Ki-83 file photo [13811]


ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Primary RoleFighter
Maiden Flight18 November 1944


ww2dbaseDesigned by Mitsubishi's Tomio Kubo, the Ki-83 long range heavy fighter was the result of a 1943 request by the Japanese military. The first of four prototype aircraft took flight in late 1944 with great promise, but by the time the design was ready to enter production, the war was over. Because the Americans had not learned of this aircraft, no codename was given.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Dec 2011

Ki-83 Timeline

18 Nov 1944 The Ki-83 heavy fighter took its first flight.


MachineryTwo Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru (Ha-43) 18-cyl air-cooled radial engines rated at 2,070hp each
Armament2x30mm cannon, 2x20mm cannon
Span15.50 m
Length12.50 m
Height4.60 m
Wing Area33.50 m²
Weight, Empty5,980 kg
Weight, Loaded8,795 kg
Weight, Maximum9,430 kg
Speed, Maximum705 km/h
Speed, Cruising450 km/h
Service Ceiling12,600 m
Range, Normal1,953 km


Captured Japanese Ki-83 aircraft with American markings at rest, date unknownCaptured Japanese Ki-83 aircraft with American markings in flight, date unknown

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Thomas says:
18 Nov 2014 12:15:24 PM

This is very interesting. Never heard of this plane.
2. Ron says:
10 May 2016 04:16:26 PM

Too bad for Japan, this fighter wasn't given the priority it deserved.

What other Japanese fighter could climb to 10km in 10 minutes, or go faster than this one? Nevermind that this is a 2 seater with twin engines! Wow!
Not only that, but it was so agile while packing massive firepower and good crew protection.

It compared favorably with the USN Tigercat, if not besting it in most every way. Quite a potential contender as an interceptor.
The B-29s dodged the bullet. The IJA gave priority to the immature, short-endurance rocket instead. Of course this would not enter the ring either.

3. Ron says:
20 Aug 2016 10:21:52 PM

In a US test postwar, the Ki 83 did 474 mph in level flight!
In the Japanese test in late 1944, it only did 438 mph but still out-climbs the F8F Bearcat to 10km in 10 minutes vs 10,1 minutes! This is a twin engine Japanese fighter vs the single engine bearcat, and with inferior fuel. The F8F was the US climbing champ!

What does it take to get high priority in late-war Japan? 7,000 A6M5-7 Zeros were being produced in the last half of the war after they were obsolete! Had the Navy brass acted more like the Army brass, Mitsubishi resources may have been better utilized.
What could intercept a B-29 better than a Ki 83, an A6M5 Zero? Not hardly!

The Ki 83 had automatic combat flaps and could loop in under 31 seconds!
It had laminar flow wings and a reliable high altitude engine for a total of 4500 hp!
It's cannons were the fastest in WW 2.
The 20mm Ho-5 rate was 850 rpm; the 30mm Ho-155-II was up to 600 rpm! Firing range was 900m!
Unlike most A6M5s, the Ki 83 had pilot armor protection.
Endurance was enough to reach B-29 bases and take the fight right to them all the way home.

What other fighter in the world could match all that in 1944?
What if that 7,000 A6M5-7s was say, 3,000 Ki 83s instead?
The B-29 dodged the bullet, compliments of the inept IJNAF brass!
Just my opinion.
4. Anonymous says:
5 Apr 2017 11:39:44 AM

The 37mm Ho-204 cannon had stand-off firing range and fastest RoF for a 37mm. It just needed a twin engine fighter with high speed to avoid escorts. Nothing compared to the Ki 83. If this combo had occurred in 1944 the B-29s would be in real trouble. Even with the more reliable non turbo MK9A engines, no other Japanese interceptor would compare.

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Captured Japanese Ki-83 aircraft with American markings at rest, date unknown
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