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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Mitsubishi Ki-30 bomber; Army Type 97 Light Bomber
Allied code name: Ann

Photos

  • Mitsubushi Ki-30 light bomber

 

Design

In May 1935 the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force instituted a modernization plan and the Mitsubishi Ki-30 was a result of that program.

Koku Hombu ordered Mitsubishi and Kawasaki to make two prototypes of a light bomber by December 1936 that met these specifications:

  • Speed: 248.5 mph / 400 kph at 9,845' / 3,000 m
  • Climb to 9,845' / 3,000 m in 8 minutes
  • Engine: One Mitsubishi Ha-6 or Nakajima Ha-5 radial engine or Kawasaki Ha-9-IIb water cooled
  • Bomb Load: 992 lb / 450 kg
  • Armament: 1 forward firing and 1 rear firing machine guns
  • Crew: 2
  • Weight: not to go over 7,275 lb / 3,200 kg

The Mitsubishi Ki-30 was designed under the direction of Colonel Komamura by Kawano, Ohki, and Mizuno.

The Mitsubishi Ki-30 was the first light bomber to have a two row radial engine, internal bomb bay, flaps, and a constant / variable speed propeller.

The Ki-30 was of all metal construction with fabric over the control surfaces.

Undercarriage

Due to the mid wing design, the landing gear had to have long legs. The original design had retractable landing gear, but due to complexity and added weight it was decided to have fixed legs that included spats.

Prototype

The Ki-30 prototype was first flew on February 28, 1937, by Yamaguchi at Kagamigahara. It was powered by a Mitsubishi Ha-6 (825 HP) engine.

The second prototype had a Mitsubishi Ha-5 KAI engine and was completed by February 1937.

Production

First order of 16 was delivered in January 1938 and in March 1938 it was ordered into production.

  • Prototypes: 2
    • Production: February 1937
  • Service trial: 16
    • Production: 1937, September 1937 - January 1938
  • Ki-30: 618, 686
    • Mitsubishi: March 1938 - April 1940: 618
    • Tachikawa Army Air Arsenal: 1939 - September 1941: 68
  • Total: 704
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagoya (618), Tachikawa Army Air Arsenal, First Army Air Arsenal at Tachikawa (68)
    • Production: 1938 - 1941, March 1938 - April 1940 (Mitsubishi)

Variants

  • Prototype: Had Mitsubishi Ha-6 radial 14 (825 HP) engine.

Usage

Japan and Thailand used the Ki-30.

Units

  • Sentais: 6th, 16th, 31st, 32nd, 35th, 90th
  • Dokuritsu Hiko Chutais: 82nd, 87th

Vulnerable

The Ki-30 was very vulnerable unless closely escorted by fighters.

China

The first use of the Ki-30 was in China in 1938.

Philippines

The Ki-30s were used extensively in the Philippine campaign of 1942.

Thai Air Force

The Royal Thai Air Force received nine Ki-30s. They used them in January 1941 against the French Vichy forces in French Indo-China.

Suicide Aircraft

Towards the end of World War II the Ki-30s were used as kamikaze aircraft.

Specifications

  Mitsubishi Ki-30
Type Light bomber
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-5 KAI
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
Net HP 950, 960
Propeller blades 3, Variable pitch 3 blade
Dimensions  
Span 47' 8.75", 47' 8.8"
14.55 m
Length 33' 11", 33' 11.5"
10.34 m, 10.35 m
Height 11' 11.5", 11' 11.7", 11' 11.75"
3.65 m
Wing area 329.16 sq ft, 329.17 sq ft
30.58 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,916 lb
2,230 kg
Loaded 7,099 lb, 7,324 lb
3,220 kg, 3,322 kg
Performance  
Speed at 13,120' / 4,000 m 263 mph
423 kph
Speed at 13,125' / 4,000 m 263 mph
423 kph, 432 kph
Cruising speed 236 mph
380 kph
Climb 1,640'/minute
500 m/minute
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 10.6 minutes, 10 minutes 36 seconds
Service ceiling 28,115', 28,120'
8,570 m
Range 1,056 miles
1,700 km
Armament  
Wings 1: 7.7 mm MG
1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
2: 7.7 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1: 7.7 mm MG
1: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG
Bomb load 882 lb
400 kg

Sources:

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