Mitsubishi Ki-18

The Mitsubishi Ki-18 was the designation given by the Japanese Army to a single A5M (Claude) carrier fighter that was evaluated for service with the Army. The Ki-18 was a low wing cantilever monoplane, powered by a 580hp Nakajima Kotobuki 5 engine. It was identical to the Naval version, but with all carrier-specific equipment removed to reduce weight.

In tests it proved to be 28mph faster than the Kawasaki Ki-10 biplane, which was just about to enter service with the Army, but was less manoeuvrable, and thus an inferior dogfighter. Rather than order the Ki-18 the Army issued a new specification, which called for a fighter with the speed of the Ki-18 but the dog-fighting ability of the Ki-10. Three aircraft were submitted to this specification – the Nakajima Ki-27, the Kawasaki Ki-28 and the Mitsubishi Ki-33. Of these the Nakajima Ki-27 was the most manoeuvrable, and was ordered into production.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 December 2008), Mitsubishi Ki-18, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_mitsubishi_ki-18.html

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