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Possible Japanese premium heavy fighters: Mitsubishi Ki-46 & Nakajima J1N1 Gekko


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Wolcott #1 Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:59 AM

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Mitsubishi Ki-46 III Otsu

Modification of the reconnaissance aircraft into a high-altitude interceptor. A total of 1,742 examples of all versions were built.

 

The Ki-46 was developed as a high-altitude, high-speed reconnaissance aircraft. It proved very successful and was used throughout the Pacific War by the Japanese. Shortly before China-based B-29s initiated daylight raids over Japan, it became obvious to the Japanese that an urgent development of an interceptor fighter with good performances at high altitude was necessary. In June 1943, the Army Aeronautical Research Institute studied the possibility of adapting the Ki-46, which was one of the few operational aircraft in the IJAAF to have the required altitude performance for this task. In May 1944, the project was approved and urgently carried out. To mount two 20 mm cannons in the nose, the forward fuselage fuel tank was replaced and the nose canopy was modified to a "stepped" nose housing. The aircraft with these modifications were called Army Type 100 Air Defence Fighter "Otsu" type.

 

Further, in July 1944, the Army ordered the addition of a 37 mm dorsal cannon to fire forward and upward at an angle of 70°. These aircraft were designated "Otsu + Hei". Lack of armour and self-sealing fuel tanks made it extremely vulnerable to the B-29's defensive armament, while faster Allied aircraft like the P-38 Lightning further reduced its effectiveness. Nonetheless, the Ki-46 continued to intercept American bomber formations in defense of the Japanese mainland until the end of the war.

 

Engine Airframe Cowling-mounted weapon Outboard weapon
2 x Mitsubishi Ha-112-II Ki-46 III 2 x 20 mm Ho-5 cannons No weapons
      2 x 50 kg bomb

 

Airframe

Japanese Army aircraft seen during the latter part of the Pacific War had dark green upper surfaces and light gray undersurfaces. However, the Ki-46 III had different uppersurface colours according to units. Aircraft belonging to the 17th Dokuritsu Hikotai had red earth uppersurface (see top image).

 

Cowling-mounted weapon

The Ho-5 cannon was a Japanese version of the American M2 Browning machine gun.

 

Outboard weapon

Historically, the 50 kg bombs were anti-aircraft phosphorus/cluster bombs designed to be released above bomber formations. They are mounted under the wings beside the fuselage.


Edited by Wolcott, 18 February 2014 - 05:34 PM.

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Wolcott #2 Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:59 AM

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Nakajima J1N1 Gekko

Developed to meet navy requirements for a long-range escort fighter. The J1N1 began trials in May 1941, but lost out to the Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero. It entered service in the reconnaissance role instead. Two prototypes were built. Subsequent variants were converted into night fighters, but all forward guns were removed in favour of oblique-firing cannons.

 

In 1938, the Imperial Japanese Navy issued specifications to both Mitsubishi and Nakajima for a three-seat, twin-engined escort fighter. The Nakajima design, called the J1N1, most readily met the navy's requirements and a prototype was flight-tested in May 1941. In the two years since the navy's original demand, Mitsubishi had developed and placed into service the A6M2 Zero which was superior in every aspect. Nakajima nonetheless went ahead with the J1N1, but it failed to meet any requirements in the 1938 specifications. Due to poor fighting performance and maneuverability, it was rejected as an escort fighter and redesigned as a land-based reconnaissance aircraft (J1N1-R).

 

The need to counter American night bombing raids in the Southwest Pacific led to its conversion into a night fighter. In May 1943, two J1N1-R with oblique guns fitted in the upper and under fuselage successfully downed two B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 43d Bombardment Group over Rabaul, New Britain. With word of this success, the navy quickly instituted a program to fit other J1N1-R with twin-mounted 20 mm guns angled 30 degrees in the upper and under fuselage, giving birth to the night fighter J1N1-S Gekko (moonlight).

 

The Gekko was successful against B-17 and B-24 bombers. But lack of good radar and insufficient high-altitude performance proved to be major weaknesses when the B-29 Superfortress appeared. Gekkos were expended as kamikaze aircraft in the final months of the war.

 

Engine Airframe Rear gun Cowling-mounted weapon Cowling-mounted weapon
2 x Nakajima/Sakae 21/22 J1N1 7.7 mm Type 97 2 x 7.7 mm Type 97 20 mm Type 99

 

Engine

The J1N1 was powered by two 1,130 hp engines.

 

Airframe

The first two profiles in the left image are the prototypes.

 

Reconnaissance version, after all nose guns had been removed.

 

Rear gun

Historically, the J1N1 had three crewmen and two remotely-operated turrets mounting four machine guns (see above image). I don't think this may be possible in WoWP, not even oblique guns, so I included only one rear gun in the proposed modules.

 

As a final note, I think this aircraft could also be viable as a premium fighter, considering it competed against the A6M2 Zero for long-range escort fighter. It could offer an interesting style of play different from the current Japanese fighter line. Fingers crossed and thanks for looking. =)

 

My other suggestions:

Bristol Blenheim ground attack variant

Rebalancing the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk

Potential German ground attack aircraft: Fw 190F

Possible premiums (captured/modified)


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Demon93IT #3 Posted 17 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

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As far as i know there weren't many heavy fighters except these two(maybe i'm wrong because i'm not 100% sure). Personally i would like to see them ingame, probably without the oblique firing weapons for a simple reason: aiming with them would be painful(to say the least) if the target is not a heavy bomber.

 

They could add other planes and make a branch, although i'm not so sure if there's enough material. As possible candidates there are the Ki-45, the Ki-96 and the Ki-102. Due to their speed(maximum reached was 600 km/h) they could be tier V and VI material. Then there are the Kikka and the later developed Ki-201 which could be implemented as tier VIII and IX heavy fighters. Sadly i don't know any plausible plane able to fill the missing tiers(II, III, IV, VII, X). I hope there's something out there because they would be very interesting to play with



Zigfreid #4 Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:11 AM

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Thanks for sharing this with us would love to see it in the game o7

 



J311yfish #5 Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:32 AM

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Very interesting, thank you.

 

I was watching Tora Tora Tora (1970), a movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and observed these Japanese aircraft alongside the A6M2's:

 

http://i.imgur.com/eeTewuG.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/MpYF857.jpg

 

I think it is the Nakajima B5N.  Though it is not large like the other heavy fighters currently in the game, perhaps the fact that it has a rear gunner may qualify it as such, or warrant a new category.


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Demon93IT #6 Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:59 AM

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View PostJ311yfish, on 17 February 2014 - 10:32 AM, said:

Very interesting, thank you.

 

I was watching Tora Tora Tora (1970), a movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and observed these Japanese aircraft alongside the A6M2's:

 

http://i.imgur.com/eeTewuG.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/MpYF857.jpg

 

I think it is the Nakajima B5N.  Though it is not large like the other heavy fighters currently in the game, perhaps the fact that it has a rear gunner may qualify it as such, or warrant a new category.


Yeah it is. In any case the B5N(and the later developed B6N) are torpedo bombers, usually unarmed(as fixed foward firing armament is concerned). They won't fit ingame because they would rely exclusively on their payload(usually a single 800 kg bomb) and, after dropping it, it's over. Even the armed version is lightly armed(1x7.7 mm usually, as the Swordfish for example) so it would be again useless as GAA. Not because they were bad planes, not at all, the GAA role isn't theirs



Wolcott #7 Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:09 AM

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View PostDemon93IT, on 17 February 2014 - 04:45 PM, said:

As far as i know there weren't many heavy fighters except these two(maybe i'm wrong because i'm not 100% sure). Personally i would like to see them ingame, probably without the oblique firing weapons for a simple reason: aiming with them would be painful(to say the least) if the target is not a heavy bomber.

 

They could add other planes and make a branch, although i'm not so sure if there's enough material. As possible candidates there are the Ki-45, the Ki-96 and the Ki-102. Due to their speed(maximum reached was 600 km/h) they could be tier V and VI material. Then there are the Kikka and the later developed Ki-201 which could be implemented as tier VIII and IX heavy fighters. Sadly i don't know any plausible plane able to fill the missing tiers(II, III, IV, VII, X). I hope there's something out there because they would be very interesting to play with

 

Well, hopefully this suggestion can give the developers a few ideas for the Japanese HF line. Still I can't see either aircraft making it into the line anyway other than as premiums. The Ki-46 has only two cannons, and the Gekko three (two of which are LMGs). Hardly fearsome compared to the Bf 110 and Blenheim.


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Demon93IT #8 Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:27 AM

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View PostWolcott, on 17 February 2014 - 11:09 AM, said:

 

Well, hopefully this suggestion can give the developers a few ideas for the Japanese HF line. Still I can't see either aircraft making it into the line anyway other than as premiums. The Ki-46 has only two cannons, and the Gekko three (two of which are LMGs). Hardly fearsome compared to the Bf 110 and Blenheim.


True and in fact i agree with you, they are lightly armed and they don't pose a real threat, especially since there are the Ki-45, 96 and 102 with similar characteristics but much heavier armament. We shall wait and see, especially because i think that they aren't giving any priority to the Japanese tree(at least for now)



Darcel_Jones #9 Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:37 PM

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ohhh,Daddy likes.

Commander_Rasseru #10 Posted 25 February 2014 - 08:26 PM

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I'm not sure how many planes are there in heavy, attack, and bombers....? From what I saw on wiki. Each class has like 6 to 10 more aircraft listed. 
I would like to see another tier branch that is related to ground attacks. Than just British, Germans and Russians having all the fun.

Even if it is a mixture tier of any type of those aircraft.




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