Type 1 Fighter Hayabusa Model II
|Coastal Defense Ship||Destroyer|
|Light Cruiser||Torpedo Cruiser|
|Heavy Cruiser||Training Cruiser|
|Aviation Cruiser||Fast Battleship|
|Light Carrier||Standard Aircraft Carrier|
|Armored Carrier||Seaplane Tender|
|Submarine||Aircraft Carrying Submarine|
|Submarine Tender||Fleet Oiler|
|Repair Ship||Amphibious Assault Ship|
The most mass-produced main fighter aircraft for the Army, the Type 1 fighter "Hayabusa"; this is the improved Model II.
Despite its airframe looking similar to the Navy's Type 0 Fighter, being bulletproof was kept in mind for this aircraft. It continued to fight wildly until the end of the battle on each front, despite being old-fashioned.
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An improved version of the Type 1 Fighter Hayabusa Mark I series, the Mark II series was fitted with a Nakajima Ha-115 engine, shorter and stronger wings equipped with racks for two 200 L drop tanks or two 250 kg bombs, the canopy's height was slightly increased, a reflex sight was added, two 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine guns were installed. Due to complaints by pilots, armor plating for the pilot's head and back, and rubber-coated self-sealing fuel tanks were added, the latter being replaced by 3-layer rubber bladder, 8mm core with 2mm oil-proof lamination. Other improvements included the addition of radio equipment. Although the Mark I series dominated the early part of the war, by the time the Mark II series entered production, it was already outclassed by newer Allied aircraft. Despite this, its easy to fly controls and nimbleness allowed it to be the IJA's most successful and common plane throughout the war.
- Allied engineers were able to rebuild a complete Mark II fighter out of wrecked planes, which was then test flown by Allied pilots. They too liked the Hayabusa's easy handling, extreme maneuverability, turning and low speed handling. Learning from this, pilots were advised to avoid combat with the Hayabusa at low speeds.
- The Allied reporting name was "Oscar" but it was often called the "Army Zero" by American pilots. This was due to the close resemblance to the IJN's Zero Fighter.
- Allied aviators frequently mistakenly reported having fought "Zeros" in areas where there were no Navy fighters.
- The Nakajima Ki-43 is notable for being the only successful fighter aircraft with a truly forward-swept wing, although the forward sweep of its leading edge is nearly unnoticeable.
- Other forward-swept wing aircraft of the time included the Belyayev DB-LK, Junkers Ju 287 and forward-swept variants of the P-51 Mustang, the Bell X-1, and the Douglas D-558-1, etc.
- 40 years after the war, the only successful technology demonstrators (regarding military applications) for forward-swept wing aircraft are the American Grumman X-29 and the Russian Sukhoi Su-47.
- The plane's name originates from the last digit of the imperial year 2601 (1941), when it entered service with the Imperial Army, one year after the Zero's debut in the Imperial Navy. Hayabusa means "Peregrine Falcon".
- The 64th Squadron was the first air group to receive the aircraft and one of two to fly it.
- Nakajima Ki-43 - Wikipedia
- 一式戦闘機 - Wikipedia (Japanese link)
- Ki-43 Hayabusa designs, pictures and history
- Additional Ki-43 reading material