Nakajima Ki-19

The Nakajima Ki-19 was a twin-engined heavy bomber that was developed in 1936-37, but that lost out to the Mitsubishi Ki-21.

In 1935 the Japanese Army asked both Nakajima and Mitsubishi to develop a new twin-engined heavy bomber to replace the Mitsubishi Army Type 93 Heavy Bomber (Ki-1), which had entered service two years earlier.

This was one of the first occasions where the Japanese Army issued specific performance requirements. The new bomber was to have a top speed of at least 216kts at 3,000m (248mph at 9842ft), climb to 3,000m in less than eight minutes, have a five hour endurance at 162kts/ 185mph at 3,000m, and have a minimum bomb load of 1,000kg/ 2204lb for short range operations. The aircraft was to have a crew of four to six, to be powered by the Mitsubishi Ha-6 or Nakajima Ha-5 engine and carry three defensive guns.

Nakajima had some experience of working with twin engined aircraft, mainly on the DC-2 airliner and their own LB-2 long range attack bomber. The new design team was led by Ken-ichi Matsumura, who had worked on both of these aircraft.

The Ki-19 was a mid-wing aircraft with a cantilever wing. The aircraft was of all-metal construction apart from fabric covered control surfaces. The aircraft has split flaps. It had an internal bomb bay located within the streamlined fuselage. The aircraft had a hydraulically operated undercarriage.

Nakajima built two prototypes of the Ki-19. These were tested at the Army Air Technical Research Institute (alongside the Mitsubishi Ki-21) from March to May 1937. Further tests were carried out at the Army's bomber base at Hamamatsu.

Unsurprisingly both Nakajima and Mitsubishi had chosen to use their own engines. The Army felt that Mitsubishi had produced the best aircraft, but Nakajima had the best engines. Both companies were thus ordered to produce two new prototypes, this time with the other company's engines. Nakajima thus produced two more prototypes, using the Mitsubishi Ha-6 engine.

Extensive tests showed that the two designs were very similar in performance. The Japanese army decided to adopt the Mitsubishi Ki-21 as the Army Type 97 Heavy Bomber, but using the Nakajima Ha-5 engine.

One of the second set of Ki-19 prototypes was later converted into a civil aircraft. It was given the new designation N-19 Long-range Communication Aircraft and sold to the Domei Press Company

Engine: Two Nakajima Ha-5 fourteen cylinder air-cooled radial engines
Power: 890hp each
Crew: 5 - pilot, co-pilot, navigator/ bombardier, radio-operator/ gunner, gunner
Span: 72ft 2in
Length: 49ft 2.5in
Height: 11ft 11.75in
Empty weight: 10,472lb
Maximum take-off weight: 15,763lb
Max speed: 218.65mph
Cruising speed: 186mph
Range: 2,485 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 August 2013), Nakajima Ki-19 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_nakajima_ki-19.html

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