Kawanishi Ki-85

The Kawanishi Ki-85 was a very rare example of a Kawanishi aircraft designed for the Japanese Army. It would have been a four-engined heavy bomber based on the Douglas DC-4E and Nakajima G5N1 Shinzan (Mountain Recess), but the project was cancelled early.

In 1939 the Japanese Navy bought the only prototype of the DC-4E, a failed four-engined passenger aircraft that had been rejected by the American airlines for being too complex and uneconomical. The DC-4E was secretly given to Nakajima, who dismantled it and quickly produced a bomber using the wing, engine installation and undercarriage of the DC-4E, but with a new fuselage and a twin rudder tail. The G5N1 made its maiden flight in December 1939, but its performance was poor and after six prototypes had been completed work on the project ended.

The Japanese Army was also interested in the design. Nakajima were asked to produce a version as the Ki-68. Kawanishi were also asked to produce a version of the aircraft, this time as the Kawanishi Ki-85. This was to have been powered by four Mitsubishi Ha-111M engines. After the failure of the G5N both of these projects were cancelled at an early stage.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 March 2015), Kawanishi Ki-85 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_kawanishi_Ki-85.html

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