POWER PLANT: Two Mitsubishi Ha-104 radial engines, rated at 1,900 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 324 mph at 19,980 ft
COMMENT: In early 1943 the Mitsubishi Ki-67 heavy bomber then undergoing flight trials had proved that despite its size and weight it was fast and manoeuvrable. Consequently it was suggested that the Ki-67 be used as a basis for a hunter-killer aircraft. The project received the designation Ki-109 and two versions were built. The Ki-109a, nick-named “Killer”, was to mount in the rear fuselage two oblique-firing 37 mm Ho-203 cannon while the Ki-109b, the “Hunter”, was to be equipped with radar and a 40 cm search light. However, soon thereafter, the project was redirected and a standard 75 mm Type 88 anti-aircraft cannon was to be mounted in the nose. It was hoped that with this large cannon the aircraft could be able to fire on the Boeing B-29s while staying well out of range of their defensive armament. As the authorities anticipated that, initially at least, the B-29s would have to operate without fighter escort, the project was found sound and feasible and Mitsubishi were instructed in early 1944 to begin designing the aircraft which retained the Ki-109 designation.
Ground and inflight test firing of the heavy gun were sufficiently successful and an initial order of 44 aircraft was placed. Fifteen shells were carried for the 75 mm Type 88 cannon which were hand-loaded by the co-pilot, and the sole defensive armament consisted of a flexible 12.7 mm machine-gun in the tail turret. The rest of the airframe and the power plant were identical to those of the Ki-67. Despite the lack of high-altitude performance the Ki-109 was pressed into service, but, by the time enough aircrafts were on hand, the B-29s had switched to low-altitude night operations. A total of 22 Ki-109s were built by Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. (Ref.: 1).
POWER PLANT: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-65 “Double Wasp” radial engines, rated at 2,000 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 376 mph at 17,000 ft
COMMENT: In autumn 1944, two Northrop P-61B “Black Widow” night fighters were extensively modified in an attempt to improve the performance and to extend the long-range in order to use these aircraft as long-range escort fighters. Designated XP-61E the fuselage decking was cut flush with the wing to allow a large blown canopy to be fitted. The center and aft section of the fuselage nacelle housed additional fuel tanks and the nose radar was supplanted by four machine guns. The XP-61E’s were tested in the early month of 1945 but the second was lost in an accident on April 1945 and in view of the changing course of the war, further development of the “Black Widow” in this role as long-range escort fighter was abandoned. The first and remaining prototype was converted to the XF-15 “Reporter”, a long-range photo-reconnaissance aircraft, tested after the war. Due to the on-coming new turbojet powered aircraft a production order never was placed (Ref.: 9).
POWER PLANT: One Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp
PERFORMANCE: 618 mph
COMMENT: In winter 1944/1945, the Messerschmitt Project Bureau was intensively working on several advanced turbojet powered interceptor aircraft superior to the now in service acting Me 262. Besides projects such as Me P.1110/I, Me P.1110/II, Me P. 1110 “Ente”, and Me P. 1112 was the Me P.1111 jet fighter/interceptor. The innovative design was as an improvement to the Messerschmitt Me P.1110 “Ente” (“Duck”). It was a tailless aircraft with the wings swept back at 45 degrees, being of near-delta shape. There was a single sweptback vertical fin and rudder. The cockpit was pressurized, fitted with an ejection seat and had a fairing extending to the base of the fin. The planned power plant was a Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, armament consisted of four MK 108 30mm cannon with 100 rounds each, two in the wing roots and two in the nose. The collapse of the “Third Reich” a few months later stopped all further work but data were transferred to the United Kingdom and influenced the post -war development of the de Havilland DH 108 “Swallow” (Ref.: 17).
POWER PLANT: Two Mitsubishi Ha 42 twin-engines, rated at 2,400 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 346 mph
COMMENT: The Mitsubishi G7M was basically a derivative of the most famous Mitsubishi G4M Navy attack bomber. It was originally designed as a long range, strategic bomber able to carry a greater payload over a longer distance. To meet these requirements a four-engine design was favored.
When detailed information about the German Heinkel He 177 became available – a four-engine heavy bomber with dive-bombing capability, powered by two H-engines twinned together in one nacelle on each side thus reducing drag – the G7M design was changed in that manner. Germany promised to deliver the needed machinery to produce the H-engines under license. Other features of the Heinkel design were incorporated, too, such as the glazed nose, four-blade propellers, and a similar tail plane. In contrast the Mitsubishi design used a tricycle landing gear system. The ongoing war situation made it impossible to import the German H-engines as well as the tools for production and the design was changed again to a four-engine bomber but the end of the hostilities stopped all further work (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: Two Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines, rated at 900 kp each or one Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp
PERFORMANCE: No data available
COMMENT: This project became known through a sketch which was published in France after WW II. Probably it dates back to 1942 and suggests a possibility of the”… installation of a radial turbojet engine”. A later well-known drawing suggests that there were two configurations of the same design, the “Zerstörer-Projekt I and II”. In both the air intakes as well as the tail assembly was different. Apparently, it was planned to utilize two Junkers Jumo 004 turbojets or one Heinkel HeS 011 engine. In “Zerstörer-Projekt I” the air intake for the turbojet engines were positioned in the wing roots and the tail plane was swept sharp forward and in “Zerstörer-Projekt II” it was swept back so as the wings. Also the turbojet engine was fed by an air intake located on each side of the fuselage under the wings. To extend range, plans were made to mount two 300 liter auxiliary wingtip fuel tanks. Two Mk 108 30mm cannon were installed in the nose part. The design was not pursued (Ref.: 16, 17).