Manufacturer: Kawasaki

Model: unknown

Name: Hien-Kai

Type: Jet fighter


Status: Operational

Country: Japan

Service: Imperial Japanese Army

Designation: Ki-204


The famous Ki-61 Hien fighter (Allied codename: "Tony") was the perfect candidate for experimenting with jet propulsion.

With the help of Messerschmitt engineers Kawasaki modified one Ki-61 into the sole Ki-204 Hien-Kai to offer a Japanese equivalent of the Me 262 Schwalbe (interestingly both "Hien" and "Schwalbe" translate as "swallow"). The wings and tail were enlarged and modified, and Me 262 engines shipped and reassembled in Japan were fitted.

The war ended before this remarkable aircraft could prove its value. It could not even be retrieved by the Allies as the facility that housed it was bombed.


For this image I reworked a famous picture of the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien in flight (see below right). Modifications involved grafting the wings and engines of a Messerschmitt Me 262 (the photo of which was taken from the same angle), rounding off the nose, changing the antenna type and raising the elevators.

Of course I added a text in Japanese describing the type as the Ki-204, for a little bit more realism...

Viewers' comments:
  • Very nice, Stéphane! (comradeloganov)
  • Like a Me-109TL too. Great! (Tophe)

My comments: