RAF Cosford Ki-100-IB
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:

 01_ki-100.jpg (80408 bytes)

01_ki-100 This is the view that meets anyone walking into Hangar two at Cosford. It is clear that the curators understand the rarity of the Ki-100 and Ki-46 as they occupy the front spot while Spitfire, Hurricane and Thunderbolt are relegated to less prominent real estate. I was stopped in my tracks. The fighter is spectacular, finished in markings of the 244th Sentai.

 02_ki-100WWell.jpg (33014 bytes)

02_ki-100 Wheel well of the Ki-100 features a simple bar contact that would meet the tire and pull the cover shut. Mikesh notes that the pilot was expected to tap the brakes immediately after liftoff to stop the spinning tire from contacting this bar and damaging it. Many Ki-100 photographs show the well in a dark color.

 03_ki100Strut.jpg (102687 bytes)

03_ki100 Wheel strut. Mikesh notes that operational Ki-100s had natural metal main gear struts, not painted as depicted here.

 04_ki-100Dihedral.jpg (83440 bytes)

04_ki100 Exact rear photograph to establish correct dihedral for Hasegawa's fine 1/48 scale ki100-Ib or the ARII 1/48 ki-100-Ia.

 05_ki-100Trimtab.jpg (46894 bytes)

05_ki100 Private pilots will be interested to know that the rudder-control cable coupling and the trim-tab arm-link on the Ki-100 are almost identical in weight, length, and angle to that of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Note spokes and solid rubber tail wheel.

 06_ki-100Rudder.jpg (54225 bytes)

06_ki100 Port rudder, Note the tail light, fairing and rivets. Finish on this late war fighter is quite good.

 07_ki-100Canopy.jpg (57388 bytes)

07_ki100 Mikesh's cockpit photos are great, this shot is intended to show the relative transparency of the 60-year-old plexi.

 08_ki-100WingStep.jpg (95151 bytes)

08_ki100 On the port wing root there is a "step" walkway for climbing up to the cockpit. This is raised about 3/32" and textured in squares that are molded into the aluminum. The exhaust ejector stubs and cowlflap mechanism are pretty well depicted here.

 09_ki-100Flap.jpg (61362 bytes)

09_ki100 Port flap, torque tube and linkage. This appears as unfinished aluminum.

 10_ki-100Hardpoint.jpg (34233 bytes)

10_ki100 Hardpoint for droptanks/bombs.

 11_ki-100OilCooler.jpg (84952 bytes)

11_ki100 View directly into the oil cooler scoop. I doubt that operationally the hexagonal screen was painted the same color as the underside camouflage.

 12_ki-100Spinner.jpg (86142 bytes)

12_ki-100 The spinner on the Ki-100 is large as is the prop. It reminds me of standing in front of a P-40. The Hucks link is on the tip, still in use  and not featured on the Ki-61. "Tony" code name belonged to the Ki-61 not the Ki-100 as it often incorrectly appears in magazines and older books. The A/C was unknown to the TAIU until after VJ day and never assigned a code name by McCoy.

 13_ki-100Wheel.jpg (86437 bytes)

13_ki100 Close up of starboard tire, brake fluid hose.

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