Wednesday 2 January 2013

Mitsubishi Ki-15-II Domei

In September 1938 Domei Tsushin-sha (Federated News Agency) the official news agency of Japan at the time, received their first aircraft from the Army, a Type 97 Command Reconnaissance Model II or Mitsubishi Ki-15-II with a Mitsubishi Ha-26-1, 900hp engine. Although there were not enough crew members and thus maintenance was entrusted to Nippon Koku, the acquisition of this aircraft that received the registration J-BACL effectively started the aviation department of Domei.
Unfortunately, a month later, on October 30, 1938 at 16:30 in Haneda's Dai1 hangar tragedy struck. While engineer Takeda with a ground crew member performed routine maintenance, suddenly flames started coming out of the engine. The fire consumed the fuselage and most of the wings and was finally put out 50 minutes later but not before destroying this beautiful aircraft. Note the Domei marking on the fuselage side.


D. Chouinard said...

Yes, a beautiful aircraft!
It looks as though the plexiglass panels over where the pilot would sit have been painted over, no doubt to keep it somewhat cooler in the cockpit.
Too bad it had such a short life, and that no examples survive today.

Meatloaf109 said...

I remember building a kit of this aircraft back in the mid '70's. It was a Fujimi, I think.