Author Topic: The Nakajima Ki-87  (Read 263 times)

Offline Rickshaw

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The Nakajima Ki-87
« on: April 08, 2021, 07:01:16 PM »
The Nakajima Ki-87

The Heinkel He 119 was an experimental single-propeller monoplane with two coupled engines, developed in Germany. A private venture by Heinkel to test radical ideas by the GŁnter brothers, the He 119 was originally intended to act as an unarmed reconnaissance bomber capable of eluding all fighters due to its high performance.

Developed to utilise the combine engine of the Daimler-Benz DB601 engines mounted above the wing centre-section within the fuselage, mounted together within a common mount (the starboard component engine having a "mirror-image" centrifugal supercharger) with a common gear reduction unit fitted to the front ends of each component engine, forming a drive unit known as the DB606, the first German aircraft to use the "high-power" powerplant system. meant to provide German aircraft with an aviation powerplant design of over-1,500 kW (2,000 PS) output capability, but weighing 1.5 tonnes apiece.

The aircraft featured a revolutionary evaporative cooling system as well, with radiators under the skin of the wing, cooled by the normal airflow.  However, this really wasnít sufficient as was found with the V1 prototype, so a retractable radiator of conventional form was added under the fuselage.

Heinkel developed the aircraft but the Reichs Luftministen had no interest in.  Heinkel developed several record breaking versions of the aircraft both as land and float plane based versions.  However, they failed to achieve their records.

Japan however was interested in acquiring new technology and purchased two versions of the He119, the V7 and the V8 in    1940.   The Imperial Japanese Army gave them to the Nakajima combine with instructions to study them and develop their own versions.  Nakajima already had licence rights to produce the DB601 engine so the DB606 was quite within their reach.  What the Imperial Japanese Army didnít like that much was the evaporative cooling system but accepted that was what made the He119 a world beater when combined with itís power plant.  They also didnít like that the aircraft was unarmed and insisted a tail turret be incorporated in itís design.   The result was the Nakajima Ki-87, a medium sized reconnaissance bomber able to match the performance of the Imperial Japanese Navyís Mitsubishi Ki-46.

Problems became however apparent when the aircraft was introduced into limited service in late 1941.  In theory it could fly higher, faster than most Allied fighters at that point in the war.  The engines however were unreliable and rarely managed to produce their rated power.  The turret was so cramped that only the smallest airman could be accommodated.  The evaporative cooling system actually proved relatively simple and troublefree.   The aircraft only saw limited service as a consequence and failed to achieve any successes against the enemy.









The Kit

The kit is the Valom He119.  The turret is actually intended for the He177a5.  The paint is by Vallejo and rattlecan.  The markings are from the sparesbox.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Nakajima Ki-87
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 02:43:25 AM »
Different.  Maybe they could have made it less tail heavy and just give it a stinger tail?
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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Nakajima Ki-87
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2021, 07:28:41 AM »
Fascinating design and history.  :smiley:
"Maybe they could have made it less tail heavy and just give it a stinger tail."  Less weight and less drag = more speed/altitude.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Nakajima Ki-87
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 01:07:20 AM »
Fascinating design and history.  :smiley:
"Maybe they could have made it less tail heavy and just give it a stinger tail."  Less weight and less drag = more speed/altitude.


Exactly - maybe something like the Ki-21:





Of even the He111:

« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 02:45:05 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.