As of 2014, this aircraft is displayed at a war memorial in Japan. Ki-84s and Ki-43s photographed on a former JAAF base in Korea post-war. The Ki-84 in the foreground is from the 85th Hiko-Sentai, the next one in line belonged to the 22nd Hiko-Sentai HQ Chutai. Imperial Japanese Army Scale aviation modeller international pdf Service in the last two years of World War II.
The Ki-84 is generally considered the best Japanese fighter to see large-scale operation during the conflict. The Ki-84’s performance matched that of any single-engine Allied fighter it faced, while its operational ceiling enabled it to intercept high-flying B-29 Superfortress bombers. Pilots and crews in the field learned to take care with the plane’s high-maintenance Nakajima Homare engine and landing gear prone to buckling.
The difficulties of Japan’s situation late in the war took a toll on the aircraft’s overall field performance as manufacturing defects multiplied, quality fuel proved difficult to procure, and experienced pilots grew scarce. Even then, the pilot of a well-maintained Ki-84 took to the skies in knowing possession of Japan’s fastest fighter. A total of 3,514 aircraft were built. Design of the Ki-84 commenced in early 1942 to meet an Imperial Japanese Army Air Service requirement for a replacement to Nakajima’s own, earlier Ki-43 Oscar fighter, then just entering service.
The specification recognized the need to combine the maneuverability of the Ki-43 with performance to match the best western fighters and heavy firepower. Although the design was itself solid, growing difficulties in securing skilled pilots, proper fuel and construction materials, and adequate manufacture often prevented the aircraft from reaching its full potential in the field. The Ki-84 addressed the most common complaints about the popular and highly maneuverable Ki-43: insufficient firepower, poor defensive armor, and lack of climbing speed. The Ki-84 was a cantilever low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, except for the fabric-covered control surfaces.