World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Kawasaki Ki-48 bomber; Army Type 99 Twin Engine Light Bomber
Allied code name: Lily

Design

The Kawasaki Ki-48 was based on the Soviet Tupolev SB-2 that was encountered in the Sino-Japanese conflict in 1937. The SB-2 was faster than the Japanese fighters that tried to intercept it.

Kawasaki was ordered to design what became the Ki-48 in December 1937.

Specifications:

  • Speed: 298 mph / 480 kph at 9,845' / 3,000 m, 300 mph at 10,000', 301 mph / 485 kph
  • Cruising Speed: 217 mph / 350 kph at 9,845' / 3,000 m
  • Climb: 16,250' in ten minutes, 16,405' / 5,000 m in ten minutes
  • Bombs: 880 lb, 882 lb / 400 kg
  • Armament: 3 - 4 7.7 mm MG
  • Engines: 2 Nakajima Ha-25
  • Operate in cold conditions

Takeo Doi, started design work in January 1938 / early 1938.

Construction

The Ki-48 was made with all metal with fabric covered control surfaces.

Crew

The bombardier handled the nose, the radio operator the dorsal, and the navigator the ventral guns.

Bombs

The configuration of the bomb loads could be:

  • 24: 33 lb /15 kg, or
  • 6: 110 lb / 50 kg

Prototype

The prototype first flew July 1939. Alterations to the prototype were made because of tail vibrations.

Production

Due to delays in resources being allocated to the Ki-45 and tail flutter in the Ki-48 the production model didn't fly until July 1940.

The Ki-48-II first flew in February 1942.

  • Prototypes: 4
    • Production: ? - July 1939
  • Pre Production: 5
    • Production: 1940
  • Prototypes and pre production: 9
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-I: 557
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-Ia:
    • Production: July 1940 - ?
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-Ia and Ki-48-Ib: 557
    • Production: July 1940 - June 1942
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-II Prototypes: 3
    • Production: February 1942
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-II: 1,408, 1,411
    • Production: April 1942 - October 1944
  • Total: 1,977
    • Manufacturer: Kawasaki Kokuki Kogyo K.K.
    • Production: July 1940 - October 1944

Variants

  • Kawasaki Ki-48-I:
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-Ia, Army Type 99 Twin-Engine Light Bomber Model 1A: Equipment changes and new gun mounts. Main production aircraft.
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-Ib, Army Type 99 Twin-Engine Light Bomber Model 1B: Equipment changes and new gun mounts.
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-II: The Ha-115 engines had two stage superchargers. The engines were more powerful. Fuselage was lengthened to increase stability. More armor protection for the crew. Fuel had more armor protection.
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-IIa, Army Type 99 Twin-Engine Light Bomber Model 2A: Standard bomber.
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-IIb: Dive bomber. Retractable dive brakes.
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-IIc: Better defensive armament. Used 12.7 mm gun in the dorsal position.
  • Kawasaki Ki-48-II KAI: Suicide aircraft. The Dai-Ichi Rikugun Kokusho (1st Army Air Arsenal) added a 1,764 lb / 800 kg bomb with a long rod extending past the nose to trigger it on contact.

Usage

Units

  • Sentais: 3rd, 6th, 8th, 16th, 27th, 31st, 32nd, 34th, 45th, 65th, 75th, 90th, 95th, 208th
  • Dokuritsu Dai Shijugo: 82nd
  • Hokota Army Light Bomber Flying School

First Use

The Ki-48 was first used in Northern China in late 1940 by the 45th Sentai. There they met little opposition. Once the Ki-48 went up against the British and American pilots they were found to be very vulnerable.

Against Western Allies

The Ki-48s of the 8th, 27th, 75th, and 90th Sentais were used in Burma, Malaya, and the Philippines.

Obsolete

Declared obsolete in October 1944.

Kamikaze

At the end of the war most Ki-48s were packed with 1,764 lb / 800 kg of explosives and the nose had long percussion mounted rod fuses. These were then used in Kamikaze attacks.

Specifications

  Kawasaki Ki-48-I
Type Bomber
Crew 4
Pilot, bombardier, navigator, radio operator
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima Ha-25
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,000 each
Propeller blades 3 each, 3 metal
Dimensions  
Span 57' 3.78125"
17.47 m
Length 41' 4.0625
12.6 m
Height 12' 5.59375"
3.8 m
Wing area 430.555 sq ft
40 sq m
Weight  
Empty 8,929 lb
4,050 kg
Loaded 13,337 lb, 13,338 lb
6,050 kg
Performance  
Speed at 11,485' / 3,500 m 298 mph
480 kph
Cruising speed 217 mph
349 kph
Cruising Speed at 11,485' / 3,500 m 217 mph
350 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 9 minutes
Service ceiling 31,170'
9,500 m
Range 1,230 miles
1,980 km
Range - Maximum 1,491 miles
2,400 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm MG
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm MG
Bombs 882 lb
400 kg
Bombs - Normal Load 661 lb
300 kg
  Kawasaki Ki-48-Ia
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
  Kawasaki Ki-48-Ib
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
  Kawasaki Ki-48-II
Type Bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima Ha-115
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 1,130 each
Propeller blades 3 each, 3 metal
Dimensions  
Span 57' 3"
17.45 m
Length 41' 10"
12.75 m
Height 12' 5.5", 12' 6"
3.8 m
Weight  
Empty 10,031 lb
4,550 kg
Loaded 14,330 lb, 14,881 lb
6,750 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 18,375' / 9,500 m 314 mph
505 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 8.5 minutes
Service ceiling 33,135'
10,100 m
Range 1,274 miles, 1,491 miles
2,050 km
Armament 3: MG
Nose 1: 7.7 mm MG
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm MG
Bombs 882 lb, 1,764 lb
800 kg
Bombs - Normal Load 882 lb
400 kg
  Kawasaki Ki-48-IIa
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
  Kawasaki Ki-48-IIb
Type Dive Bomber, Light Bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Nakajima Ha-115
Cylinders Radial
Net HP 1,150 each
Dimensions  
Span 57' 3"
17.45 m
Length 41' 9.96875", 41' 10"
12.75 m
Height 12' 5.59375", 12' 5.6"
3.8 m
Wing area 430.555 sq ft, 430.57 sq ft
40 sq m
Weight  
Empty 10,031 lb
4,550 kg
Loaded 14,881 lb
6,750 kg
Performance  
Speed at 18,375' / 5,600 m 314 mph
505 kph
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 8 minutes 30 seconds
Service ceiling 33,135'
10,100 m
Range 1,491 miles
2,400 km
Range - Normal 1,274 miles
2,050 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG
Dorsal 1: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm / 0.303" MG
Bombs 1,764 lb
800 kg
  Kawasaki Ki-48-IIc
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Dorsal 1: 12.7 mm Type 1 MG
Ventral 1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, René J Francillon, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site