RAF Cosford Ki-46III
Photos and text by Alan C. Kirby
Click Photos to Enlarge

The Photographs

The collection at RAF Cosford is special in many respects and a place I always wanted to visit. The Kawasaki Ki-100-Ib and the Mitsubishi Ki-46-III "Dinah" are the only examples of their type in existence and were the focus on my interest. In particular the Dinah is one of the only multi-engine Japanese WWII aircraft anywhere. Coincidentally both aircraft share the same powerplant, the 1,500-hp Mitsubishi Ha-112 radial. The collection includes another example of Japanese WWII aviation technology--an MXY "Okha". Because there are examples of this piloted bomb in a number of collections including NASM, it was of considerably less interest to me.

The cockpits of both the Ki-46III and Ki-100-Ib are well photographed in Mikesh's fine book Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945. What I have found difficult to locate are detailed photographs of the exterior of these machines for modeling reference and the photographs I have taken were intended to fill that gap. They are numbered 1 through 27; text for each is similarly numbered for reference:

14_ki-46&Okha.jpg (72849 bytes)

14_ki46 The MXY is parked directly in front of Dinah III.

 15_ki-46Flap.jpg (62541 bytes)

15_ki46 Port flap detail. Not natural aluminum like the Ki-100, this seemed to be tinted with an Aotake-like blue by the restorer.

 16_ki-46LRear.jpg (69639 bytes)

16_ ki46 Port, rear 3/4 view of Ki-46 III serial number 5439. Beautiful lines, one of the prettiest airplanes I have ever seen.

 17_ki-46Strut.jpg (88880 bytes)

17_ki46 Starboard main strut, I was told by one of the staff that the wheels are all original.

 18_ki-46WWell.jpg (70760 bytes)

18_ki46 In a suit I lay down on the floor and shimmied under the Ki-46 to get this shot directly up into the starboard wheel well. Color, as well as the pieces left natural metal are interesting.

 19_ki-46PilotFloor.jpg (120971 bytes)

19_ki46 Standing directly beneath the nose, looking up through the pilot's floor window.

 20_ki-46ObsSeat.jpg (42779 bytes)

21_ki-46ObsRadio.jpg (60473 bytes)

20/21_ki46 two views directly into the observers station from the starboard side.

 22_ki-46TailWheel.jpg (89313 bytes)

22_ki46 the very overbuilt, retractable tail wheel of Dinah. Solid rubber tire.

 23_ki-46Rudder.jpg (67551 bytes)

23_ki46 Starboard rudder. Surprising how open the seals are for the rudder linkage compared to the Ki-100 or the other fighters around the collection at Cosford.

 24_ki-46RudderDetail.jpg (83211 bytes)

24_ki46 Rudder linkage close up.

 25_ki-46WingTip.jpg (87791 bytes)

25_ki46 Starboard wing, from tip in. Note hinomaru and pattern of upper green down the nacelle and 90 degree move to the wheel well doors. Sky blue hub caps. Big wing tip light.

 26_ki-46Aileron.jpg (39431 bytes)

26_ki46 Dinah's late 30's design shows in specific details, this is the lower starboard fabric covered aileron linkage, crude compared to the Ki-100.

 27_ki-46Engine.jpg (50737 bytes)

27_ki46 View directly into the starboard nacelle. A lot of spray paint appears to have gotten on the Ha 112 cylinders, push-rods.

 28_ki-46LFront.jpg (68252 bytes)

28_ki46 Port, front, 3/4 view. Prop warning stripe. Placement of yellow/orange combat leading edge stripe of interest. What a cool airplane.

 29_ki-46Cowl.jpg (93314 bytes)

29_ ki46 Close up of port cowl flaps, Ha 112 manifold and exhaust ejector stubs. Color of rear of prop and yellow tips of interest.

 30_ki-46Front.jpg (77584 bytes)

30_ki46 Starboard front 3/4 view

 31_ki-46Dihedral.jpg (72284 bytes)

31_ki46 Tough to get an exact rear view to reference dihedral due to placement.

 32_ki-46Profile.jpg (74311 bytes)

32_ki46 Port view with insignia from the 81st Sentai, operated Dinah from 1941 through 44, Okha in front.

 33_Sakae21.jpg (79750 bytes)

33. A6M_ Plunked in front of Dinah is the cowl and Sakae 21 radial of an A6M type 32 or 5. Could this be the powerplant of the fuselage located in the Imperial War Museum?

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