Ki-9 "Spruce", Japanese Trainer Aircraft

Photograph of Ki-9 "Spruce" trainer
U.S. Air Force. Via Francillon (1979)

Tachikawa Ki-9 KAI "Spruce"


Dimensions 33'10" by 24'8" by 9'10"
10.32m by 7.525m by 3m
Weight 2238-3142 lbs
1015-1425 kg
Speed 149 mph
240 km/h
Cruising speed       93 mph
150 km/h
Climb rate 11 feet per second
3.4 m/s
Power plant One 350 hp (261 kW) Army Type 95 (Hitachi Ha-13) nine-cylinder radial engine, driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.
Range 325 miles
520  km
Production Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. at Tachikawa:
  2395 production aircraft (1935-1942)
Tokyo Koku K.K.:
  220 production aircraft (1944-1945)

Tachikawa produced a trainer prototype, the R-5, in 1933 as a private venture. This was a very small aircraft with a 125 hp (93 kW) engine, but it piqued the Army's interest enough that Tachikawa was instructed in April 1934 to design a trainer that could be used for either basic or intermediate training, depending on the engine with which it was equipped. Though skeptical of the concept, Tachikawa's design team, led by Endo Ryokichi, designed the Ki-9 to take either a 350 hp (261 kW) engine and full blind instrumentation for intermediate training or a 150 hp (112 kW) engine and only the most basic instrumentation for basic training. Three prototypes were ready late 1934 and the first made its maiden flight on 7 January 1935. Handling and maneuverabily were disappointing and modifications were made to shift the center of gravity further aft. The third prototype was the first basic trainer variant and, in its case, the center of gravity was too far aft. As a result, only the intermediate trainer version was accepted for production.

The Ki-9 "Spruce" remained the Japanese Army's main intermediate trainer aircraft throughout the Second Sino-Japanese War and during the Pacific War. It was also used by the Thai and Manchurian air forces, and postwar by the Indonesian air force.


Francillon (1979)

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