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Ki-84 Ko, the Japanese Tempest
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The Ko variant of the Ki-84 is armed with two fuselage-mounted Ho-103 12.7 mm calibre (0.5‘‘) machine guns and two wing-mounted Ho-5 20 mm (0.79‘‘) cannons. The ammunition supply is 700 rounds (350 rounds per gun) for the machine guns, and 300 rounds (150 rounds per gun) for the cannons. Additionally, you can unlock two different underwing bomb shackles for fighter-bomber duties; 9-inch Mod. 23 shackles enables you to carry two 50 kg (110 lb) bombs, while larger 12-inch Mod 27 shackles will alow you to carry two 250 kg (500 lb) bombs.

Performance wise, the Ki-84 ko‘s top speed (measured in true air speed or TAS) at the altitude of 5000 meters (16 404 ft) is 636 kph TAS (395.2 mph), or 651 kph TAS (404.5 mph) with WEP. On the sea level, the top speed is then 520 kph TAS (323.1 mph) or 539 kph TAS (334.9 mph) with WEP. The plane climbs to the altitude of 5000 meters (16 404 feet) in 4 minutes, 5 seconds with WEP, giving it the rate of climb of 20.4 meters per second (273.4 feet per minute). On the sea level, top speed is 520 kph true air speed. The full horizontal circle is completed in 18 seconds at speed of 400 kph (248.6 mph) TAS and altitude of 2000 meters (6562 feet). Full vertical circle at the same speed and altitude is then completed in 22 seconds. The break-up speed is 830 kph (515.7 mph).

Simply said, the Hayate is sione of the best single-engined fighters on given BR. It features great horizontal and vertical maneuverability (a hallmark of most of the Japanese planes in WT), but it combines these with excellent climb rate, acceleration and speed and thus is a huge improvement over extremely agile, but rather slow fighters like Ki-43 or A6M. The Hayate is able to outclimb most of its opposition and is thus able to hold initial altitude advantage. Unusually for a Japanese fighter, Hayate also possesses good dive characteristics – it can handle speeds well over 750 kph (466 mph), with ailerons being still pleasantly responsive in such speed, so you can easily follow enemy players trying to dive away from you or make boom-and-zoom passes against targets below you, allowing you to play the Hayate as boom-and-zoom fighter. On the other side, The elevators  stiff up in high speeds, so following enemy evasive maneuvers is rather difficult. But that does not mean the Hayate is not suited to low-speed turning contests!

Actually, the Hayate can horizontally and vertically outturn absolute most of its opposition, especially at low altitude. With proper use of combat flaps, it can turn even with the Spitfire fighter famous for its agility. This agility is also priceless when evading enemy boom-and-zoom passes. You can swiftly evade the attack, turn around and due to great acceleration and climb rate, you can quickly turn the tables. The armament is sufficient for given BR and 150 cannon rounds per gun is rather generous ammunition supply, allowing you to be more trigger-happy. Twin 12.7 mm (0.5‘‘) are then welcomed back-up weapons, allowing you to stay competitive even after your cannon ammunition runs out.

The major weakness of the Hayate is however sharp performance drop at high altitudes. When trying to climb to an altitude over 5000 meters (16 404 feet), the Hayate will suddenly lose most of its engine power, forcing you to level the plane and preventing you of any further climbing. While high-altitude combat is rather rare in War Thunder, a clever enemy with a right plane (such as British Spitfire LF.Mk.IX or American P-47M) can exploit this weakness by climbing away from you to the said altitude and running away from you. When being pursuited by the Hayate, it’s thus preferrable to lure it into high altitudes and gain enough separation before attempting to force the Hayate into defensive

Fast, agile and with great climbrate, the Ki-84 ko Hayate can be a deadly dogfighter when used right. If you then wish to stick with the Ki-84 line, you can research two additional variants of the Hayate – Ki-84 otsu, featuring four 20 mm (0.79‘‘) cannons, or heavily armed Ki-84 hei, carrying two 20 mm and two 30 mm (1.18‘‘) cannons.

Author: Jan “RayPall” Kozák

Read more about the Ki-84 Ko on the War Thunder forums and share your experience with other pilots!

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