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The Ki-48 Sokei (Lily) was a twin-engined mid-wing light bomber of the Japanese air force introduced in 1940 as a replacement for the Ki-32, over which it was a significant improvement.

Description

The Ki-48 was fast for its type and time,[1] 314 mph with a ceiling of 16000ft, but with a rather limited bomb load of 800 kg. Defensively it was rather weak, with barely any armor and only three 7.7mm machine guns.

Variants

  • Initial prototype "KI-48", 4 produced
  • Production run "KI-48-Ia
  • "KI-48-Ib" Improved defensive armament
  • Total run of KI-48-1* 557 units.
  • "KI-48-IIa featured lengthened fuselage with increased bomb carrying capacity, added armor and increased power with engines upgraded to 1130HP Nakajima Ha 115 radial engine.
  • Ki-48-IIb, revised into Dive-Bomber, airbrakes fitted.
  • Ki-48-IIc, again revised defensive armament.
  • Total of 1408 II* models produced.

History

First used in action against the Chinese in the Second Sino-Japanese war , it fared well against the Chinese airplanes. However it was soon outclassed against the US planes such as Vought F4U Corsair and the Grumman F6F Hellcat and was obsolete by the end of the war. The last action in Japanese hands were as Kamikaze attacker with a two man crew and a 1700lb bombload.

Chinese Nationalists used captured Ki-48s against the Japanese forces and these were retired by then Communist China in 1952.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=893
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