Nakajima Ki-27 Ko: Celestial Elegance.

An added insight into the build up of events in the Pacific.

The Dreamy Dodo

Nakajima Ki-27 Ko: Celestial Elegance.

If the Japanese fighters had a thing in spades that’s for sure was style and this Nakajima’s is not an exception.The Ki-27 was the first modern monoplane fighter to enter service in the Imperial Japanese Army AF in the late 30’s.
Blooded in combat by the very belligerent Japanese,this neat plane proved to be an efficient fighter,not very fast but with the well-loved Japanese taste for maneuverability.The Ki-27 remained in front line service long after the start of WW2.

Very pretty pic of one a 84th Dokuritsu Hiko-Chutai’s Ki-27 flying over Canton,1939.The image gives clear testimony of its pleasantly fluent lines.

Photo: Hiroshi Sekiguchi.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 13, 2014, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. A very streamlined formidable opponent.
    The agility of the plane appears to have made up for its speed.


  2. Style?…really?…thats one thing the japanese aircraft had none of, the japanese had no imagination or designs of their own, generic in the extreme, everything they had was designs stolen or taken from other countries…and did nothing really to update their designs as the war progressed, their inflexibilty of command, inter-service rivalries hampered the japs at every level. The realities of the pacific war was beyond their grasp after Midway, because after the US got its production heart and soul into the war and its soldiers, sailors and airmen trained and equipped, the US enjoyed a long string of victories. The US learned its lessons quickly and US command enjoyed one of its greatest strengths, and that was its ability to adjust a plan as the battle unfolded. These lessons of war were learned well by the US and put into use by a citizen military some thought (mainly the British) that would be annihilated. In the end, the japs paid for their war of terror against Greater Asia, and for their attrocities in one blinding flash in August 1945…the japs of that era are dam lucky Operation Downfall was never implemented, or they would have ceased to exist as a nation and more than likely as a people given their propensity for ritual suicide and useless human wave “Banzai” attacks…the japs were their own worst enemy…


    • Okay, calm down, sounds like I’ve hit a nerve. I allow people to speak their mind, but a few things, such as Operation Downfall was a very complex plan that can not be dissected in this small a space. The US had its victories and its failures – we are not infallible. But you have jumped ahead of the story here.


      • Sure they had their failures, but the Japanese were one huge failure on so many levels. In my opinion the US Navy in the Pacific was the US’s greatest strength, continulally adapting to the realities of the war….and as I said above, their inflexibilty, lack of foresight and dogmatic doctrine did nothing but help the US…and don’t tall me to calm down, I was giving my response to your comment of Japanese style…in which was something they had none of because when the Japanese did come up with new aircraft designs, not a one could compete with US designs and were dismal failures…nor could the Jap pilots, except a small few…


  3. I have missed this post somehow. It is amazing how all these heavy things can fly… This one is very gracious.


    • As Kevin said, without experience in WWII or in Europe, Japan developed these planes on their own. Remarkable. Thank you for checking back in the Archives, Mia.


  4. That’s another thing about Japan lost in history today. They developed combat aircraft largely on their own, without the benefit of aerial combat experience in WWI Europe that the USA, Britain, France, Germany all had developing their air forces leading up to WWII.

    Not to mention, Japan pioneered their own naval aviation without any kind of assistance from any nation.

    Too many ‘experts’ compare today’s Chinese military development to Japan’s in the 20’s and 30’s, and I can tell you their not only wrong, but ridiculously wrong. Had history gone differently for Japan and the militarist not come to power, she would have been one of the superpowers after WWII rather than one of the defeated Axis.


  5. A magnificent photo of a very interesting, if short-lived aircraft – bore the same relationship to late-1930s planes as the ‘Zero’ did to those of 1940. We forget, I think, the extraordinary speed of change at the time. It only took three or four years for those mid-late 1930s designs to become obsolescent, especially as they were still exploring the possibilities of monocoque duraluminium construction, and engines were on the edge of a radical increase in power.

    Puts today’s aircraft development curves into perspective. HOW long has the F-35 been promised?


    • Talk about becoming obsolete – how about our computers and smart phones? It seems we can’t buy them fast enough before they appear behind the times. A ton of research and development erupted during this war era purely out of necessity.


  6. Some interesting tidbits about Nakajima Aircraft Company… Towards the end of the war, they engineered two aircraft that were never produced as war ended. One was a “cheap” aircraft made considerably out of wood but no armaments. Its sole purpose was to carry one bomb for a one-way kamikaze mission. It didn’t even have landing gear. Another aircraft was designed in response to the B-29. It also was never produced.

    Interesting, after war’s end, the remnants of Nakajima eventually became the start of Subaru and had a hand in the development of Datsun (Nissan).


    • Interesting information, Koji – thank you! It seems logical that they would expand to automobiles after airplanes, didn’t Saab do the same thing? But, I did not know about those 2 planes.


  7. I am pleased you liked my post Number 10 Dixwell Road in Shanghai. I remember the B-52 bombings of the city as we alternately cowered and cheered. My dad was an Italian citizen and so far from Mussolini’s shenanigans that we were virtually a different species. There was a lot of material for me to write about. Cheers,


  8. Yes, nice pic. I hadn’t considered the Japanese attention to appearance. I’d think (with my tiny aerodynamics knowledge) that would lead to speed, but apparently not.


    • The Japanese, I believe look for beauty in most everything – even weapons such as these birds. (If I’m wrong, hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I in Japanese culture will correct me.) Thank you for reading today, Jacqui.


  9. Ultimately their loss in the air was due more to the lack of trained crews than inferior equipment. Although, we did build some nice plane toward the end of the war. Greta picture.


  10. Pierre Lagacé

    I spent an hour on his blog.
    Most interesting information.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The beauty is from a centuries-long tradition of combining utility and form. This is seen in Japanese arts, crafts, and architecture. It’s unfortunate when beauty is used towards destructive ends. All cultures are suspeptable to this weakness.


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