The Nakajima Ki-8 Experimental Two-Seat Fighter was a single-engine two-seat fighter produced as a private venture in the hope that the Japanese army would be interested.
Similar two-seat single-engined fighters were tested in a number of countries in the early 1930s and some, such as the British Hawker Demon, entered service. The Japanese navy also investigated the concept, while the British Fleet Air Arm insisted on two-seat fighters for many years in the believe that a single pilot wouldn't be able to navigate safely at sea.
In 1934 Nakajima developed the Ki-8 in the hope that the Japanese army would be interested. They produced a inverted-gull wing aircraft with a fixed undercarriage and streamlined wheel spats. The fuselage was a metal monocoque while the wings had a metal structure, metal skin at the front and fabric covering at the rear. It was powered by a Kotobuki 3 engine in a close fitting cowl. The pilot's cockpit was semi-enclosed with a rearward sliding canopy.
Five prototypes were built between March 1934 and May 1935 and were extensively tested by the Japanese army. The five prototypes suffered a series of minor accidents during these tests, which required constant repairs. The overall performance was as good as that of the Nakajima Type 91 Fighter, but the Army had no real interest in a two-seat single-engined fighter and the Ki-8 wasn't ordered into production.
Engine: Nakajima Kotobuki 3 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Span: 42ft 3in
Length: 26ft 9.25in
Height: 11ft 8.25in
Empty weight: 3,362lb
Maximum take-off weight: 4,654lb
Max speed: 204mph at 13,123ft
Climb Rate: 5 minutes to 9,843ft
Service ceiling: 28,740ft
Armament: Two fixed forward firing 7.7mm machine guns, one flexibly mounted 7.7mm gun