|Manufacturer||Nakajima Aircraft Company|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseToward the end of the war, the Japanese Army leadership formed special attack squadrons in an attempt to counter the American air and naval superiority. While the Japanese Navy took a high-tech approach by developing purpose-built suicide weapons, the Army took the approach of building crude and simple to manufacture aircraft to perform similar special attack missions. The material that went into these aircraft was mostly wood and steel, and the fuselage cross sections were circular (rather than elliptical) to simplify production. The Ki-115 Tsuragi ("Sword") aircraft design project began in Jan 1945 as a joint venture between the Mitaka Research Institute and the Nakajima plant at Ota, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The first prototype was completed on 5 Mar 1945. Early experience with the prototypes left much to be desired, particularly regarding the difficulty to take off due to the small wings. In Jun 1945, the improved design Ki-115 Ko was completed and the design was rushed into production at factories in Iwate and Ota in Japan, and in the same month training units were established in preparation for Ki-115 aircraft operations; casualty rates were uncharacteristically high in these training units, as these aircraft were poorly made and were prone to accidents. Ultimately, 104 aircraft were built for the Japanese Army, and none of them saw combat.
ww2dbaseThe Japanese Navy had an interest in this aircraft as well and placed an order with Nakajima for them. They were planned to be placed into operation under the designation of Toka ("Wisteria Blossom"), but no deliveries were made prior to the end of the war.
ww2dbaseSource: Steven Zaloga, Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45
Last Major Revision: Sep 2011
Ki-115 Tsurugi Timeline
|5 Mar 1945Â||The first prototype of Ki-115 Tsuragi special attack aircraft was completed.|
|Machinery||One Nakajima Ha-115-II engine rated at 1,130hp|
|Armament||1x250kg, 500kg, or 800kg bomb|
|Wing Area||12.40 mÂ²|
|Weight, Empty||1,640 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||2,580 kg|
|Weight, Maximum||2,880 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||550 km/h|
|Speed, Cruising||300 km/h|
|Range, Normal||1,200 km|
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