Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa/Oscar – 3rd Chutai, 54th Sentai, IJAAF, Akira Sugimoto, Hokkaido, Japan, 1943
1 in stock
1 in stock
IXO Models DDIJ005: Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa/Oscar of 3rd Chutai, 54th Sentai, IJAAF as flown by Akira Sugimoto, Hokkaido, Japan, 1943
Length 4.75 inches Wingspan 6 inches
The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (“Peregrine Falcon”) was a single-engined land-based fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in World War II. The army designation was “Type 1 Fighter”; the Allied codename was Oscar.
Like the Zero, the Ki-43 initially enjoyed air superiority in the skies of Malaya, Netherlands East Indies, Burma and New Guinea. This was partly to do with the better performance of the Oscar and partly due to the relatively small numbers of combat-ready Allied fighters, mostly the P-36, P-40, Brewster Buffalo, Hawker Hurricane and Curtiss-Wright CW-21 in Asia and the Pacific during the first months of the war. However, as the war progressed, the fighter suffered from the same weaknesses as the Ki-27 and the Mitsubishi Zero; light armor and less-than-effective self-sealing tanks, which caused high casualties in combat. Its armament of two machine guns also proved inadequate against the more heavily armoured Allied aircraft. As newer Allied aircraft were introduced, such as the Vought Corsair, Hellcat and Seafire Mk III, the Japanese were forced into a defensive war and most aircraft were flown by inexperienced pilots.
Designed to replace the Nakajima Ki-27, the Ki-43 first flew in January, 1939. Specifications for this aircraft included a top speed of 311 mph and a climb rate of 16,400 feet in five minutes. Widely used as an Army fighter, the Ki-43 claimed air superiority in many Pacific theatres during the early part of the war, but the introduction of more advanced Allied fighters such as the P-51 and the F4U Corsair exposed the Ki-43’s dangerous design flaws such as its light armor and ineffective self-sealing fuel tanks. By the end of the war, many surviving Ki-43s were repurposed for Kamikaze roles.