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By E. Dyer
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Additional info for Japanese Secret Projects - Exper. Aircraft of the IJA and IJN 1939-45
The majority of the shimpu missions were flown using types already in service. In addition to the Reisen, the KugishO D4Y Suisei (meaning 'Comet' but known to the Allies as Judy), Kawasaki Ki-48 (Lily), Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu (meaning 'Storm Dragon' but called Helen by the Allies), Aichi D3A (Val) and many others were modified, sometimes heavily, and used against the Allies, but none were specifically built from the ground up for shimpu (suicide) operations. It would be UN Ensign Mitsuo ata, a transport pilot flying with the 405th KokQtai, who put forward a design for a piloted glide bomb.
Other ideas were considered such as the Showa Toka (see elsewhere in this book on the Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi for more information), but what set ata's idea apart was that he wanted to have the explosive payload carried internally as opposed to fitting an external bomb. Also, the aircraft had to be carried and released by a parent plane and rocket boosters would be used to speed the approach and terminal dive onto the target. ata did not have any aeronautical engineering experience and would not have been able to present a definitive plan for his aircraft.
The rejection left Nakajima's Ki-87 the sole contender for the specification, something Tachikawa was not going to let happen. Soon after the rejection Tachikawa utilised the same specifications given to Nakajima to plan a revised design. Whereas Tachikawa had to meet the Koku Hombu's 3,OOOm (I ,864 mile) range requirement and a 800km/h (497mph) maximum speed, Nakajima only had to contend with meeting the speed maximum. Unbridled by the range issue, Tachikawa engineers went about the task of producing a design capable of matching and exceeding the Ki-87.
Japanese Secret Projects - Exper. Aircraft of the IJA and IJN 1939-45 by E. Dyer