Nakajima Ki-27 Nate

The Nakajima Ki-27 Type 97 Fighter, was the main fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force up until 1940. Its Allied nickname was "Nate", Allied Intelligence had reserved that name for the nonexistent Mitsubishi Navy Type 97 fighter, expected to be the successor to the Type 96 carrier-borne A5M with retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit.

The Ki-27 was the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force's main fighter until the start of World War II. When placed into combat service over northern China in March 1938, the Ki-27 enjoyed air superiority until the introduction of the faster Soviet-built Polikarpov I-16 fighters by the Chinese.

The preference of Japanese fighter pilots of the Ki-27's high rate of turn caused the Army to focus almost exclusively on maneuverability, a decision which came back to haunt them later as it handicapped the development of faster and more heavily-armed fighters. The Ki-27 served until the beginning of World War II in the Pacific, escorting bombers attacking Malaya, Singapore, Netherlands East Indies, Burma and the Philippines

The type also saw extensive action against the American Volunteer Group in the early months of the war. Soon outclassed by the American Curtiss P-40s, the Ki-27 was replaced in front line service by the Nakajima Ki-43, with surviving examples continued to serve as a trainer. Near the end of World War II, a few Ki-27s were equipped with up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) of explosives for a Kamikaze role.

General characteristics
  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 7.53 m (24 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.31 m (37 ft 1¼ in)
  • Height: 3.28 m (10 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 18.56 m² (199.777 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,110 kg (2,588 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,547 kg (3,523 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,790 kg (3,946 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× Nakajima Ha-1 Otsu air-cooled radial engine, 485 kW (650 hp)

  • Maximum speed: 470 km/h (275 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 350 km/h (218 mph)
  • Range: 627 km (390 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,250 m (32,940 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 15.3 m/s (3,010 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 83.35 kg/m² (18 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.30 kW/kg (0.18 hp/lb)

  • 2 × 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns
  • 100 kg (220 lbs)

** Nakajima Ki-27 Nate - Warbird Fare

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