Mitsubishi Experimental 8-Shi Two-seat Fighter (Ka-8)

The Mitsubishi Experimental 8-Shi Two-seat Fighter (Ka-8) was produced in response to work on two-seat fighters in Europe and the United States, but was abandoned after the second prototype disintegrated in the air.

In 1933 the Japanese Navy held a design contest for a two-seat fighter and invited Mitsubishi and Nakajima to take part. The Mitsubishi team, led by Joji Hattori, produced the Ka-8, a single bay equal span biplane, powered by a radial engine, with a fixed undercarriage. The fuselage had a welded steel tube fuselage with a fabric covering, while the wings had a duralumin spar, wooden ribs and was also fabric covered. The tail had twin fins and rudders. The aircraft was armed with three 7.7mm machine guns, two fixed guns for the pilot and a flexibly mounted gun for the observer.

The Mitsubishi team completed a mock-up of the design by June 1933 and the first prototype in January 1934. This first prototype was tested by Mitsubishi and a modified second prototype was constructed. Both aircraft were then delivered to the Navy.

On 16 September 1934 the second prototype disintegrated when pulling out of a dive. The pilot escaped, but the observer was killed. The remaining prototype was grounded and the project was abandoned. The Japanese Navy decided not to adopt either of the two-seat fighters and instead continued to focus on single seat carrier fighters.

Engine: Nakajima Kotobuki 2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Power: 460-580hp
Crew: 2
Span: 32ft 9.5in
Length: 24ft 3in
Height: 11ft
Empty weight: 2,541lb
Loaded weight: 3,747lb
Max speed: 178mph at 9,843ft
Armament: Two fixed forward firing 7.7mm machine guns, one flexible dorsal mounted 7.7mm machine gun
Bomb load: none

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 July 2013), Mitsubishi Experimental 8-Shi Two-seat Fighter (Ka-8) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_mitsubishi_experimental_8-Shi.html

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