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Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)
Technical Information

Background
Nicknamed Shoki (demon or devil-queller in Japanese). Designed in parallel with the Ki-43 Oscar, the Ki-44 was designed as an interceptor, with emphasis on speed versus climb and manuverability.

Accepted for service in the JAAF in September 1942, the Ki-44-I and was first encountered in China, Burma and Malaya. The Ki-44-II, with a more powerful engine went into production in October 1942.

Though disliked by pilots, and deadly to less experienced pilots, the Shoki was moderately successful in the interception role. Although fitted with armor protection and the self-sealing tanks, both were still largely ineffective against Allied 50-cal machine guns.

The later Ki-44-III variant, with heavier armament of 2 x 20mm and 2 x 37mm cannons was used in Japan home defense. The Ki-44 was sucessful against unescorted B-29s. A notable mission occured when a small force of Ki-44's intercepted 120 B-29's on February 19, 1945 and destroyed ten of them. Many other Shokis expended themselves in suicide ramming attacks against the long-ranging B-29s.

Production included 40 Ki-44-I and 1,167 Ki-44-II and Ki-44-III models. It was phased out by the Ki-84 Hayate (Frank) which came into production in December 1944.

Technical Details
Crew  One (pilot)
Engine  One fourteen cylinder Ha-109 air cooled radial engine
Span  31' 1/16"
Length  28' 9 7/8"
Height  10' 8"
Maximum Speed  376 mph
Range  1,056 miles
Armament  (nose) 2 x 12.7mm (wings) 2 x 12.7mm
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