Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi
|KAMIKAZE BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Japan / Nakajima|
In January 1945 Nakajima was ordered by the Imperial Japanese Army to design and develop, as quickly as possible, a basic aircraft that could carry a bomb of up to 800kg weight for use in kamikaze attacks. The resulting Nakajima Ki-115 low-wing monoplane prototype was of mixed construction, powered by a Nakajima Ha-35 radial engine and had welded steel-tube main landing gear units, without any form of shock absorption, which were intended to be jettisoned after take-off on a kamikaze mission. Flight tests showed that ground handling was unacceptable in this configuration, leading to the introduction of main landing gear units with simple shock absorbers. In this form, and incorporating some minor modifications, the aircraft entered production as the Ki-115a Tsurugi (sabre). However, Nakajima had built only 104 production aircraft by the time the war ended, and none of these was used operationally.