The Ki-87 is a gift Rank IV Japanese fighter with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.63 "Desert Hunters".
The Nakajima Ki-87 is a Japanese fighter with a with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB/SB), It excels in all scenarios, even against the legendary F-80 Shooting Star. A well-played Ki-87 will be able to change the outcome of any-match. It offers a very powerful array of armament of 2 x 20 mm, Ho-5 cannons and 2 x 30 mm, Ho-155 cannons with a judicious 150 rounds per gun. It can also carry a single 50 kg or 250 kg bomb under the fuselage.
Using W.E.P. the Ki-87 is able to climb to just over 5,500 m in five minutes, a strong climb rate. Bombers spawn in at 3,000 m so you can quickly climb above for positional advantage for booming and zooming. The Ki-87 retains momentum from the dive and engages the targets, it will be able to climb back up to the operational altitude it was before engaging the enemy. It is recommended to take 20 to 30 minutes of fuel; however this plane will consume a lot of fuel if left on W.E.P.so fuel starvation is very likely.
For landing, slow to at least 300 km/h (180 mph) before dropping the main gear and 250 km/h for flaps. Ideally, be about 50 m in altitude at the end of the runway and hold 200 km/h until touchdown.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 10,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 10,000 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|
|< ???||< ???||< ???||> ???|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|?,??? m||??? hp||?,??? hp|
Survivability and armour
- 70 mm Bulletproof glass in cockpit front.
- 8.5 mm Steel plate behind the pilot.
The Ki-87 is armed with:
- 2 x 30 mm Ho-155 cannons, wing-mounted (150 rpg = 300 total)
- 2 x 20 mm Ho-5 cannons, wing-mounted (150 rpg = 300 total)
The Ki-87 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 1 x 50 kg Army Type 94 GPHE bomb (50 kg total)
- 1 x 250 kg Navy Type Number 25 Model 2 bomb (250 kg total)
Usage in battles
For engaging the enemy, The Ki-87 is best at boom-and-zoom tactics. Climb to around 6,000 m and fly over enemy formations, once in position roll the plane to target, maintain coordinated control and correct rudder as at that altitude it is very easy to stall. Descend fast but not so much the controls get sluggish. Once lined up and in range fire a short burst, the very heavy armament will rip the enemy plane apart; even evasive countermeasures will be insufficient for a properly executed Boom & Zoom.
Against heavily armed aircraft such as the B-17, B-24, B-29, Tu-4 and other heavy bombers, climb at least 600 m above them use slashing boom and zoom tactic, fire utilising short bursts, once the bullets hit the target, fire longer busts then jump back up. Ideally you should, aim for large critical parts such as the wings and tail plane. The cannons on the Ki-87 will make short work of essential components and being substantial offer best chance of hitting. Never attack behind and at nearly same speed as you become a perfect target for multiple weapons. The Ki-87 fuel tanks are somewhat easy to ignite, and won’t last long if they do.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not controllable||Not controllable|
- All modifications are unlocked from purchase.
Pros and cons
- Excels in high-altitude bomber intercepting
- Powerful armament consisting of 2 x 30 mm cannons and 2 x 20 mm cannons
- No wing-mounted fuel tanks
- Good climb rate
- High red-line speed of 840 kph
- Fast at diving
- Can equip bombs, although it will affect the aircraft's speed and turning time until your using this as a fighter-bomber
- Not as manoeuvrable as other Japanese aircraft
- Crew skills, if the crew has not got high skills it is very easy for them to black out
- Fuselage fuel-tank is susceptible to fire
- HEF-T used by the 30 mm's has only a maximum penetration of 2 mm
Improved metallurgy and engineering in the 1930’s saw a massive leap in aircraft performance, especially the once bulky, boxy, lumbering bombers reborn as sleek and sexy machines that left old fashioned wooden fighters in its vapor trail. It was not long before those flying rag fighters were also updated with gleaming aluminum and once again surpassed the bombers top speed. Yet bombers still had a trick up their sleeves, altitude.
Flying above 9,000 m (29,500 ft) in super cold thin air and rarefied oxygen was both a technical and physiological challenge. The long wings and large interiors of bombers offered space needed for extreme high altitude flight, example the Ju 86P/R bomber which flew above 12,000 m (40,000 ft) with impunity over England, beyond the RAFs reach for months. The B-17 and B-24 could also operate at altitudes the Bf 109 and Fw 190 had difficulty reaching.
Predicting the same for Japan, the military wisely ordered research into high altitude single engine fighters as early as 1942 and by 1943 work was underway on the future Nakajima Ki-87 and the alternate Tachikawa Ki-94. At 12,000 meters the air density is about 1/4 that of sea level necessitating a huge supercharged engine, but its internal “blower” needed an additional boost so a “turbo-supercharger” was added, powered by high velocity exhaust gas. This combination is exactly like the P-47 Thunderbolt has, except this time the turbo was mounted on the right side of nose on the prototypes and not in rear fuselage. High aspect-ratio wings were chosen for the thin air (compare Fw 190 with Ta 152), but with limited space to mount the dual pair of 30 mm and 20 mm cannons in an unusual step Nakajima chose a landing gear retraction like on P-40 Kittyhawk. High altitude flight is also extremely uncomfortable for the pilot so the cockpit was partially pressurized and extra tanks of oxygen installed. Pilot armor, thick bulletproof glass, self-sealing fuel tanks, and hard point for bombs were also added. Finally enough fuel for at least 2 hours flight resulted in a massive aircraft for the Japanese, well over twice the weight of the A6M2 Zero.
It was an enormous technical challenge for Japanese industry taking a long time to overcome teething issues. Japanese aircraft rarely utilised turbo-superchargers in their planes, so experience in operation was limited, and although the 90° retracting gear was a favourite design, it took Nakajima months to get it to operate correctly.
The prototype flew for the first time in April 1945 at a time when the anticipated B-29 bomber was pounding Japan, but by then it was too late. Disruption by bombing and dwindling resources prevented the second prototype from flying and attrition of what little fighter defence Japan had. Ironically, with such weak home defence, the B-29’s flew much lower so they could bomb more accurately, negating the purpose of the high altitude Ki-87!
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
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|A5M||A5M4 · Hagiri's A5M4|
|A6M||A6M2 mod. 11 · A6M2 · A6M3 · A6M3 mod. 22 · A6M3 mod. 22Ko · A6M5 · A6M5 Ko · A6M5 otsu|
|A7M||A7M1 (NK9H) · A7M2|
|J2M||J2M2 · J2M3 · J2M4 Kai · J2M5 · J2M5 (30 mm)|
|N1K-J||N1K1-Ja · N1K2-J · N1K2-Ja|
|Ki-10||Ki-10-I · Ki-10-I C · Ki-10-II · Ki-10-II C|
|Ki-27||Ki-27 otsu · Ki-27 otsu Tachiarai|
|Ki-43||Ki-43-I · Ki-43-II · Ki-43-III otsu|
|Ki-44||Ki-44-I · Ki-44-I 34 · Ki-44-II otsu · Ki-44-II hei|
|Ki-61||Ki-61-I ko · Ki-61-I otsu · Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I hei Tada's · Ki-61-I tei · Ki-61-II|
|Ki-84||Ki-84 ko · Ki-84 otsu · Ki-84 hei|
|Ki-100||Ki-100 · Ki-100-II|
|Other countries||▅F4U-1A · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅Fw 190 A-5|
|*Imported designation of the He 112 (A6M was in development - A7M wasn't heard of yet)|
|Japan premium aircraft|
|Fighters||Hagiri's A5M4 · A7He1 · Ki-27 otsu Tachiarai|
|Ki-44-II otsu · ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▅F4U-1A · Ki-100-II · Ki-44-I 34|
|▅Fw 190 A-5 · A7M1 (NK9H) · Ki-61-I hei Tada's|
|J2M4 Kai · A6M5 Ko · J2M5 · Ki-87 · J6K1|
|Jet fighters||F-86F-40 JASDF▅|
|Bombers||Ki-21-I hei · H8K3 · ▅B-17E|