From: De Eye-lands, Mon
Why they simply did not ask Berlin for help is a mystery as the Germans, like the others, all had this working in 1940.
Read somewhere that IJ planes were very surface conscious; everything was as slim and light as possible to get drag down and keep power loading up there. So there wasn’t any room to add any ‘after market’ goddies without an airframe tweak. And then, turbos needed some serious ducting (weight) and intercoolers ditto, along with intake drag. There were two or three follow-on models that were speced out with turbos, that they had high hopes for, but they couldn’t find a shoehorn big enough, so settled for mechanicals.
And then there was the Stooges comedy between the Military and the designers. Designers made a righteous plane, but then the military comes along (way late in the process) and says, ‘oh no, we want it put there, not here.’ IJ planes had a very sensitive delta-cg budget. Moving something from here to there was an exercise; it took time; Nan-desuka !!!
Am researching the Ki-87 and it is a perfect case in point. Plane was designed with a turbo. Airframe constraints forced the designers to mount it (and ram/intercooler intakes) starboard side and forward of cg. Would have been ‘bumpy’ like a late war Me-109, But the “powers that be” were like, “oh, no, no, WE think you should put it in the belly, behind the cockpit, and add a duct, on the belly, behind the wing, and shift the cockpit forward two feet, and oh, yeah, move the firewall up two feet, and …”
So, Toro and Hamachi committed Seppuku, and the plane was delayed by another 3 months.
Japan had the tech. It’s not rocket science. We had rum-runners tuning up cars during Prohibition, for Chris’ sake. I think it is a national, technical, conceptual, approach to aircraft performance. Japan chose one path and everything they did was in accord with their philosophy. Woof !!
I love this stuff. Please keep talking.
Just IMHO. JWE
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