Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi

A picture of the Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi

In August 1944, the leadership of the Japanese military made the decision to begin organized aerial suicide attacks against Allied naval forces.  Most of these attacks would be made using normal combat aircraft but the Japanese leaders realized that there were not nearly enough aircraft to fend off the Allies.  The Ki-115 Tsurugi, which translates as sword or saber, was the Army’s answer to that problem.  It was designed to be easy for relatively unskilled workers to build and to use a minimum of strategic materials.  Much of the structure was made of wood, and the fuselage skin is thin steel.  To save weight and eliminate the need for retractable landing gear the entire landing gear structure was dropped from the aircraft after take-off.  Several different engines could be fitted depending on what was available.  However, the Nakajima Ha-35 engine was the only one actually used.  During testing the aircraft proved to be very difficult to fly, especially for the all but untrained pilots who were supposed to take it into combat.  Over 100 aircraft were built between May and August 1945 but none were used operationally. 

Wingspan

28 ft 2 in.

Length

28 ft

Height

10 ft 10 in.

Weight

5,688 pounds (loaded)

Maximum Speed

342 MPH

Service Ceiling

21,325 feet

Range

746 miles

Engine

One Nakajima Ha-35 radial with 1,130 horsepower

Crew

1

Manufacturer
Nakajima

Markings
Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, 1945

Designation
Ki-115

Serial Number
1002

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