TYPE: Long-range reconnaissance bomber
ACCOMMODATION: Crew of five
POWER PLANT: Two Mitsubishi Ha-211-I Ru turbo-supercharged air-cooled radial engines, rated at 2,200 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 354 mph at 27,890 ft
COMMENT: The Tachikawa Ki-74 was a Japanese experimental long-range reconnaissance bomber of WW II. A twin-engine, mid-wing monoplane, it was developed for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. Though already conceived in 1939 as a long-range reconnaissance aircraft, the prototype Ki-74 (designated as A-26 by Tachikawa) only first flew as late as in March 1944. It was powered by two 2,201 hp Mitsubishi Ha-211 (Ha-43-I) radial engines. The following two prototypes were powered by the turbo-supercharged Mitsubishi Ha-21-I Ru (Ha-43-II) engines, but as these experienced teething troubles, the following thirteen pre-production machines substituted the Ha-211 Ru engine for the lower-powered, but more reliable, turbo-supercharged Mitsubishi Ha-104 Ru air-cooled engines, rated at 1,900 hp. The forth pre-production aircraft was modified in 1944 to undertake non-stop flights between Japan and Germany, but the “Third Reich” capitulated before the first of these flights could be made. In total 16 aircrafts have been built, but did not see operational service. Plans were made to use the Ki-74 in bombing attacks against the B-29 bases on Saipan, as soon as sufficient aircraft were available, but the Japanese surrender terminated the project. Nevertheless, the Allies knew of its existence and assigned the type the codename “Patsy” after it was discovered that it was a bomber, not a fighter. Previously it had the code name “Pat” in Allied Intelligence (Ref.: 1, 24).