In 1938, Nakajima Aircraft of Japan received an order for a high speed air defence interceptor, that was known as the Imperial Army Ki-44, almost simultaneously with an order for Ki-43 Oscar. High speed and better climb rate were favored at the sacrifice of maneuverability. These demands were achieved with Japan`s then most powerful engine HA-41 originally intended for use in bombers and with small main wings, and with the Nakajima designed '' butterfly '' combat flaps, it had remarkable maneuverability at air-to air combat, takeoff and landing. A lot of seasond pilots who were proficient with easily handled Ki-21 Nate disliked it afther the test flights for its lack of visibility at takeoff and landing and instability in low speed flight, however, as it proved better flying performance than Messerschmitt Bf-109 and Ki-60, the Imperial Army decided to adopt it in 1942 as Type 2 single Seat Fighter, nicknamed Shoki, codenamed Tojo by allies. the Type 2 model carried a more powerful engine HA-109 and there were three versions Koh, Otsu and Hei distinguished by external stores. a total of 1,227 Ki-44`s were built between 1940 and 1944.
Twee versies mogelijk:
- 3rd Company, 47th Flight Regiment, Narimasu Airfield 1944
- 2nd Company, 47th Flight Regiment, Lt Yassurou Masaki, Chofu Airfield 1943