Kayaba Ku-4 Research Japanese Aircraft WWII

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Kayaba Ku-4 Research Aircraft WWII


In the secret research project of the Imperial Japanese Army, the Kayaba Ku-4 research aircraft was designed in 1940 to explore the options offered by a tailless design. The inspiration came from the previous prototypes called Ku-2 and Ku-3 designed by Dr. Kimura for the Imperial Japanese Army. The relation between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy (Nihon Kaigun) was always very competitive for resources. This was one of the problems that led to some weakness during planned operation in the pacific war.

The main source of Kayaba Ku-4 power was a pusher engine which contrasts with previous aircraft because they were basically gliders. Another characteristic feature was a low, swept wing and fins at the wingtips. Although a prototype was quite developed on April 1941, some technical problems and accidents occurred with previous models such as Ku-2 and Ku-3 led to the cancellation of the Kayaba Ku-4 project. The project leader Dr. Kimura only received the 8% of the promised amount of money for developing the innovative Ku-4 design without conventional tail.

A model kit at 1/72 for the Kayaba Ku-4:

Specifications (as designed)

General characteristics

Crew: One pilot
Length: 3.42 m (11 ft 3 in)
Wingspan: 9.80 m (32 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 9.0 m2 (97 ft2)
Powerplant: 1 × piston engine, 90 kW (120 hp)

Maximum speed: 180 km/h (110 mph)
Range: 300 km (190 miles)

Other information sources:

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