TAIU's company by Briney ()
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The liquid-cooled "European" engine of the Kawasaki Ki61 was a departure from the radial engines usually used for Japan's WW2 fighters. In fact, when Allied pilots first encountered this Kawasaki machine in the Pacific, they needed to be convinced they were not fighting some kind of globalized Messerschmitt or Macchi!
I've read that in terms of performance, the Ki61 could stand relatively well against the newer Allied fighters, such as the Lightning or Hellcat. If not as nimble as earlier "Zero" fighters, the Ki61 was a considerable improvement in strength and survivability though its engine proved to be a headache to build and keep serviceable.
The Technical Air Intelligence Unit, based at Eagle Farm Airfield in Brisbane, Australia, reconstructed the "Tony" portrayed here (using AlicefromLake's model with a custom texture) as their third "fix-er upp-er" (XJ003).
Rendered in Vue 8 Esprit
mangrove landscape modelled in Bryce, exported and material applied in view
Image Comments (10)
Yes, this turned out to be a bit of a shock and surprise when it first appeared.. Taking somewhat more effort to knock down than a Zero, but as you say the engine (based on the Daimler Benz 601, in the Me109), was somewhat more complicated to built and maintain.. Good work.. Nice to see these 'Rare' jobs on Rendo.. Rob
Interesting history lesson. I had always thought the Ki61 was a copy of the Messerschmitt (as was the Macchi)...the Japanese did have a way of copying Western designs and improving on them (case in point: the post-war MGB - mechanically unreliable at best - and its derivative, the Datsun Fairlady, which was actually a pretty decent ride).