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Ki-100-II - The last of the Ki-61 family
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In the Second World War, air-cooled radial engines were the most widely used in Japanese aviation. They were what engine builders designed and what aircraft designers built airplanes for. But even this rule has an exception: the Kawasaki company designed fighters for their very own inline liquid-cooled engines.​


At the end of 1939, Kawasaki purchased a license to produce one of the best aircraft engines of the age, the Daimler-Benz 601, which was used on the Bf 109E and MC.202 Folgore, providing them with excellent flight characteristics. A group of designers led by Takeo Doi designed the Ki-61 for the new engine, which outwardly resembled the Bf 109 and MC.202, but was nonetheless an original project in its own right. With the same engine power, the Ki-61 was faster than the much-lauded Emil, and all kinds of armament could be installed on its wing: from 7 mm machine guns to 30 mm cannons.



All the same, the Ki-61’s fate ended in tragedy. By 1942, its engine had already become outdated, and in terms of reliability, the Japanese version was inferior to the German. The situation worsened with difficult weather conditions and the qualification of service personnel in the army air force, and in 1945, the engine construction factory was almost completely destroyed as a result of a bombing attack, putting a stop to Ki-61 manufacturing. All this led to the creation of the Ki-100 fighter based on the Ki-61, with its engine replaced by a radial air-cooled engine. However, as a result of this, the Ki-100’s maximum speed was reduced in comparison to that of the Ki-61-II. On the other hand, its maneuverability, rate of climb, reliability and survivability all increased.


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Based on the series-produced Ki-100-Ib, by August 1945 three Ki-100-IIs were built with turbochargers and a methanol injection system for WEP. These were the most modern aircraft of their type, capable of intercepting enemy bombers at a great altitude. Because of the end of the war, these planes did not go into large-scale series production.



In War Thunder, the Ki-100 fighter is worthy of any player. Statistically, in its battle rating the Ki-100 is the most successful fighter in terms of battle losses to enemies downed. There is a number of reasons for that. The Ki-100 is well armed and easy to accurately fire from: it has two cannons mounted in the fuselage with more than enough ammo. Its radial engine not only has increased survivability thanks to its air-cooling system, but also more effectively covers the pilot from the front thanks to its increased size in comparison with inline engines.




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