at the Tachikawa plant in the Tokyo suburbs and another 472 at the Kawasaki factory.Ki-36 aircraft carried out reconnaissance and combat operations wherever the Japanese army was. They served at Khalkhin Gol, fought in China and British Singapore, in the Philippines and Indonesia. At the end of the war, they were equipped with bombs weighing 500 kg and were used by kamikaze units.Interestingly, the Ki-36 aircraft served on the ship “Shinshu Marû”, which was the progenitor of the Helicopter landing carriers.

Photos of the Ki-36


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Use in other armies
The Ki-36s were exported to the Thai Air Force and to Manchukuo. The captured copies served in the Chinese and Indonesian air forces

Ki-36 use in other armies



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Construction description
The Ki-36 is a single-engine aircraft with an all-metal half-shell structure. It has a fuselage, and the main wing is a low-wing monoplane. A 14.5 degree slant angle is attached to the leading edge of the outer wing to obtain a downward view, and the rear seat is placed at the point where the trailing edge of the main wing, which is in a straight line to the left and right, intersects at right angles to the aircraft axis.The slanted wing, however, is easy to get into a sweep of the wing tip, and as a countermeasure, it was initially fitted with a fixed strip on the leading edge, which was abolished after No. 51 and changed to a torsional wing tip. Still, in limited circumstances, he had a habit of dragging the tips of his wings, and it is said that the military was also alert. Split flaps were installed to increase take-off and landing characteristics.The windshield and visor were fitted with tall objects, and a large observation window opened on the underside of the fuselage to provide visibility. In addition, taking into account take-off and landing on uneven terrain other than airfields, as well as slow dive bombing and dive bombing, the main landing gear was fixed with spatulas and a solid object was attached. The propeller was double-winged and had a variable pitch.

Technical sketches


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General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 8 m (26 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.8 m (38 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 3.64 m (11 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 20 m2 (220 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,247 kg (2,749 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,660 kg (3,660 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hitachi Ha13a (Army Type 98 450hp Air Cooled Radial) 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 380 kW (510 hp) for take-off 350 kW (470 hp) at 1,700 m (5,600 ft)


  • Maximum speed: 348 km/h (216 mph, 188 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 235 km/h (146 mph, 127 kn)
  • Range: 1,235 km (767 mi, 667 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 8,150 m (26,740 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in 6 minutes 39 seconds
  • Wing loading: 83 kg/m2 (17 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.23 kW/kg (0.14 hp/lb)


  1. Fixed armament
  • 1 x 7.7 mm machine gun mounted in the right wing (fixed Type 89 machine gun)
  • 1 x 7.7 mm machine gun rotatable rear (Te-4)
  1. Underbarrel armament
  • Maximum load under the wings 150kg
  • Maximum load under hull 250kg
  • The bombs carried are (10 x 12,5 kg bombs/ 10 x 15 kg bombs/ ? x 30 kg bombs / 2 x 50 kg bombs / 5 x 50 kg bombs / 2 x 100 kg bombs / 1 x 200 kg bombs/ 1 x 250 kg bombs)

The Takachiwa Ki-36 is a very interesting aircraft. It would be able to provide Japan with low-level air support. It is similar to the Ki-32 aircraft and would provide the same experience. The large number of bombs it can carry will allow it to hunt many ground targets. In addition, it is a very nice aircraft. I encourage you to discuss in the comments and to share your own knowledge on this subject.
Finally, I apologize for the linguistic and logical errors because unfortunately English is not my main language and I had to use google translator.

Art about the Ki-36

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Internet sources

九八式直接協同偵察機 - Wikipedia
Tachikawa Ki-36 - Wikipedia
Tachikawa Ki-36 Type 98 Direct Co-operation Reconnaissance-plane - Japan - War Thunder - Official Forum
Tačikawa Ki 36 [Ida] : Tačikawa / Išikawadžima (valka.cz)
九八式直協偵察機 (www.ne.jp)
迅速・お手軽・頼りになる! 旧陸軍「九八式直接協同偵察機」が初飛行-1938.4.20 万能すぎて練習機にも | 乗りものニュース (trafficnews.jp)
九八式直協偵察機 | 日本陸海軍機入門 (nobody.jp)
Уголок неба ¦ Tachikawa Ki-36 (airwar.ru)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia: Ki-36 “Ida”, Japanese Observation Aircraft (kgbudge.com)
Tachikawa Ki-36 - Specifications - Technical Data / Description (flugzeuginfo.net)
Kawasaki Ki.36 Type 98 / Ki.55 Type 99 (Ida) Info (daveswarbirds.com)
Tachikawa Ki-36 IDA - attacker (aviastar.org)
Tachikawa Ki-36 Multipurpose attack aircraft. Japan (airpages.ru)

Book sources

98式直協機説明書送付の件 (archives.go.jp)
戦史叢書第094巻 陸軍航空の軍備と運用<3>大東亜戦争終戦まで (mod.go.jp)
Air War Over Khalkhin Gol - The Nomonhan Incident (Vladimir R. Kotelnikov) | PDF (scribd.com)



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