Mitsubishi Ki-83

The Mitsubishi Ki-83 was a long-range escort fighter in the same class as the Grumman F7F Tigercat or de Havilland Hornet, but that never progressed beyond the prototype stage.

The Ki-83 was designed by Tomio Kubo in response to an Army specification for a long range escort fighter issued in May 1943. His first attempt to satisfy this specification, the single engined Ki-73, was abandoned after the failure of its engine. He then produced the twin-engined Ki-83, powered by two Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru turbo-supercharged air-cooled radial engines, and with a very sleek streamlined fuselage. It was armed with two 30mm Ho-105 and two 20mm Ho-5 cannon mounted in the nose and could carry two 110lb bombs internally.

The prototype made its maiden flight on 18 November 1944. Tests revealed that it had a impressive top speed and was very manoeuvrable for a twin-engined aircraft of its size, but it did suffer from engine and tail vibration. Three further prototypes were built with new engine mountings and stronger tails.

Despite its impressive performance, in the circumstances of late 1944 the Ki-83 was not a high priority and it never entered production. Two further versions were under development at the end of the war - the Ki-103 advanced fighter and the Ki-95 command reconnaissance plane. Neither progressed beyond the design stage.

Engine: Two Mitsubishi Ha.211 18-cylinder radials
Power: 2,070hp each at 3,280ft, 1,720hp at 31,170ft
Crew: 2
Wing span: 50ft 10in
Length: 41ft
Height: 15ft 1in
Loaded Weight: 20,790lb
Max Speed: 438mph at 28,530ft
Cruising Speed: 280mph at 13,125ft
Service Ceiling: 41,535ft
Range: 2,175 miles
Armament: Two 20mm and two 30mm fixed forward firing cannon, two 110lb bombs.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 March 2010), Mitsubishi Ki-83,

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