The Ki-105 Ohtori, ('Phoenix') was a desperate project fomented in the
last months of the Pacific War. With Allied attacks on ports and
shipping, Japan's sources of oil to fuel its defensive fighters were drying up.
To meet the demand for aviation fuel, the experimental Kokusai Ku-7
transport glider was developed into a powered version for use in transporting
fuel from the oilfields still held in Sumatra to Japan. This required a very
long range of 2500km, and to achieve this the Ki-105's engines
drew on the transported fuel, and used 80% of it to reach Japan (plus
what it used to reach Sumatra unloaded). Japan developed a process to make
gasoline from pine tree oil, which saw whole forests destroyed to fill the tanks
of a few fighter aircraft. In light of such desperation, the development of the
Ki-105 as a gas-guzzling flying fuel truck seems almost sensible.
| ENGINE||2 x 940hp Mitsubishi Ha-26-Il radial piston engines|
| Take-off weight||12500 kg||27558 lb|
| Wingspan||35.00 m||115 ft 10 in|
| Length||19.92 m||65 ft 4 in|
| Height||5.56 m||18 ft 3 in|
| Cruise speed||220 km/h||137 mph|
|allan j birmantas, 10.02.2011|
Looks a bit like a C-119
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?
FACTS AND FIGURES
© Details are scarce on some
aspects of the Ki-105, and it is
unclear how the fuel was to be
carried and transferred to the
aircraft's own tanks in flight.
© The large and slow Ohtori, filled
with gasoline, would have been an
easy target fot Allied fighters en
route from Sumatra to Japan.
© The Ki-105's undercarriage consisted
of four non-retractable mainwheels
and a single nosewheel. This gave a
level floor, which aided in the
loading of heavy freight or fuel.
© Some sources say the Ki-105
had the Allied codename
'Buzzard', although it is
unlikely any pilot ever saw
one before the war ended.