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Kawasaki Ki-100-1b returns to Cosford (21st February 2012)

Kawasaki Ki-100-1b returns to Cosford

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is delighted to see the return of the Kawasaki Ki-100-1b World War Two aircraft. After almost eight years on display at the RAF Museum in London the Japanese fighter aircraft has now returned to Cosford and is on display to visitors. The aircraft is displayed alongside the Mitsubishi Dinah with the Museum’s collection of Second World War aircraft.

The Kawasaki Ki-100-1b aircraft was initially conceived as a stop gap design, but became one of the finest Japanese fighters of World War Two despite not being introduced until 1945.  One consequence of the American ‘island hopping’ campaign across the Pacific was to expose Japan to air attack by long range bombers.  In response, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force urgently sought fighters with improved high altitude performance.

The first prototype made its maiden flight on 1st February 1945.  Following an accelerated and highly successful flight test programme, the new Army Type 5 fighter entered service shortly after.  390 examples were manufactured before the Japanese surrender.

Al McLean, RAF Museum Cosford Curator says:
“We are very pleased to see the unique Kawasaki Ki-100-1b back at Cosford again. This aircraft was fast, manoeuvrable, rugged and reliable.  Allied pilots found the Ki-100 a formidable opponent and this is the only one to survive.  It will take up position along side the Mitsubishi Dinah (which is also unique) in our Warplanes display.”

The Kawasaki Ki-100-1b was originally on display at Cosford, but was moved to the RAF Museum in London for display in the Milestones gallery.  To accommodate the return of this aircraft the Gloster Meteor F9/40 has relocated and is now on display to visitors at the RAF Museum London.

Other aircraft due to arrive at the Museum later this year include British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme - the EAP and the Dornier Do-17.  The Panavia Tornado prototype P.02, previously on display in the War Planes hangar is now in the Museum’s Conservation Centre and will go on display in the Test Flight hangar shortly.  The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free of charge.  For more information on the Museum, visit www.rafmuseum.org or call 01902 376200.