WOW135 KI-44 Tojo
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The Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Allied name Tojo) was a single seat fighter aircraft used by the Japanese during WW2, the aircraft first flew in 1940 and entered service in 1942. The Ki-44 was a replacement for the Ki-43 but proved to be less nimble and had poorer visibility than its predecessor. However it soon became obvious that the Ki-44 was a superior combat aircraft overall when compared to the Ki-43. It could match most Allied types in climbs and dives and had greater armament than the Ki-43. This armament of four 12.7mm guns and two 20mm cannons made the Ki-44 a useful addition for the Japanese in tackling the American B-29 Superfortress’s which were now bombing Japan.
Our Ki-44 model is one flown by Yoshio Yoshida an Ace who managed to bring down six B-29’s all at night during the last year of the war. The stylised ‘kill’ insignia on the side of his machine all represented a B-29 which had succumbed to this pilot. Yoshio described a B29 as falling like the leaves of a Maple Tree or Samara if they lost an engine whilst carrying a full bomb load, as they would descend in a circular fashion to the ground. Yoshida was selected to fly the Mitsubishi J8M which was a copy of the German Komet, however the war ended before he could fly this aircraft