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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Nakajima Ki-27 fighter bomber; Army Type 97
Allied code name: Nate, Abdul

Photos

Nakajima Type 97 fighter:
Japan's Nakajima Type 97 fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Nakajima Type 97 fighter:
Japan's Nakajima Type 97 fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Nakajima Ki-27 fighter:
Japan's Nakajima Ki-27 fighter

Design

Development of the Nakajima Ki-27 started in 1935.1,2 The first built was a proof of concept aircraft called the PE.1,4 Kawasaki (Ki-28) and Mitsubishi (Ki-33) also developed a competing prototypes.2 The Ki-27 was selected as it was more manouverable.2

In the late 1930s the Nakajima Ki-27 was what most Japanese pilots wanted, a highly maneuverable fighting aircraft.1 It was very popular before World War II.2

Fuselage

The fuselage was of all metal construction.1 The Ki-27 had a stressed skin.1

Undercarriage

The undercarriage was fixed.1,3

Prototype

The PE first flew in July 1936.1

Two of the Ki-27 prototypes first flew on October 15, 1936.1 Ten pre production aircraft were ordered.2

Production

The first Ki-27a production aircraft was built in early 1938.1

Manysu Hokoi Seizo KK (Manchurian Aeroplane Manufacturing Co.) started production in 1942.1

  • Nakajima PE: 11
  • Nakajima Ki-27 prototypes and pre production: 121
  • Nakajima Ki-27a, Type 97 Fighter Model A, and Nakajima Ki-27b: 3,3841
    • Manufactured by: Nakajima (2,005)1, Manysu Hokoi Seizo KK (1,379)1
  • Nakajima Ki-27 KAI: 21
  • Total: 3,3991,2,4
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Hikoki K.K.2, Nakajima (2,020)4, Mansyu (1,379)4
    • Production: 1937 - 19422, ? - 19424

Variants

  • Nakajima PE: Proof of concept.1
  • Nakajima Ki-27 prototype: Had a Nakajima Ha-1a radial engine (650 HP).1
  • Nakajima Ki-27 pre production: First appeared in late 1937.2
  • Nakajima Ki-27a: Had a Nakajima Ha-1b engine.1 Metal faired canopy.1
  • Nakajima Ki-27b: Clear canopy.1,4 Light bombs under the center section of the wings.1
  • Nakajima Ki-27 KAI: Lighter weight.1

Usage

Japan, Manchuria, and Thailand (12) used the Ki-27.1

The Ki-27 first arrived in China in March 1938.2,4 In the CBI (China Burma India) theater the Ki-27 was known as the "Abdul."2

Nomonham Incident

Against Russia in May - September 1940, during the Nomonham Incident, the Ki-27 pilots claimed 1,340 Russian aircraft shot down.1 Revised figures place this to be actually around 200.1

South West Pacific

In December 1941 the Ki-27s supported the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Malaya Burma, and the Netherlands East Indies.1,2

Secondary Roles

Once the Ki-27 was withdrawn from front line combat, they were used for defense of the Japanese home islands and training.1

Kamikaze

As a kamikaze aircraft it could carry a 1,102 lb / 500 kg bomb.1,2

Specifications

  Nakajima Ki-27
Nakajima Type 97
Type Fighter5, Fighter bomber1
Crew 11,5
Engine (Type) 1: Nakajima Kotobuki5
1: Nakajima Ha-1b1
Cylinders Radial5, Radial 91
Cooling Air5
Net HP 7505, 7801
Propeller blades 21
Fuel capacity 156 gallons3
Dimensions  
Span 35' 10"3, 36'5, 37' 1.25"1
11.31 m1
Length 24' 4"3, 24' 7"5, 24' 8.5"1
7.53 m1
Height 8'3, 10' 8"1
3.25 m1
Wing area 200 ft2 3
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 4,300 lb5, 4,643 lb3
Maximum load 5,200 lb3
Performance  
Speed 280 mph5
Speed @ 11,480' /
3,500 m
292 mph1
470 kph1
Cruising Speed 217 mph1
349 kph1
Climb 2,953'/minute1
900 m/minute1
Climb to 6,560' /
2,000 m
2.1 minutes1
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
5.4 minutes1
Service ceiling  
Range 390 miles1, 460 miles5
627 kph1
Range with drop tanks 1,060 miles1
1,705 km1
Armament 2: 7.7 mm MG3
Nose 1: MG5
2: 7.7 mm MG1
Wings 2: MG5
Bombs 4: 55 lb1
4: 25 kg1
  Nakajima Ki-27a
Type Fighter4
Crew 14
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-1b4
Cylinders Radial 94
Cooling  
Net HP 7104
Propeller blades  
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 37' 1.3"4
11.31 m4
Length 24' 8.5"4
7.53 m4
Height 10' 8"4
3.25 m4
Wing area 199.68 ft2 4
18.55 m2 4
Weight  
Empty 2,447 lb1,4
1,110 kg1,4
Loaded 3,946 lb1,4
1,790 kg1,4
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 11,483' /
3,500 m
292 mph4
470 kph4
Cruising Speed  
Climb  
Climb to 16,404' /
5,000 m
5.36 minutes4
Service ceiling 40,190'4
12,250 m4
Range 1,063 miles4
1,710 km4
Range with drop tanks  
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.7 mm Type 89 MG4
  Nakajima Ki-27b
Type Fighter2
Crew 12
Engine (Type) Nakajima Ha-1b2
Cylinders Radial 92
Cooling Air2
Net HP 7102
Propeller blades  
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 37' 1"2
Length 24' 8"2
Height 10' 8"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 3,946 lb2
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 11,480' /
3,500 m
292 mph2
Cruising Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 390 miles2
Range with drop tanks  
Armament 2: MG2
Bombs 220 lb2

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Handbook on Japanese Military Forces, US War Department, 1991
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site