Ki-43-II Hayabusa fighter at rest, circa 1942

Caption   Ki-43-II Hayabusa fighter at rest, circa 1942 ww2dbase
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Ki-43 Hayabusa   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 23 Jun 2008



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
28 Mar 2009 10:58:12 AM

The Ki-43 (Oscar) was not only used by the Japanese Army Air Force, but by satellite air force's as well such as Manchukuo and Thailand. At the end of WWII the Japanese left over 1,000 different types of aircraft in South-East Asia. Also an unreported number were left in China, Manchuria/Manchukuo, Korea and other areas outside Japan. Many of these aircraft were fighters, trainers and bombers in various conditions, that were unserviceable for lack of parts. Many of the fighters were Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar's. Other Nations that used captured Japanese aircraft at the end of WWII were: Both the Communists and Nationalist Chinese, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and the French.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
26 Dec 2009 10:50:31 PM

The Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Operated In:
China, Korea, Burma, Indo-China, The Malay Peninsula, New Guinea, Phillippines, South Pacific Is.and Japan.
Like the Imperial Navy, pilot training was very selective many pilots had over 500 hrs.
training and 50% had combat experience in
China and against the Russians in 1939.
When war started the Imperial Army lost many of its highly-trained pilots and aircrew. The replacements lacked fuel for training
and veteran pilot instructors, to pass on
their experience.
Like the Navy, the pilots were Commissioned
Officers as: Captains, Lieutenants, Majors
w/ Enlisted NCO Pilots, Sergeants, Master Sergeants and Corporals.
In 1940 IJAAF strength was about 33,000 men and 1,500 aircraft of all types.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Dec 2009 10:32:49 PM

Did You Know...

During World War II the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force operated their own aircraft carriers, this was due to poor relations
with the Imperial Navy.
The Army carriers provided escort for army
shipping convoys. The ships were converted
passenger and merchant ships, able to carry
between (8) to (38) aircraft.
Ships were operated by civilian crews, with
army personnel manning the aircraft and the anti-aircraft guns.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
26 Apr 2010 04:23:03 PM

Japanese Army pilot training was somewhat less demanding than the Navy However, a
complete training course took two(2)years
and pilots graduated with 300 hrs. flying
time.
Basic flight training started in the
Tachikawa Ki-17 "Ceder" biplane, moving to
the medium trainer, Tachikawa Ki-9 "Spruce".
Final operational flight training was in the
Tachikawa Ki-55 "Ida". Pilots were assigned
to a flight training unit for six(6)months,
than assignment to a fighter squadron, with
continued training for another three(3)months
before assigned combat.
Both the Japanese Army and the Navy shared
emphasis on "Dogfighting".
Like the Navy, the Army did not rotate their
pilots, and very few veteran pilots were
assigned to training schools, to pass on the
combat experience gained.
The Japanese Army and Navy training system
was suitable for a quick or limited war when Japan attacked,they held nothing back, there
was no reserve of additional skilled pilots.
Though Japanese pilots continued superb
combat skill up to the end of 1942 However,
by mid-1943 there was a drop in pilot skill.
And by 1944 Japan's supply of experienced
pilots was so short,that flight instructors
were assigned combat.
When war broke out,in Dec.1941, the average
Japanese pilot had 700 hrs. flying time, the
Army pilots had 500 hrs. flying time, this
dropped by 1944/45 to 275 hrs. in the Navy, and 130 hrs. in the Army.
Japan could never match the pilot training of
the United States. During WWII the U.S. had over 500,000 men who had the necessary
aptitude to become pilots, after eligibility
requirements this was cut down to 194,000
pilot trainees.Japan graduated 46,000 pilots.

5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 Apr 2010 08:21:23 AM

Japanese Army flying units, or Sentai had
between 30 to 40 aircraft, and were equal to
a US Group, but with half the aircraft.
Commanded by a Major or Lt. Colonel who also
was a pilot.
The Sentai in turn was divided into three
Chutai or squadrons, commanded by a Captain.
At the start of the Pacific War,the Japanese Army Air Force had about 1,500 aircraft of all types.
Some aircraft were stationed in Japan,others
in Manchuria,China,Indo-China and throughout
the Pacific area, were the Japanese fought.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
24 May 2010 02:12:24 PM

Japan built on average 642 aircraft of all types during the first 9 months of the Pacific war.
Production reached a peak of 2,572 aircraft
by 1944. Japanese Army and Navy losses to all
causes both combat and non-combat were about
500 per-month early in the war, to over 2,000
by 1944.
Over 50,000 aircraft were built,40% were to
combat losses and 60% were training ferrying
and other non-combat losses.
Flying personnel increased from 12,000 in
1941 to over 35,000 by 1945.
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
28 Oct 2010 02:26:46 PM

The JAAF, Nakajima Ki-43 'Oscar' had good performance, the designers wanted only the
basics built into the aircraft.

The less equipment it carried,the less weight
made it lighter when it came to dogfighting.
Unlike Western designs, the designers did away with footholds built into the fuselage
The 'Oscar' pilot would climb aboard his
fighter using a 'pilot's pull' a simple cord
made from metal and woven with a leather
covering he just pulled himself up into the
cockpit.
Sure its primitive, but it worked and cutdown
weight no footholds or stirrups.
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 Oct 2010 09:28:55 AM

The 'Oscar' was light and agile with high-
performance, but it wasn't from a powerful engine, but its lightweight airframe.

Like most Japanese combat aircraft, it did have its Achilles heel- lack armor and fuel
tank protection on early models,later models
did have some armor and self-sealing fuel
tanks.

The Oscar was armed w/ 2x7.7mm machine guns
later models carried 1x7.7 and 1x12.7mm MG's
upgraded to 2x12.7 machine guns and even
20mm cannons.
It could be used as a fighter-bomber able to carry 2x250lb bombs under the wings.

A restored Nakajima Ki-43 is on display, at the Museum of Flight Seattle, Washington
9. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
9 Nov 2010 07:19:48 AM

Photograph of Ki-43-IIa Hayabusa/Oscar at rest.
Aircraft number 55, marking on tail is white w/ red trim, assigned to:
1st Company, 25th Regiment, Hankow, China
Summer 1943. Note aircraft is missing its right aileron, or it could be set in the up position, but thats doubtful.

On the ground the control surfaces are set in
neutral position and locked.

Aileron:

Located on the outer-part of the trailing
edge of he wings, control the roll or bank
of the aircraft.
Two ailerons (one on each wing) work in
opposite directions to each other.
The roll/bank of the aircraft is controlled
by the side-to-side movement of the control
stick.
10. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
9 Nov 2010 11:58:57 AM

Over its production life, the Nakajima Ki-43
"Oscar" was armed with different weapons.
The Ki-43Ia carried 2x7.7mm machine guns w/
500rpg.

Ki-43IIb carried a mix of 1x7.7 500 rounds
and 1x12.7mm machine guns w/270 rounds.
Ki-43Ic carried 2x12.7mm machine guns with
270rpg.

Ki-43IIIa carried 2x20mm cannons.

2x500lb bombs drop tanks
optional drop tanks

7.7mm /.30 Caliber
12.7mm /.50 Caliber
11. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 Jan 2011 06:25:43 PM

Information on above photo:

Nakajima Ki-43-IIa of the 25th Sentai, which saw service in China October 20, 1942 to the end of the war. Aircraft number 55, of the 1st Company, 25th Regiment

The 25th Sentai was part of the Chinese occupation force, that was formed later at Kanko, China with Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa as original equipment. This unit later received Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate's the 25th Sentai also operated in Korea.
12. Maarten Hartkamp says:
3 Nov 2012 01:55:28 PM

Dear Bill,
I am interested in Japanese planes who served between 1945 en 1950 for the Indonesian army. Do you know if the Tachikawa Ki-36 (Ida) with the Indonesian registration T-09 excist at that time?
Do you have a picture of the Tachikawa (Ida) with registration T-08 and T-09?
I have one picture of the T-08 myself.
Thanks in advance
Best regards

Maarten Hartkamp
13. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
10 Dec 2012 07:22:33 PM

Hello Maarten:

Thanks for your comment about the Tachikawa
Ki-36/Ki-55 "Ida" The Museum in Indonesia has
a few Japanese aircraft, such as a A6M Zero, Ki-43 Oscar, Ki-51 Sonia a Willow biplane and a Mansyu Ki-79b trainer, I have a list of surviving Japanese aircraft worldwide today, but doesn't list and Ida trainer in the Indonesian Air Force Museum.

The museum has a much modified single-seat aircraft, that dose look like it could be an Ida, but gives no description. And I'm only guessing here, but the tail looks like it could have been an Ida.

At the end of WWII, three Ki-36s or Ki-55s Ida trainers were captured and used against the Dutch. I have a drawing of a Ki-55 Ida
in Indonesian markings with the number 105 on the fuselage and the letters TK, on the tail.
I have a list of Japanese aircraft surviving today worldwide, but doesn't list any Ida's in the Indonesian Air Force Museum.
There are two other Ida's in Museum's,one is in Thailand, and the other is in Chanping, China. This is the information that I have.
14. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 Nov 2015 03:38:04 PM

FINDERS KEEPERS:

After WWII ended the Japanese abandoned many
different types of aircraft, among them were the
Nakajima Ki-43 (Oscar) they were salvaged, rebuilt, tested and put into service with many startup nations in need of an air force throughout Asia.
Survivors were kept in service into the 1950s until finally being replaced by Soviet or Western designs. Among the countries that captured
Japanese aircraft left behind, was North Korea
many were derelict and unserviceable around Pyongyang air field in 1950 as reported by Soviet technicians. If any of these aircraft were ever put into service with North Korea such information is limited.

POST-WAR SERVICE:

Indonesia, Nationalist China, Communist China,
Thailand, South Korea and France operated the Ki-43 in the post war years. When Manchukuo was invaded by Soviet forces in 1945 many aircraft of the former Manchukuo Air Force were captured and turned over to Communist forces.

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