|This page is about the Japanese fighter Ki-61-I ko. For other uses, see Ki-61 (Family).|
The Ki-61-I ko Hien is a Rank II Japanese fighter with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB) and 2.7 (RB/SB). This aircraft has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.
While Japan is famous for turn-fighters like the Zero, the Ki-61 Hien will make "boom and zoom" pilots feel at home. Possessing good high altitude performance, good climb rate and good diving capabilities, this "energy fighter" flies much like the Bf-109 which inspired its design...though the Japanese traded quite a bit of firepower in favour of manoeuvrability. This allows the Hien pilot to choose what role he or she wants to play in the battle. One could play the reserved, high flying energy fighter, or if the situation dictates, the aggressive low flying dogfighter (against certain opponents). Compared to the "Zero" it is faster, has a higher climb rate, and handles better at higher speeds...but is no match in overall manoeuvrability.
The Ki-61-I ko has a rather weak armament and lacks flexibility, as the Hien is unable to equip bombs or ground targets belts. The Ki-61-I ko utilizes two 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns and two 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns. Generally, both are unreliable and it often takes hundreds of rounds to destroy an enemy plane. This is due to the lack of primer in the rounds themselves. 12.7 mm rounds fired by the M2 Browning may seem to do more damage because they have more primer which dictates how fast the round will exit the barrel. Due to this, it is necessary to get up close to enemies. Aim for the engine, pilot, or fuel tanks if the location is known. Remember to lead with these machine guns, as the rounds are not high velocity. The 7.7mm rounds will hardly damage any plane with armour, so the Hien relies on its 12.7mm guns which are fairly lacklustre.
The low muzzle velocity of both weapons means that pilots may have to close to short range in order to hit and deal significant damage to targets. Even so, it will require some time to critically damage tougher aircraft such as bombers or attackers. However, with accuracy and shot placement, the large ammunition pool can work to your advantage.
The Hien also comes equipped with an armoured plate at the pilot seat as well as rudimentary self-sealing fuel tanks.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 360||< 350||< 460||> 270|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|3,450 m||1,100 hp||1,232 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 13 mm Steel plate behind the pilot
Usage in the battles
One of the major advantages the Ki-61-Ib has is its climb rate. The stat card may be misleading, but this plane can reach altitudes beyond that of most of its opponents. This allows the Hien to choose when and where it wants to fight. Once at a high altitude the Hien pilot may choose to dive lower to attack an enemy. If the enemy is not destroyed on the first pass, it is recommended to climb sharply and gain altitude. By doing this, the Hien sets itself up for another attack while not being in the range of the enemy's guns. (Standard Boom and Zoom tactics)
If caught in a sticky situation, the Hien pilot may choose to do several things. Depending on your altitude, executing rolling scissors or an overshoot may be a valid tactic. try to make the enemy pilot feel pressured to disengage. Depending on the enemy's aircraft, use your speed to your advantage and try to get away. The surest tactic would be communicating with teammates to ensure your assailant's death. Once tailed, the Hien pilot can "set up" an enemy by nosing up about 70 degrees so the entirety of the enemy plane is shown. At this stage, ideally, your teammate is arriving to save the day.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not controllable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Offensive 7 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 7 mm MGs|
|III||Wings Repair||Engine||Offensive 12 mm|
|IV||Engine Injection||Cover||New 12 mm MGs|
- Unlocking the performance modules should be a Hien pilot's first concern, since there are only two weaponry modules. The stock machine gun belts aren't very good in a general sense, but neither are the others. The "New 12.7 mm MGs" can be helpful as it allows for longer periods of firing. Unlocking the 7.7 mm belts can also be beneficial because you can equip belts with more armour piercing rounds.
Pros and cons
- Fast compared to contemporary planes
- Above average manoeuvrability
- Good climb rate
- Good diving capabilities
- High ammunition count at 400 RPG
- Self-sealing fuel tanks
- Some armour protection
- Relatively weak armaments, especially after heavy machine guns run out of ammunition
- Poor rear visibility
- Average handling characteristics
- No payloads
- Average roll rate that worsens as speed increases
The Ki-61 was first put into service in with a special training unit, the 23rd Chutai, and entered combat for first time in early 1943, during the New Guinea campaign. The Hiens were sent into a difficult theatre where jungles and adverse weather conditions coupled with a lack of spare parts quickly made short work of the Japanese fighters. Nonetheless, the Hien proved to be a worthy adversary and it even outclassed the P-40. Towards the end of the war, Ki-61s were relied upon heavily to defend the Japanese mainland from B-29 attacks. Some pilots used ramming attacks to down the Superfortresses. Soon, entire "special attack squadrons" were formed for the sole purpose of downing B-29s via the ramming method.
A lightweight multipurpose fighter plane, the Ki-61 Hien (“Swallow”) was well-armed and well-armoured.
From the very beginning, the makers of the Ki-61 concerned themselves with protecting the fuel tanks and the pilot. The light multipurpose fighter was an effective answer to “hit-and-run” fighters, thanks to its survivability and high diving speed.
The Ki-61 had a Kawasaki Ha-40 liquid-cooled inverted V12 engine, a licensed copy of the DB 601A, capable of 1175 hp.
A prototype was ready in 1941, and by the next year the first production models were manufactured and the Ki-61 entered service.
To strengthen armament in the Ki-61-I, instead wing-mounted machine guns of the previous models Ki-61-1-Ko and -Otsu was established by German's 20-mm cannons MG 151/20, which in the amount of 800 units in August 1943 were taken to Japan by submarines.
All in all, 3,078 Ki-61 fighters (of various types) were produced.
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- page on aircraft encyclopedia;
- other literature.
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|J2M||J2M2 Raiden · J2M3 Raiden · J2M4 Kai Raiden · J2M5 Raiden · J2M5 (30 mm)|
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|Hydroplanes||F1M2 · A6M2-N · N1K1 Kyofu|
|Ki-10||Ki-10-I · Ki-10-I C · Ki-10-II · Ki-10-II C|
|Ki-43||Ki-43-I Hayabusa · Ki-43-II Hayabusa · Ki-43-III otsu Hayabusa|
|Ki-44||Ki-44-I Shoki · Ki-44-II otsu Shoki · Ki-44-II hei Shoki|
|Ki-61||Ki-61-I ko Hien · Ki-61-I otsu Hien · Ki-61-I hei Hien · Ki-61-I tei Hien · Ki-61-II|
|Ki-84||Ki-84 ko Hayate · Ki-84 otsu Hayate · Ki-84 hei Hayate|
|Ki-100||Ki-100 · Ki-100-II|
|Other countries||A7He1 · ▅F4U-1A Corsair · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅Fw 190 A-5|