Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon)

The Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon) was the Japanese Army's attempt to produce a jet fighter, and like the Navy's Kikka closely resembled the Messerschmitt Me 262.

Work on the Ki-201 began on 12 January 1945, five months after the navy began work on the Kikka. Although the two designs were both loosely based on the German Messerschmitt Me 262 and were both produced by Nakajima there doesn't appear to have been much cooperation between the two design teams.

The Ki-201 was to be an attack fighter, capable of attacking enemy ships off the Japanese coast and to act as an interceptor. It was to be armed with two 20mm and two 30mm cannon and carry a 16,00lb bomb.

The evidence suggests that Japan never received the full technical plans for the Me 262. One set were sent from Germany in the spring of 1945, but the U-boat involved surrendered in May 1945. Both the Kikka and the Ki-201 were thus new designs based on the overall layout of the Me 262.

The design of the Ki-201 was about half-complete by the time of the Japanese surrender. The army plan called for the design to be completed by December 1945 and the first eighteen aircraft to be ready by March 1946. The prototype was to be built at the Mitaka Plant in western Tokyo, while production was to be at the Kurosawajiri Research Works in north-central Honshu.

Stats (estimated)
Engine: Two Ne-130 turbojets or Ne-230 turbojets
Power: 2,002lb thrust or 1,951lb thrust each
Crew: 1
Span: 44ft 11 3/8in
Length: 37ft 8 3/4in
Maximum take-off weight:
Max speed: 529mph at 32,810ft
Climb Rate: 13min 15 sec to 32,810ft
Armament: Two 20mm and two 30mm cannon
Bomb load: 1,600lb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 September 2013), Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_nakajima_ki-201_karyu.html

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