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Ki-4 file photo [11176]


ManufacturerNakajima Aircraft Company
Primary RoleReconnaissance Aircraft


ww2dbaseIn 1931, the Japanese Army released a request for high performance reconnaissance aircraft that were versatile enough to take on light ground support roles. Nakajima's Ki-4 biplane design was chosen in 1934 and designated Army Type 94 Reconnaissance Aircraft. They entered service in 1935. They had staggered wings and fixed divided landing gear. They were equipped with up to four machine guns, and could carry up to 50 kilograms of bombs. They saw action in the Second Sino-Japanese War starting in 1938, at first as ground support aircraft, but the Japanese underestimated the capability of the Chinese Air Force, leading to many aircraft lost. By 1941 when the Pacific War began, most Ki-4 aircraft were relegated to rear roles with the Japanese military as trainers, target tugs, and general personnel transport aircraft; they were all retired by 1943. The military of the puppet nation of Manchukuo retained many of them in active service until the end of the war.

ww2dbaseTwo Ki-4 biplanes were presented to the Japanese Navy for testing, one with twin floats and the other with one main float with two smaller stabilizing floats. They were not accepted by the Navy.

ww2dbaseBetween Mar 1934 and Feb 1939, 333 Ki-4 aircraft were built by Nakajima and an additional 57 were built by Tachikawa under license, for a total of 390 built in Japan. In Manchukuo, the firm Manshu built 126 under license.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Oct 2010


MachineryOne Nakajima Ha-8 air-cooled 9-cylinder radial engine rated at 640hp
ArmamentUp to 4x7.7mm machine guns, 50kg of bombs
Span12.00 m
Length7.73 m
Height3.50 m
Wing Area29.70 m²
Weight, Empty1,664 kg
Weight, Loaded2,474 kg
Weight, Maximum2,616 kg
Speed, Maximum283 km/h
Service Ceiling8,000 m
Range, Normal1,200 km


Japanese Army Ki-4 biplane reconnaissance aircraft at rest, circa 1934B2M, A2N, and Ki-4 aircraft operating aboard carrier Kaga, 11 May 1937

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Japanese Army Ki-4 biplane reconnaissance aircraft at rest, circa 1934B2M, A2N, and Ki-4 aircraft operating aboard carrier Kaga, 11 May 1937

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