Kawasaki Ki-102-Otsu (“Randy”), 45th Sentai, 3rd Chutai,(Pavla Models)

TYPE: Ground-attack aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and radio-operator

POWER PLANT: Two Mitsubishi Ha 112-II air-cooled radial engines, rated at 1,500 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 360 mph at 19,685 ft

COMMENT:  While the first prototype of the Kawasaki Ki-96 twin-engine heavy fighter was nearing completion the Kawasaki design team suggested to the Imperial Japanese Army that a version of the aircraft be built as a replacement for the Kawasaki Ki-45 “Toryu” used in ground attack role. In August 1943 after approval to the project the construction of prototypes began under the designation Kawasaki Ki-102. In its original two-seat configuration additional armour and petrol tank protection was fitted as well as a nose-mounted 37 mm Ho-203 cannon. The first of three prototypes was flown in March 1944. For production two versions were proposed, the Ki-102-Ko as high-altitude interceptor with Ru-102 turbo-superchargers and the Ki-102-Otsu ground attack aircraft without turbo-superchargers, a nose-mounted 57 mm Ho-401 cannon and two fuselage-mounted 20 mm Ho-5 cannon. In October 1944 the aircraft was placed in production. Most of the aircraft were kept in reserve in Japan, but a few saw limited action during the Okinawa campaign were the Ki-102-Otsu became known as Randy to the Allied forces. In total 238 Ki-102 aircraft were built, most of them as Ki-102-Otsu. By the end of 1944, when the B-29 operations against Japan were intensified, a specialized night-fighter version was developed as Kawasaki Ki-102-Hei. Only two prototypes were finished when WW II ended (Ref.: 1, 5).