Mitsubishi Ki-46III

Mitsubishi Ki-46III

Første flyturNovember 1939

Bildegalleri av en Mitsubishi Ki-46III, The Mitsubishi Ki-46 was a twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. Its Army Shiki designation was Type 100 Command Reconnaissance Aircraft (一〇〇式司令部偵察機); the Allied nickname was “Dinah”.

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Mitsubishi Ki-46
FotograferAlan C. Kirby, Graham Causer
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The Mitsubishi Ki-46 was a twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. Its Allied reporting name was Dinah. The Ki-46 was designed to meet the Army’s requirement for a fast, high-altitude reconnaissance plane that could evade enemy fighters. The first prototype flew in November 1939 and showed excellent performance, reaching a top speed of 540 km/h (340 mph) at 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The Ki-46 entered service in 1941 and was widely used in various theaters of war, especially in China and Southeast Asia. The Ki-46 had a slender fuselage, a long nose, and a glazed cockpit that offered good visibility for the pilot and the observer. It was armed with one or two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns for self-defense.
The Ki-46 could carry cameras and radio equipment for reconnaissance missions, as well as bombs for light attack duties. The Ki-46 proved to be a reliable and versatile aircraft that could outrun most Allied fighters until late 1943, when newer models such as the P-38 Lightning and the Spitfire Mk VIII appeared. The Ki-46 was then modified with more powerful engines, increased armament, and improved aerodynamics to improve its performance. However, these changes also increased its weight and reduced its range and endurance. The Ki-46 was gradually replaced by newer aircraft such as the Kawasaki Ki-102 and the Nakajima C6N in 1944-1945. The Ki-46 was also used for some special missions, such as transporting high-ranking officers, conducting kamikaze attacks, and testing jet engines. A total of 1,742 Ki-46s were built by Mitsubishi and Tachikawa between 1939 and 1945.

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