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Nakajima Ki-43-I - Tennōheika Banzai!

Ki-43-I Review Guide TbM Replay

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MagusGerhardt #1 Posted 30 September 2016 - 09:58 PM

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Continuing my review of the new Imperial Japanese Army fighters our next stop is the Nakajima Ki-43-I, the successor of the Ki-27.  Called "Hayabusa" by the Japanese and "Oscar" by the Allied forces it was one of the most numerous fighters in the Pacific theatre of World War II.  The Hayabusa was renowned for her unmatched maneuverability and handling in a dogfight; there was nothing in the rest of the Japanese arsenal that could match her.  Defeating the aircraft required that Allied pilots not play into her game of the turnfight, Claire Chennault of the AVG Flying Tigers and other American pilots devised such tactics that played to the strengths of their own aircraft and minimized the advantages held by the Oscars, depending upon their aircraft's greater speed, heavier weapons and more robust construction in order to drive back the hordes of Hayabusas.

 

The Hayabusa's greatest failing, aside from her flimsy construction, was her light armament.  This was eventually addressed by replacing her twin 50 cal MGs with a pair of 20mm cannons, but the results were not good enough to enable the aircraft to counter massive bomber fleets, which Japan faced as their fortunes in the Pacific were reversed.  The Hayabusa remained one of the best dogfighters in the Pacific until the end of the war, but the Japanese Army was forced to move on from the design in pursuit of aircraft that could fly higher, faster and carry weapons capable of shooting down bombers while still maintaining a maneuvering advantage over the Americans.  As demonstrated by the long list of design failures from the middle to the end of the war, Japan was not prepared to produce such an aircraft in appreciable numbers.

 

In Warplanes the Hayabusa does not suffer from these historical problems; there are no bombers to shoot down and the weapons she carries are more than enough to handle any fighter that gets in front of her.  Consider the aircraft extremely dangerous if you are flying solo; she is light and has a good amount of boost resulting in a limited ability to fight in the vertical superior to that of the Mitsubishi A6M1 Zero.  Her accurate cannons mean that this limited ability will be more than enough to take out a single fighter attempting to shake her off in this manner.  I would recommend not engaging one of these unless they are already occupied with someone else or you have a wingman to shoot them off your tail when they latch on like a screaming lamprey.  These differences aside, treat the aircraft like a more dangerous Zero in all circumstances; if the pilot is good even Attack aircraft will get killed by her.

 

Good hunting!  :honoring:


 

 

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Claudio67 #2 Posted 01 October 2016 - 12:20 AM

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There is any difference with the Chinese Hayabusa (the premium plane that has been here for a while)?

MagusGerhardt #3 Posted 01 October 2016 - 01:21 AM

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View PostClaudio67, on 30 September 2016 - 05:20 PM, said:

There is any difference with the Chinese Hayabusa (the premium plane that has been here for a while)?

 

Japanese Hayabusa has much more firepower and is slightly less maneuverable.

 

 

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787


BrushWolf #4 Posted 01 October 2016 - 05:49 PM

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Nice video but a minor correction. The Nakajima Ki-43 was designed for naval operations. The IJN had asked for designs and the Mitsibishi A6M was chosen over the Ki-43 mainly because the Zero had a cannon. The IJA liked the design though and ordered it for themselves.

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MagusGerhardt #5 Posted 02 October 2016 - 12:30 AM

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View PostBrushWolf, on 01 October 2016 - 10:49 AM, said:

Nice video but a minor correction. The Nakajima Ki-43 was designed for naval operations. The IJN had asked for designs and the Mitsibishi A6M was chosen over the Ki-43 mainly because the Zero had a cannon. The IJA liked the design though and ordered it for themselves.

 

Ah, but the production version of the Hayabusa didn't have the naval operations gear included, making them actually faster and more agile than the prototype Ki-43s that had been tested and rejected by the IJN.  :great:

 

 

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BrushWolf #6 Posted 02 October 2016 - 01:31 AM

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View PostMagusGerhardt, on 01 October 2016 - 07:30 PM, said:

 

Ah, but the production version of the Hayabusa didn't have the naval operations gear included, making them actually faster and more agile than the prototype Ki-43s that had been tested and rejected by the IJN.  :great:

 

Good point but the lack of cannons were another and I think bigger factor in the better performance.

 


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“The church is near but the road is icy, the tavern is far away but I will walk carefully”

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