Category Archives: Trainer

Trainer

Tachikawa Ki-54b (Army Type 1 Operations Trainer Model B), (Hickory), (A+V Models, Resin)

TYPE: Crew Trainer

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of five to nine

POWER PLANT: Two Hitachi Ha-13a Army Type 98 radial engines, rated at 510 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 234 mph at 6,560 ft

COMMENT: In late 1939, at a request of Koku Hombu, Tachikawa began designing a twin-engined multi-purpose trainer. The aircraft was required to duplicate closely the handling characteristics and performance of the series of modern twin-engined bombers the Army had operated since 1937. It was to be used for the simultaneous training of a complete bomber’s crew including pilot, bombardier, navigator, gunner and radio-operator. To achieve the necessary performance Tachikawa selected a low-wing design with retractable undercarriage and adopted a pair of Hitachi Ha-13a radials with Hamilton-type two blade variable-pitch propellers to power the aircraft.
Designated Tachikawa Ki-54, the first prototype was completed and flown during summer of 1940. Following minor modifications which partially corrected a nose-heavy tendency during landings, the aircraft was placed in production in 1941 as Army Type 1 Advanced Trainer Model A (Ki -54a). Like the prototype, the aircraft of this first production series were primarily designed for pilot training. However, the Ki-54a was soon supplanted by the Ki-54b (Army Type 1 Operations Trainer Model B) which had full provision for bomber crew training and had four gunnery stations each mounting a flexible 7.7 mm Type 89 machine-gun. Operated by all military multi-engined training schools and communications schools as well by civil training schools under Japanese Army contracts, the Ki-54b was built was in  greater numbers than any other variants of the Ki-54.
As a crew trainer and light transport, the Ki-54was one of the most successful Japanese aircraft of the war and was well known to the Allies which named it “Hickory” regardless of the version. The code name “Joyce” was erroneously assigned to a non-existent light bomber version (Ref.: 1).

Tachikawa Ki-54c (Army Type 1 Transport Model C), (“Hickory”), 27th Hikodan, (A+V Models, Resin)

TYPE: Trainer and light transport aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two plus eight passengers or equivalent cargo

POWER PLANT: Two Hitachi Ha-13a radial engines, rated at 510 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 233 mph

COMMENT: The Tachikawa Ki-54 was a Japanese twin-engine advanced trainer and light  transport aircraft used during WW II. The aircraft was developed in response to an Imperial Japanese Army Air Force requirement for a twin-engine multi-purpose trainer, principally for crew training. The prototype first flew in summer 1940 and, on completing trials, entered production in 1941 as “Army Type 1 Advanced Trainer Model A” (Tachikawa Ki-54a). The Ki-54a was soon followed by the Tachikawa Ki-54b as “Army Type 1 Operations Trainer Model B” and Tachikawa Ki-54c as “Army Type 1 Transport Model C”.
The Tachikawa Ki-54c was a light transport and communication version characterized by its smooth upper fuselage line and was fitted with eight seats. A similar version was built in small numbers as Tachikawa Y-59 for civil operators. Late in the war an all-wood version of the Ki-54c, the Tachikawa Ki-110 was built, but the aircraft was destroyed during an American air raid.
As a crew trainer and light transport, the Tachikawa Ki-54 was one of the most successful Japanese aircraft of the war and was well known to the Allies which named it “Hickory” regardless of the version. The code name “Joyce” was erroneously assigned to a non-existent light bomber version.
A total of 1,368 Ki-54 were built by Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. during the war. A few captured aircraft were flown after the war by various users (Ref.: 1, 24).

Tokyo Koku Ki-107 (A + V Model, Resin)

TYPE: Monoplane trainer

ACCOMMODATION: Teacher and student pilot

POWER PLANT: One Hitachi Hatsukaze Ha-47 inline piston engine, rated at 110 hp

PERFORMANCE: 122 mph

COMMENT: The Tokyo Koku Ki-107 was a  Japanese military training aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. The Ki-107 was a wooden-built low-wing two-seat monoplane with an open cockpit. Powered by a Hitachi Hatsukaze Ha-47 (Ha-11) inline piston engine it first flew in October 1943.The Japanese Army had ordered 450 as primary trainers as replacement for the Kokusai Ki-86 (a license built German Bücker Bü 131 that used the same Ha-47 engine), but production was held up by air raids and only 29 had been delivered by the end of the war (Ref.: 24).